Before the match that took place at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on May 3, 2014 between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, the home team would have spent countless sleepless nights having lost each and every one of its 5 games in the UAE leg of the tournament. The visitors, on the other hand, would have been elated with how they had won each and every match at the UAE. However, when the curtains came down on this game the roles had reversed. Mumbai was basking in the glory of its first victory and Punjab would have been left with some unsavory feelings following their loss against the wooden spoon boys of the IPL 2014.
Team composition: KXIP went in with the same team from its previous game and MI made one change – bringing in Jasprit Bumrah for Pragyan Ojha.
Batting: Punjab won the toss and opted to bat first. It ran up a total of 168 for 5 wickets in its allotted 20 overs, thanks largely to a 47 ball 59 from Wriddhiman Saha, who made his first big contribution in the present IPL, and Glenn Maxwell who got 45 from 27 balls.
Chasing a rather challenging total, in view of Punjab’s bowling strength, Mumbai got to the total in 19.1 overs. Kieron Pollard (28 from 12 balls) played the winning innings but there were key contributions from CM Gautam (33 from 29), Rohit Sharma (39 from 34), Corey Anderson (35 from 25) and Aditya Tare (16 from 6).
Bowling: Harbhajan Singh with 2 for 34 in 4 overs was the leading bowler for Mumbai Indians. Lasith Malinga (1 for 25) and Corey Anderson (1 for 17 in 2 overs) were the other wicket takers. Jasprit Bumrah was economical as well but Zaheer Khan and Pollard conceded a fair amount of runs between them and that could have proved to be crucial in the final analysis.
Allrounder Rishi Dhawan was the best bowler on view for Kings XI Punjab with 2 for 23. Sandeep Sharma (2 for 29 in 3.1 overs) and Lakshmipathy Balaji (1 for 38) tried hard but their lack of economy, as well as that of Mitchell Johnson, became critical for the team, which was not used to losing so far in the tournament. Akshar Patel, the lone spinner, also went for a lot of runs.
Where do the teams go from here?
For the Indians this victory will be like a fresh breath of air and perhaps give them the momentum that they need going ahead in the tournament. They have finally found a side that works for them and for the time being they should stick with it.
There would be a lot of things that Kings XI would be left to ponder with after this defeat. They are dependent on Maxwell and David Miller for their runs and on days when the duo is unable to contribute they could be facing some serious problems, as this game indicated. The other batsmen need to start pulling their weight or else one can be sure that there would be more such disappointments as this game was.
They also need to get their bowling strategy right – it is no use opening your bowling with 2 medium pacers or 2 spinners in tandem because then the batsmen could get used to the lack of pace and get his eye in. Perhaps it is better to have Mitchell Johnson bowl in tandem with Rishi Dhawan in the opening overs and then use Balaji and Sharma in the middle and later stages given the skills they have. They also need to have Murali Kartik in the team instead of Patel who has been leaking runs and looks a little out of depth in a tournament of IPL’s stature. The team has made a strong start to the tournament and now it needs to make sure that it does not fritter away the early advantage.