The result: Mumbai Indians 8-168 (Pollard 50, Tye 4-16) defeated Kings XI Punjab 5-183 (Rahul 94, Bumrah 3-15) by three runs.
The match in a tweet: Jasprit Bumrah the hero with some classy death bowling preventing Kings XI from what looked like a clinical victory and keeping Mumbai alive in IPL 11 #MIvKXIP
The saviour: With four overs remaining in the match, Kings XI required just 42 runs and with both KL Rahul (94) and Aaron Finch (46) set at the crease, the touring side looked certain to knock the Indians out of playoff contention. Enter Jasprit Bumrah, who had earlier delivered two wicket-less overs for just five runs, as Rohit Sharma desperately searched for answers. India’s death bowling specialist came through with aplomb, removing Rahul, Finch and Marcus Stoinis with Punjab unable to find the fence. He finished with figures of 3-15 from his allotted overs, and rightfully earned player of the match, subsequently thrusting Mumbai into the top four for the first time in the tournament.
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The leaders: Despite a horror run of form that has seen Kings XI lose six of their last seven matches, the Punjab side possess both the Orange and Purple caps thanks to KL Rahul and Andrew Tye respectively. Rahul has blasted six half-centuries – including three scores above 80 – to play a lone hand at the top of the order for Brad Hodge’s side. In comparison, Chris Gayle’s 368 runs is almost 300 runs behind Rahul’s tally, with right-hander accumulating 652 runs from 13 attempts and snatching the Orange Cap from Delhi’s Risabh Pant. Australian Andrew Tye’s white-ball form has been exemplary in 2018, claiming 24 wickets from 13 matches and leading the Purple Cap pack by six wickets (his closest competitor Hardik Pandya has 18 scalps). Tye led the list for much of 2017 too, until a shoulder injury cut his campaign short for the now-defunct Gujarat Lions. This edition has seen five four-wicket hauls taken, Tye has three of them - making it even more remarkable that the paceman rode the bench for 34 straight matches before getting an IPL debut.
The Aussie pack: In addition to Tye’s third bag of wickets this season, the Aussies played major roles in the outcome of the vital clash in Mumbai. Ben Cutting could only muster four with the bat and leaked 15 runs from his sole over but claimed two important catches to shift the momentum for the Indians. On the other side, Aaron Finch was elevated to No.3 for the Kings XI and made 46 at a time where Rahul needed a partner. A boost up the order wasn’t as successful for Marcus Stoinis who fell to a rampant Bumrah short ball. The Western Australian claimed 1-43 from three overs on a sour night for the allrounder.
The scenario: Mumbai’s victory saved them from a certain elimination, thrusting them as high as fourth on the table thanks to a tournament-high net run rate. They next face the bottom-placed Delhi on Sunday, with victory handing the reigning champions what seemed an unlikely playoff berth just a week ago. For the Kings XI, their poor run of results has resigned them to sixth-place on the table, needing both Rajasthan and Mumbai to lose their final match before requiring victory against Chennai on Monday.