MI beat PBKS by nine runs

Mullanpur (Punjab): Ashutosh Sharma’s pyrotechnics did not prove to be enough as five-time champions Mumbai Indians beat Punjab Kings by nine runs in an Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.

Chasing a challenging 193, young sensation Ashutosh played the knock of his nascent career, smashing a 28-ball 61 to keep PBKS in the hunt till the end.

Besides Ashutosh, Shashank Singh made 41 off 25 balls for PBKS but were eventually bowled for 183 in 19.1 overs.

Suryakumar Yadav (78) starred with the bat for Mumbai Indians to take them to 192 for seven.

It was Mumbai’s third win in seven games while Punjab’s slide continued with their fifth loss in seven matches.

Despite an early four-wicket burst from pacers Jasprit Bumrah (3/21) and Gerald Coetzee (3/32), MI once again paid a heavy price of being ordinary with the ball. Akash Madhwal gave away 46 for one wicket in his 3.1 overs.

Ashutosh produced a breathtaking knock, hammering seven sixes and two fours after Shashank’s counterattack brought Punjab back on track following early wickets.

The right-handed Shashank smacked each of his three sixes off leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal (1/26).

Ashutosh was adroit with his strokes particularly on the leg-side.

Harpreet Brar proved he is no mug with the bat either, as the left-handed tailender unleashed lofted hits in his vital 20-ball 21 with two fours and a six. At the top of the order, Prabhsimran Singh’s (0) poor run persisted when the right-hander edged one behind to be caught by a diving Ishan Kishan, with Coetzee redeeming himself after a poor start with the ball.

Bumrah put Mumbai Indians in complete command with twin strikes in his opening over.

On his fourth delivery, the ace pacer fired a vicious in-swinging yorker which left Rilee Rossouw (0) nearly toppling over with his off and middle stump uprooted.

Later in the over, a smart review against an on-field call for a wide resulted in Bumrah bagging his second wicket off an innocuous delivery.

This one, fired down the leg, had the ball kissing Sam Curran’s (6) bat before settling into Ishan Kishan’s glove, which was confirmed by the DRS review.

Coetzee then piled further misery on fallible Punjab as he bounced out Liam Livingstone (1).

Earlier, Suryakumar and Tilak Varma (34 not out off 18) produced gritty knocks on a sluggish wicket to fire Mumbai Indians to a competitive total.

On a typically low and slow surface here, MI batters struggled for timing yet garnered the highest total so far at IPL’s newest venue.

Rohit (36 off 25) and Suryakumar provided the bedrock with a sturdy 81-run stand for the second wicket before Varma and Tim David (14 off seven) found their mojo.

Playing in his 250th IPL match, Rohit brought up his 6,500 runs in the competition.