Kings XI stay in play-off hunt with upset win over Mumbai

Kings XI stay in play-off hunt with upset win over Mumbai

Chasing a challenging 164-run target, Mumbai lost wickets at regular intervals to be bowled out for just 87 runs in 12.5 overs at the Punjab Cricket Association ground.

Young left-arm spinner Bharghav Bhatt was the pick of the Kings XI bowlers, scalping four wickets for 22 runs while Praveen Kumar returned picked up two wickets for 19.

Mumbai's lacklustre batting performance can be gauged from the fact that big-hitting Kieron Pollard was their top-scorer with 17 runs followed by Aiden Blizzard (15).

Earlier, Munaf produced his first five-wicket haul of the tournament as Kings XI Punjab lost the plot after an impressive start to be eventually restricted to 163 for eight.

Sent into bat, Kings XI were coasting at 129 for two at one stage but lost as many as six wickets in a span of just 39 runs in the last five overs to see their innings go haywire from a comfortable position.

Munaf was the wrecker in chief for Mumbai, picking up five wickets for just 21 runs while tournament's highest wicket-taker Lasith Malinga gave him the perfect support from the other end with figures of two for 24.

Shaun Marsh top-scored for Kings XI with a 34-ball 43 while Dinesh Karthik (31 off 24), captain Adam Gilchrist (28) and Paul Valthaty (14) all got starts before fading out.

The win not only took Kings XI up to the ninth position in the standings with eight points from 10 games, but also kept alive their hopes of making it to the play-offs.

Despite the defeat, Mumbai continue to lead the table with 16 points from 11 matches.
Mumbai's chase was far from rosy as they lost their top six batsmen inside the first 10 overs with the scoreboard reading just 63.

Blizzard, however, got Mumbai off to a blazing start spanking Praveen for three consecutive fours to pile up 12 runs of the first over before the pacer picked up two vital wickets to send the visitors onto the backfoot.

Captain Sachin Tendulkar (6) was Praveen's first casualty as he steered one to Marsh at backward point in the third over.

Left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma then accounted for Rohit Sharma in the next over with Gilchrist producing a smart glove work and then a over later Praveen picked up his second victim -- Blizzard caught behind the stumps by the Kings XI skipper.

Mumbai's misery was further compounded when Andrew Symonds was run out for eight, courtesy an unnecessary mix up with Ambati Rayudu.

If that was not enough, in-form Rayudu and Tirumalasetti Suman were the next to go in a span of four deliveries.

Harbhajan Singh and big-hitting Kieron Pollard rode on some luck before they too perished in search of big shots.

From there on defeat was inevitable for Mumbai and it was just a matter of time before Bhatt sealed the match in favour of the home team with three wickets -- Pollard, Dhawal Kulkarni and Munaf -- in the 13th over.

Earlier, it was a miserable batting performance from the Kings XI middle and lower order with just the top four registering double figures.

Asked to bat, Kings XI lost Valthaty early for a run-a-ball 14. He was caught by Blizzard at deep mid-wicket off Munaf in the third over.

It could have double blow for the home team two overs later if not for a butter-fingered Symonds who dropped a sitter of Gilchrist at extra cover off Kulkarni.

New man Marsh, however, came out in a ravishing mood and upped the Kings XI run rate with a flurry of boundaries.

Marsh and Gilchrist then demolished part-timer Rohit Sharma, hitting him for a six and four to pick up 18 runs of his second and innings' 10th over.

With Kings XI racing off to 86 for one after 10 overs, Mumbai skipper Tendulkar was forced to bring back Malinga back into attack in the 11th over and the Sri Lankan pacer did not disappoint his captain, getting the vital wicket of Gilchrist, caught by wicket-keeper Rayudu.

Mumbai fielding coach Jonty Rhodes won't be a happy man today as after Symonds' blunder, it was time for Blizzard to drop a regulation catch of Karthik off the bowling of Pollard in the 13th over.

Karthik cashed in on the missed opportunities and hit Suman for consecutive boundaries in the next over -- one of which came of a well executed reverse sweep.

But just when it was time to open up, Munaf came up with twin blows in the 16th over to put brakes on Kings XI scoring.

A dangerous-looking Marsh was the first to depart, caught brilliantly by Pollard at deep mid-wicket as he went for a pull and then three balls later new man David Hussey picked out Blizzard at mid-off.

But Kings XI were in no mood to give up as Mandeep Singh and Karthik struck a six each off Kulkarni to notch up 14 runs of the 17th over.

Munaf made the difference for Mumbai with another double blow -- Karthik and Ryan Harris -- in the 19th over to restrict Kings XI within a chaseable target.