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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Ashutosh Sharma's 61 off 28 balls not enough as Punjab Kings lose to Mumbai Indians by nine runs

Hosts suffered early blows following Jasprit Bumrah’s dual strikes in magical spell but Shashank and Ashutosh staged recovery to rekindle hopes

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 19.04.24, 10:56 AM
Mumbai Indians batter Suryakumar Yadav plays a drive during the IPL match against Punjab Kings at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, Mullanpur, in Mohali, on Thursday

Mumbai Indians batter Suryakumar Yadav plays a drive during the IPL match against Punjab Kings at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, Mullanpur, in Mohali, on Thursday PTI

Ashutosh Sharma's late charge — 61 off 28 balls — was not enough as Punjab Kings lost to Mumbai Indians by nine runs in Mullanpur on Thursday.

Punjab needed 25 off 17 balls, in their chase of 193, when Ashutosh departed but Punjab Kings allowed Mumbai Indians to escape to victory with some sluggish batting. With 12 needed off the last over, Kagiso Rabada was run out going for a second run with five balls remaining.

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It was a dream evening for Ashutosh who reached his fifty off 23 balls and then scooped a free-hit over the wicketkeeper for a six. He brought the game within Punjab Kings’ grasp as they needed 34 off 25 balls. In all, his innings included seven sixes and two boundaries.

But their dreams were shattered as Ashutosh pulled the first ball of the 18th over from Gerald Coetzee straight to deep mid-wicket. With his departure, Punjab Kings’ hopes evaporated as none of the later-order batters showed the zeal for a fight.

Shashank Singh made 41 off 25 balls to stage a recovery after they were reduced to 40/4 in the Powerplay overs and then 49/5 five balls later.

The hosts suffered early blows following Jasprit Bumrah’s dual strikes in a magical spell but Shashank and Ashutosh staged a recovery to rekindle hopes.

Earlier, Suryakumar Yadav slammed 78 off 53 balls but Mumbai Indians still struggled in the middle overs against Punjab Kings.

The visitors added 62 runs in their last five overs to reach 192/7. There were also useful contributions from Rohit Sharma (36 off 25) and Tilak Varma (34 not out off 18).

The last over though was dramatic with Mumbai Indians adding only seven runs and Arshdeep Singh claiming the wickets of Tim David and Romario Shepherd, besides a run out. Even the presence of Surya, popularly called “SKY”, failed to prop up the run-rate as they went without a boundary in the 12th, 13th and 14th overs.

Surya scored at a strike-rate of only 147 on the slow wicket and most of his boundaries were behind or square of the wicket — the scoop over fine-leg or the lofted slog sweep.

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