Mumbai, Apr 22: Left-hander Shaun Marsh struck an unbeaten 68 off 40 balls to guide Kings XI Punjab to six-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in Game 28 of IPL 5 here at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing 163 to win, Punjab needed 34 runs off the final 18 balls. That equation was reduced to 20 off 12 balls. Bowling the 19th over, Munaf Patel was hit for 11 runs which included a six by Marsh. Man-of-the-match awarded went to Marsh.
The last over was given to Thisara Perera with nine needed for Punjab. Marsh was on strike and struck the first ball to six. That almost clinched the issue in Punjab's favour. Then, he took a single off the second ball. Marsh's left-handed partner from South Africa, David Miller sealed the game with a boundary off the third ball off the final over. Punjab ended with 164/4 in 19.3 overs.
The foundation for victory was laid by Punjab's new openers, Nitin Saini and Mandeep Singh. They did a good job. They took the team to 48 in 6.2 overs. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha broke this strong stand when he trapped Saini LBW. Then Mandeep followed his partner to the pavilion. Kieron Pollard got rid of him.
After the openers departed, Marsh and skipper David Hussey joined. The Australian duo kept Punjab in the hunt. Left-handed Marsh was the aggressive between the two.
Mumbai captain Harbhajan Singh's poor IPL 5 with the ball, continued, as he went wicketless again. So far he has bowled 19 overs for just one wicket, conceding 135 runs. Today, his figures were 0/34 in four overs.
Mumbai Indians Innings Report
James Franklin's half century took Mumbai Indians to 163/6 in 20 overs against Kings XI Punjab.
New Zealand's left-hander, Franklin scored a 51-ball 79 with 6 boundaries and 4 sixes. He was dismissed in the 19th over while attempting to clear the long-on boundary but found David Miller.
Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik contributed a 20-ball 35. Franklin and Karthik put on 75 runs in six overs for the third wicket. Karthik was run out when he was going strong. He seemed to be upset with his partner Franklin for the run out as they tried for a second run.
Sachin Tendulkar, returning to the team after missing four straight games, could contribute only a run-a-ball 23. However, he enjoyed a chance on 20, when Parvinder Awana spilled a simple catch at short-fineleg off Azhar Mahmood. But that catch did not prove costly. Attempting for a second run, Tendulkar could not beat a David Miller throw.
Tendulkar and Franklin had made steady progress. They associated for 51 runs for the first wicket. The team's half century came off 48 balls. This was after Praveen Kumar bowled a maiden over to start off the proceedings of the match.
In spite of the first over producing no runs, Mumbai managed 39 in the opening six overs where field restrictions apply.
Praveen had to wait 26.3 overs to get his first wicket in this edition of the IPL. And the second arrived immediately, the next ball. He was on a hat-trick but Ambati Rayudu denied him the feat.
Kieron Pollard was removed for just seven runs. Rohit Sharma too was out for a single-digit score. Captain Harbhajan Singh, batting at number six, made four, as he tried for big shots.
Awana took two wickets for 23 in four overs while Praveen finished with figures of 2/36 in his quota of four. The other two wickets came through run outs.
Sachin Tendulkar returned to the Mumbai Indians side as their captain Harbhajan Singh won the toss and chose to bat first against Kings XI Punjab.
Apart from Tendulkar, James Franklin and Thisara Perera are also playing. Sri Lankan all-rounder Perera is making his debut for Mumbai. Interestingly, Mumbai opted to go in with only three overseas players. Kieron Pollard, Perera and Franklin are the foreign trio. South Africa opener Richard Levi has been left out after few failures. Levi's compatriot Davy Jacobs is also out. Australia paceman Clint McKay is also dropped.
Tendulkar, who injured his right finger during the opening game against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai on April 4, had to miss four games. Tendulkar was hit by a Doug Bollinger delivery while batting.
Mumbai are without Lasith Malinga, who has returned home due to a back injury. It will be interesting to see how their bowling performs in the Sri Lanka paceman's absence.
David Hussey continues to captain Punjab. Regular skipper Adam Gilchrist is still not fit to take the field. He sustained a hamstring injury against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 18. This is the second game in a row he is missing. Paul Valthaty and Harmeet Singh have been dropped and Siddarth Chitnis and wicketkeeper Nitin Saini are the replacements.
Mumbai Indians: Harbhajan Singh (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Munaf Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Rohit Sharma, Rudra Pratap Singh, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Thisara Perera.
Kings XI Punjab: David Hussey (captain), Shaun Marsh, Piyush Chawla, Mandeep Singh, Parvinder Awana, Praveen Kumar, Bhargav Bhatt, Nitin Saini (wicketkeeper), Siddharth Chitnis, David Miller, Azhar Mahmood.
Umpires: S Ravi (India) and Rod Tucker (Australia)
Third Umpire: Johan Cloete (South Africa)
Match Referee: Raju Mukherjee (India)