A half-century stand between skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal laid the foundation on a challenging Chepauk surface as Punjab Kings defeated Mumbai Indians by nine wickets to notch up their second victory of the season on Friday.
Rahul and Mayank added 53 for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed by Rahul Chahar. Chris Gayle, the next man in, teamed up with Rahul as the two guided Punjab past the finishing line with 14 deliveries to spare.
Skipper Rahul, who brought up his third fifty of the season, scored steadily if unspectacularly in an innings devoid of many fireworks. Gayle also started in a sluggish way but stuck in the middle until the end, finishing with 43 off 35 deliveries.
Earlier, Punjab dished out a clinical bowling performance to restrict Mumbai to 131/6 on a turning wicket. . MI skipper Rohit Sharma, who notched up his 40th IPL fifty, was the top performer for the defending champions. Rohit teamed up with Suryakumar Yadav, adding a 79-run stand after the early departure of Quinton de Kock (3) and Ishan Kishan (6).
Young Ravi Bishnoi, playing his first game of the season, plucked Ishan’s wicket with a wrong-un while de Kock holed out to Moises Henriques off Deepak Hooda’s delivery. After being jolted with two major blows at the start and adding just 21 in the PowerPlay, the Rohit-Surya duo steadied Mumbai’s ship.
Rohit kept rotating the strike along with taking chances. He even smashed a high full-toss from Fabian Allen out of the park towards cow corner. Suryakumar also accompanied Rohit and scored 33 off 27 before perishing in the 17th over, leaving MI at 105/3.
It was all downhill from there for the five-time champions. MI first lost Rohit in the 18th over and then the Pandya brothers in the next two. Hardik (1) and Krunal (3) failed to produce some fireworks but Kieron Pollard put up a 12-ball 16 cameo, laced with a six, to help Mumbai go past the 130-run mark.
For Punjab, veteran pacer Mohammed Shami and 20-year-old Bishnoi plucked two wickets each. Hooda (1/15) and Arshdeep Singh also chipped in with a wicket apiece.