Mumbai Indians won their third match in a row, and Kings XI Punjab continued their losing run as the former defeated George Bailey's men by a comprehensive 23-run margin at Mohali. The victory means Mumbai are very much in contention for a play-offs spot while Punjab's chance is all but gone following yet another disappointing performance. Mumbai's victory was built around half centuries from openers Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons, as they put up a competitive 172 for 3 on the board. The bowlers then put up a competent effort as well, as Punjab never made any headway in the chase.
Mumbai's openers laid the perfect foundation for the a solid total, combining to add 111 in 12.2 overs. Patel, who had disappointed in previous matches, was extremely severe on Aussie left- arm pacer Mitchell Johnson. He smashed the reputed bowler for six in his very first over, and followed it up by flicking and cover driving the bowler for fours. Glenn Maxwell had a chance to run him out when he was on 22, but stumbled. Parthiv continued to punish Johnson, taking more boundaries off him.
At the other end, Simmons also began in confident fashion, although he preferred suppleness to brute force. He glanced Sandeep Sharma and Anureet Singh, both of whom strayed on the pads, to pick up easy boundaries to fine leg. At the time of the strategic time-out, after 8 overs, Mumbai were in a great position at 72 for no loss.
At resumption, the openers continued to flourish, aided by help from Punjab's fielders. Virender Sehwag dropped a simple catch, and there were plenty of midfields as well. Parthiv raced to his 50 off 32 balls, and celebrated it by smashing Maxwell straight down the ground. He fell soon after, but Simmons carried on and reached his half-century off 38 balls. He went on to make 71, but great slog overs bowling by Johnson, Anureet and Sandeep helped restrict Mumbai to 172.
Punjab could have chased down the total had their star batsmen performed to potential, but that has been asking too much this season. Sehwag fell early again, closing the face to Lasith Malinga. Maxwell was promoted to number three, but he played one reverse sweep too many to be caught at short third man. As they have done so often, Vijay and Bailey got starts and got out. David Miller continued the fight for Punjab, but there was too much to be done, and Malinga and Mitchell McClenaghan proved too good for the Punjab batsmen.
--By A Cricket Correspondent