Calcutta: It turned out to be a first for both Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.
The fact that Kings XI’s winning streak got broken, at the Wankhede on Saturday, was certainly a disappointment for George Bailey and Co. It was their first defeat in six games. They were in the game till one bad over (19th) from Mitchell Johnson, where he conceded 20.
For Mumbai Indians, it’s a precious win as they finally managed to open their account in IPL VII by virtue of the five-wicket victory. Till Saturday’s tie, the performance put up by Mumbai Indians didn’t qualify to be that of defending champions. But their victory over the table toppers may well go on to be the catalyst to launch a turnaround.
“It’s nice to have such a start after a disappointing run in the UAE. We have won at our fortress (Wankhede). The guys told me before the match that we don’t lose too many matches here… It’s really very good to get a win,” said Corey Anderson, who was adjudged Man of the Match.
“Hopefully, we will turn it around now. This confidence boosting victory will help in the long run… We had a lot of meetings and a lot of words were spoken, but we have come to a stage where we can’t explain what we need to do out on the field.”
Winning the toss, KXIP rode Wriddhiman Saha’s unbeaten 59 to post 168 for five. In reply, captain Rohit Sharma, Anderson and CM Gautam came up with significant contributions before Kieron Pollard and Aditya Tare took Mumbai Indians home with five balls to spare, thanks to their unbroken 44-run stand for the sixth wicket.
Corey was happy to contribute to his team’s victory, but also felt he should have been the man standing at one end when the winning runs came.
“I obviously want to contribute with a win for Mumbai Indians and tonight was the occasion. I should have probably finished it myself. Pollard and Tare came and played unbelievable knocks. I guess that’s the strength we have got,” the left-hander said.
Asked what prompted the team to change its batting order with Tare, who was pushed down the order, Corey said the team had tried out a lot of things without success.
“We tried a lot of things in the first five games, but they weren’t working. We kept it simple. I generally play at No. 5 or 6 for New Zealand… I did that today. Guys came in at their usual positions and did the job.”
Corey felt the wickets in the UAE were a bit on the slower side as compared to the Wankhede track. “Conditions were a little slower in Dubai. It was hot, but not humid (there). Here, it was muggy and sweaty. It was a nice wicket to play on, though.”
On the other hand, Kings XI captain George Bailey praised Mumbai Indians pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, saying the two overs from the Sri Lankan towards the end of their innings played a crucial part in the game.
“Apart from losing, I don’t think things really went wrong. I thought we got ourselves in a reasonable position to get an okay score. Lasith bowled two outstanding overs, that is why he is the best in the world.
“Had he bowled a bad over, the score could have been 180 and that could have made it a different game. But he bowled two outstanding overs and they had some good hitting later,” Bailey pointed out.
The Australian doesn’t feel his team was complacent and instead, credited the rivals for being the better side. “I don’t think we were complacent. So, I think we just lost.
“We created a lot of chances early. They bowled well again early, once again. It was just a good game of cricket. Honestly, I’m not too disappointed because I still feel that we did a lot of things right and it is one of those games that could have gone either way.
“It was a close game of cricket. They just played better,” was Bailey’s way of putting things.
For Glenn Maxwell, it was a battle against his former team and he did enjoy the contest to the full. “It was just about trying to do the job we’ve been doing in the last five games.
“Yes, myself, Mitch (Johnson), Akshar (Patel) and Rishi (Dhawan) have played for Mumbai Indians before, but everyone changes teams and there’s nothing strange about it anymore to us.
“It was unfortunate to end on the losing side, but it was also nice to see a couple of friends out there. I felt the crowd was pretty generous to both teams. I was fielding at the boundary and they were waving and cheering. I didn’t feel like there was any animosity,” said Maxwell.