PBKS hand MI 5th consecutive defeat

Pune, April 13 : Punjab Kings (PBKS) not only beat Mumbai Indians (MI) by 12 runs, but handed them fifth consecutive defeat in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) here at the MCA Stadium on Wednesday. Shikhar Dhawan (70) and Mayank Agarwal’s (52) explosive start followed by Jitesh Sharma’s quickfire 15-ball 30 not out helped PBKS to post 198/5. In reply, MI were restricted to 186/9 thanks to Odean Smith (4/30) and Kagiso Rabada (2/29). MI, who came into the match on the back of four back-to-back loses, had a fine start to their 199-run chase. Skipper Rohit Sharma fired in the first over itself, clearing boundary and smacking one maximum. The opener didn’t spare PBKS bowlers as he added two more fours and one six before Rabada got rid of him. Rohit (28) tried short-arm pull but Vaibhav Arora caught him at short fine leg. Arora then got one for his own figures as Ishan Kishan was caught behind for 3. Dewald Brevis and Tilak Varma not only got into rebuilding, but took MI out of the troubled waters. At one point Brevis increased MI’s win probability as the South African hammered Rahul Chahar for 28 runs, including four sixes, in the ninth over. PBKS breathed a sigh of relief as Smith dismissed Brevis (49 off 25). The South African pulled to deep backward square but Arshdeep Singh caught him. Soon a horrible mix-up resulted in the departure of Varma (36). With Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard in the middle, MI were still very much in the game. However, Pollard (10) got himself run out while trying to steal a second run. In the penultimate over, the lone warrior Suryakumar (43) had to depart as Smith caught him at long-on off the bowling of Rabada. Smith then picked three lower-order wickets in the final over to put the nail in MI’s coffin. Earlier in the day, PBKS got off to a brilliant start after being put into bat, with openers Dhawan and Agarwal effortlessly taking on MI bowlers. PBKS scored 99 runs in the first 10 overs and exactly the same runs were added in the last 10 overs. The side could have had capitalised more but a wobble in the middle-order prevented them. Agarwal, who was struggling at the top, found his form as he registered a half-century before Murugan Ashwin dismissed him. The PBKS skipper’s 32-ball innings saw two maximums and six boundaries. Dhawan was going strong, but a couple of dismissals at the other end resulted in his departure too. Jaydev Unadkat and Bumrah cleaned up big hitters Jonny Bairstow (12) and Liam Livingstone (2), respectively. Basil Thampi then bagged the prized wicket of Dhawan. The left-hander tried to go over the leg side but ended up giving a catch to Pollard at long-on, leaving PBKS on 151/4. In the last four overs, Jitesh whacked two maximums and two boundaries and Shahrukh Khan smashed two sixes to boost PBKS’s total.

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