The thrilling match No. 36 with fluctuating fortunes needed the first-ever double Super Over to determine a winner.
A table topper going against a bottom dweller doesn’t promise to be an exciting prospect to look forward to, especially if the challenger is Kings XI Punjab – a proven team with uncanny ability to grab defeats from the jaws of victory. The valiant Punjabis from north India did nearly choke again but for a sensational all-round performance against Mumbai Indians.
The thrilling match No. 36 with fluctuating fortunes needed the first-ever double Super Over to determine a winner at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. And at the end, Punjab, led by orange cap owner and skipper KL Rahul (51-ball 77), prevailed to stay in contention of this edition of the Indian Premier League.
After regulation time, the encounter ended in a tie with both teams scoring 176 for loss of six wickets from 20 overs.
In the first Super Over, Jasprit Bumrah took the wickets of Rahul and Nicholas Pooran and conceded just five runs. In response, Mohammed Shami bowled brilliantly against Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock as openers failed to score six runs.
And in the second Super Over, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya could manage 11 off Chris Jordan. It would have been 15 but for a top-class fielding effort in long-on by Mayank Agarwal. While chasing, Chris Gayle started with a massive six and Agarwal smoked two fours off Trent Boult to win a seesaw battle. The result took Punjab to comfortable sixth place in the points table.
Earlier, while chasing 176, Rahul scored his fifth half-century and knitted partnerships worth 42 with Gayle, 38 with Deepak Hooda and 33 each with Agarwal and Pooran.
Agarwal (11) couldn’t benefit from two lives offered to him and was bowled by Bumrah in a one-run over. But run flow continued as Rahul and Gayle cobbled 51 after the power play. But Gayle (21-ball 24) perished looking for quick runs.
In-form Pooran hit sixes and fours as Punjab reached 102/2 after 11 overs. But Bumrah ended Pooran’s (12-ball 24) stay in a three-run over. And Chahar got Glenn Maxwell (0) caught in the slip as Punjab slipped to 115/4.
Keeping hopes alive, Rahul bought up his fifth 50 from 35 balls. He continued to find boundaries. Punjab needed 52 from the final five overs. Rahul with Hooda kept rotating strikes. But Bumrah, again, returned to trap Rahul with a yorker. Hooda and Jordan took Punjab closer with 13 from the penultimate over. Hooda was dropped by Rahul Chahar and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
With nine needed from the last over, they ended up with two from the last ball but Jordan made a horrendous second run as the game entered a super over.
Batting first, a quick-fire 57-run seventh-wicket partnership between Pollard (12-ball 34) and Coulter-Nile (12-ball 24) bolstered Mumbai to 176/6. This was after opener Quinton de Kock hit a 43-ball 53 and shared a 58-run stand with Krunal Pandya (30-ball 34).
Seamers Arshdeep Singh and Shami picked two wickets each and spinner Ravi Bishnoi took one.
The day also saw another super over – Kolkata Knight Riders winning over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Abu Dhabi.
R Sharma b Arshdeep Singh 9
KINGS XI PUNJAB
K Rahul b Bumrah 77
Match tied (Kings XI Punjab won the two Super Over eliminator)
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