Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians suffered first-ever humiliating 75-run defeat at the hands of former Aussie wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist led Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday night. Gilchrist, who is known for springing surprises at opponents, lead his side from the front. He got the star-studded Mumbai batsmen fall like nine pins by handling his bowling resources well..
Chasing an achievable target of 164-run with batsmen of Sachin Tendulkar, Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharmas, Mumbai Indians lost wickets at regular intervals to be bowled out for a paltry 87 in 12.5 overs at the Punjab Cricket Association ground. It was young left-arm spinner Bharghav Bhatt who led the demolition squad for Kings XI, scalping four wickets for 22 runs while Praveen Kumar returned picked up two wickets for 19. Mumbai’s lack-lustre 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 chief wrecker 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.
On the other hand, despite the defeat, Mumbai Indians continue to lead the table with 16 points from 11 matches.
Will Gilchrist, whose Kings XI Punjab, which is now at the rock bottom with just four wins from 10 matches, ensure the same winning momentum in next five matches and take the team to ‘play off’ stage, like what
he did in the last edition for Deccan Chargers? Well, in the last season Deccan Chargers were pushed into the identical situation of Punjab Kings XI this year, but Gilchrist ensured his team winning the remaining five league matches to storm into the semis.