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Power Hitters Deliver for Mumbai Indians in Tight Chase Against Punjab Kings

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Mumbai Indians returned to form as they beat Punjab Kings by six wickets in a must win game to stay in contention for play offs. The second leg of IPL has been a disappointment for Mumbai, but they played some quality cricket in Abu Dhabi which was helped by ordinary fielding from opposition. Arshdeep Singh dropped Kiron Pollard and the West Indian made Punjab pay as he stayed unbeaten at 15 with Hardik Pandya. The Baroda all-rounder was conspicuous by his absence from the first two games, but gave a glimpse of his power hitting which would be very soothing to Indian cricket fans ahead of T20 World Cup.

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The game hanged in balance after Saurabh Tiwary (45 off 37 balls) departed, leaving Mumbai placed at 92/4. That’s when Pandya stepped in. Till then he was picking easy singles, waiting for the big over which came in the 16th over of the innings against Shami where he smashed him for 11 runs. Pollard took inspiration from this and later smoked Arshdeep Singh for 13 in the very next over. This was the most expensive of the match.

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And just like that, Mumbai raced to win with an over to spare, the disappointment on KL Raul’s face was clear. Nonetheless, Punjab let Mumbai off on many occasions with their poor ground fielding and catching.

Earlier Mumbai Indians had put up a clinical show with the ball to restrict Punjab Kings to 135/6 in 20 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Match 42 of IPL 2021 here on Tuesday. For Mumbai, Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard took two wickets each while Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar had one scalp each.

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Electing to bowl first, Krunal had his first wicket of the match and in the UAE leg of the tournament by trapping Mandeep Singh lbw in the final over of power-play. Singh tried to move across to sweep but missed the delivery, which looked to hit the stumps.

Punjab lost their second wicket on the second ball after power-play with Chris Gayle holing out to long-on off Kieron Pollard, who claimed his 300th victim in IPL. Punjab’s troubles increased as captain KL Rahul followed Gayle to the pavilion in the same over, miscuing a pull to short fine leg. Nicholas Pooran tried to flick but missed Jasprit Bumrah’s low dipping full toss trapped him lbw. Pooran took the review but failed to change the result, burning his team’s review in process, leaving Punjab at 48/4 in 7.3 overs.

(With agencies)

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