Jasprit Bumrah picked up 3/15 against KXIP. (Source: BCCI)
Mumbai Indians snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat in their final home game of the season against Kings XI Punjab after winning a thriller by just 3 runs. Defending 187 on the boards at one point it seemed MI were out of the contest but a fantastic penultimate over by Jasprit Bumrah (3/15) sealed the win for MI. KL Rahul played a brilliant knock of 94 but he couldn’t save KXIP from a loss.
Jasprit Bumrah was adjudged man of the match for his figures of 3/15 and said, “Clarity is very important when you bowl at the death. That’s what I look for. When I’m clear, it’s easier to execute. Plans don’t change at the last moment (of where to bowl), when you run in. If you’re changing at the last moment, that means you’re not clear. On a bad day a batsman could hit you, but you have to execute your plans. He’s (Rahul) batting really well since the start of the season. Difficult to bowl to someone like that. But I backed myself. Knew his wicket was very important. On this wicket, slower ball was not gripping that much from a good length due to the dew. So I was trying to bowl the dipper and I was able to execute so it was a good day.”
Talking about the result, KXIP skipper R Ashwin said,” Pretty blank at this point of time. We were in the chase all along. Pretty professional batting effort compared to the last few games, but didn’t work out for us today. It looked like it would be a clinical romp for us, but Bumrah bowled really well at the death, and proved himself once again at the death. I’ve been in a dugout that has been on the edge always (CSK), but today we had a terrible day, and it’s quite sad the way things panned out today, so we need a bit of luck to get through now and depend on other results. We were very abject about it after last game, and we wanted to take the game deep and we wanted our best batsmen to be out there. Kudos to both KL and Aaron, but bad luck it for them it didn’t happen today. KL has done exceptionally well throughout, he’s the billion-dollar guy for us right now, and he has hardly missed a ball throughout the tournament. He’s been in and out of the Indian side as well for the last few months, so he was quite eager to prove himself with this opportunity and he has done extremely well for us today.”
Kieron Pollard scored a brilliant half-century to provide resistance to his side when they were struggling at 71/4. “First of all I would like to thank god. Has been disappointing for me. I have seen, I have heard, brought out something different. Thanks for the people who supported me. My wife came back as well and it brought out some difference in me. When you look at the opportunities, the doubt was never there. Most importantly we came out and put up a good fight. We live to fight another day and that’s what matters. Never easy in T20 cricket as I said. Thanks to the victory though as we have 12 points and a better run rate. Our season was at stake and Mitch (McClenaghan) bowled really well in the last over and held it together. Congrats to him, he came out on top. We go to Delhi and see if we come out on top again,” Pollard said after the match.
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma praised his side and the way they performed in the middle against KXIP.
“Holding up nicely. After a win, obviously you feel good. I thought we played a perfect game. Whatever we asked from the boys, they came and delivered in the middle. Never been easy for us since the past few years actually. Knew it was going to be a good pitch. Lost the plot in the middle, could have got 10-15 runs more. Those things happen. Been happening for us a number of times now. Nothing to take away from the bowlers. Always knew it was going to be tough for them to come out and defend against a solid batting line-up. Hats off them to deliver the goods. Pollard has always been a match-winner for us. Leaving him out was a tough decision. We thought now was the time to bring him back. Not to take away from Duminy who hasn’t got opportunities. We thought if he’s batting down the order, Pollard will be the better option for us. Come the big game, Pollard stands up for us. He was disappointed at being left out. What he did with the bat today, that’s what he does. Bumrah has come a long way the past two years. He’s worked really hard on his bowling. Not easy to come out and bowl the way he does. He’s the one who’s taken the responsibility. Always Malinga will be missed, but since he’s gone, we’ve known Bumrah is the one to take the charge. He might not be up there in the wickets column, but what he does for us is very very important. Coming out and bowling at difficult times to a batsman who’s set, that’s what we require from him,” Rohit said.