• Monday, May 20, 2024

CRICKET

Mumbai Indians beat Punjab Kings despite Ashutosh Sharma’s heroics

Mumbai Indians’ Jasprit Bumrah (C) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Punjab Kings’ Rilee Rossouw. (Photo: Getty Images)

Vivek MishraBy: Vivek Mishra

In a nail-biting Indian Premier League match on Thursday, the Mumbai Indians overcame a strong challenge from Ashutosh Sharma to edge out the Punjab Kings by nine runs in Chandigarh.

The Mumbai Indians, after being asked to bat, got off to a steady start. By the 12th over, they had lost only two wickets. Suryakumar Yadav then took the reins, blasting 78 runs from 53 balls, guiding his team to a competitive total of 192-7.

The response from Punjab Kings was shaky initially, with their score crumbling to 14-3 by the end of the second over, thanks to tight bowling from Gerald Coetzee and Jasprit Bumrah.

However, Ashutosh Sharma breathed life into the innings, smashing 61 runs from just 28 balls. With support from Shashank Singh, who scored 41, and Harpreet Brar, adding 21, the Kings made a spirited attempt at a chase but fell short.

After the match, Punjab Kings’ interim captain Sam Curran expressed his disappointment, saying, “It’s heart-breaking to come so close yet not get over the line. This team loves a close game. Got well to get close, thanks to Ashutosh… Hopefully, we can win the close ones and get the momentum.”

The match began with Mumbai’s openers, Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma, putting up an 18-run stand before Kishan departed for eight runs in the third over. Sharma contributed a swift 36 off 25 balls, setting the stage for Yadav’s explosive innings.

Contributions came from the lower order as well, with young Tilak Varma scoring a brisk 34 from 18 balls, while Hardik Pandya and Tim David chipped in with 10 and 14 runs respectively, to round off Mumbai’s innings at 192-7.

Punjab’s chase was destabilised early on due to excellent spells from Coetzee and Bumrah, who both claimed three wickets each. Despite the late resurgence led by Sharma, Kagiso Rabada’s quick 8 runs from 3 balls in the final over were not enough to secure a win.

Reflecting on the match, Coetzee said, “What a game. We started really well. Cricket’s a funny game. We thought we had it, they battled really well. Then it was like a see-saw.”

(AFP)

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