Top Mission Shines In KXIP'is A Convincing Victory > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Top-order shines in KXIP's convincing win

Rahul (71*) and Mayank (43) put on a 64-run stand for the second wicket.

Mumbai Indians came into the game on the back of a morale-boosting win against Royal Challengers Bangalore, having successfully defended 187. Their opponents suffered a setback against Kolkata Knight Riders, with their bowling in particular coming under scrutiny after conceding 218. Given how things had transpired, it came as a surprise that R Ashwin opted to bowl again but he's not one for reactive captaincy. It was a decision that kept his counterpart, Rohit Sharma, happy as well. And judging by the way Mumbai went about their innings, it seemed for a while that the move could backfire on Ashwin.

Quinton makes his mark

Rohit had reason to be miffed with his opening partner, who had discouraged him from taking a review for LBW which later turned out to be the wrong call. The manner of Rohit's departure, for 32 in a 51-run opening stand, would have added more pressure on de Kock. Murugan Ashwin, who came in for Varun Chakravarthy compunded that pressure by getting Suryakumar Yadav for 11. But de Kock allayed all of Mumbai's concerns with a sprightly knock of 60 that set Mumbai up for a big total.

A wobble and a flourish

KXIP came back strongly picking up three quick wickets after Mohammed Shami trapped de Kock LBW for 60. But, just as he did in Mumbai's previous game, Hardik Pandya ensured that they finished on a high. With a newfound penchant to stay deep in the crease, the younger Pandya found a wider hitting arc and finished with a 19-ball 31 as Mumbai finished with 176.

An unsure start

KXIP did not quite get the start they would have wanted in the powerplay. With KL Rahul not finding the boundaries and Chris Gayle biding his time, they ended with just 38 in the first six overs. Mumbai's pacers had done one part of their job right in keeping the start under check, but KXIP had the advantage of not losing a wicket. All they had to do now was to capitalise.

Anchor and attack

After the powerplay, KXIP's innings got a distinct direction to it. Gayle, typically took off, hitting Hardik for consecutive sixes and upping his own strike-rate while Rahul was content in staying through. When Krunal Pandya had Gayle holing out to long on for 40, Mayank Agarwal took on the mantle of attacker. His target was spin, and both Mayank Markande and Krunal, fell prey to the boundary-burst that followed. The fluency of the knock (43 off 21) in a 64-run stand with Rahul, not only eased the pressure at one end but ensured that KXIP kept abreast of the asking rate.

A clinical finish

Rahul, who had anchored the innings well so far, finally took it upon himself to finish the innings with 60 still needed after Mayank's departure. He got a six and a four off the 15th over bowled by Hardik before bringing up his fifty in the next over. Mumbai Indians' challenge was killed with this knock as KXIP eased to an eight wicket win with as many balls to spare.

Where they go next

Mumbai Indians travel home to face rivals Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday (April 3) while KXIP have just a day's rest before they face Delhi Capitals on Monday (April 1) at home.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 176/7 (Quinton de Kock 60; M Ashwin 2-25) lost to Kings XI Punjab (KL Rahul 71*, Mayank Agarwal 43, Chris Gayle 40) by 8 wickets.

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