IPL: Mumbai Indians beat Kings XI Punjab by 23 runs

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Brilliant half-centuries by Sachin Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu, and some aggressive bowling by Mumbai Indians' bowlers stopped Kings XI Punjab 23 runs short of target to ensure the hosts top position in the points table.

Tendulkar and Rayudu scored 51 runs each to enable Mumbai Indians put up a competitive 159 for five from their 20 overs.

Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga and Munaf Patel then bowled a tight line and length to restrict Punjab to 136 for eight from their 20 overs at the Wankhede stadium here today.

With this win, Mumbai Indians went back to the top of the table with 12 points from eight games, while Kings XI Punjab, with three consecutive defeats, remained in the bottom three with six points from seven matches.

Kings XI Punjab got off to a horrible start to their chase of 160 in 20 overs when captain and swashbuckling opener Adam Gilchrist was dismissed in the first over of the innings with Harbhajan Singh trapping the former Australian keeper-batsman leg before wickets.

Shaun Marsh then joined Paul Valthaty and the two began to repair the innings. However, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga gave nothing away as Mumbai Indians put on the pressure on the Kings XI Punjab.

Valthaty (33 runs, 38 balls), in particular, was initially very scratchy and with him unable to rotate the strike, the pressure kept mounting. However, he slowly got his timing right and with Marsh at the other end batting with authority, the two slowly started getting Kings XI Punjab back into the match.

Valthaty greeted Andrew Symonds with a straight six over long-off, but was out the next ball holing out to long-on this time where Kieron Pollard made no mistake with the catch.

David Hussey (2), the new man in, also did not last long trying to smash a short ball from Munaf Patel but managed to hit it to long-off where Rohit Sharma took a good diving catch.

Soon it became 83 for four with Dinesh Karthik (1) falling leg before to Pollard as he walked across his stumps and tried to turn it to square leg for a single but missed the ball.

Marsh, however, did not give up hope as he smashed two boundaries off Abu Nechim Ahmed and with Abhishek Nayar also smashing the first delivery from Harbhajan's second spell for a boundary, Kings XI Punjab stayed in the match.

Marsh reached his half-century off just 37 balls with a boundary of Harbhajan, but on the last ball of his over Nayar fell, caught by Andrew Symonds at extra cover for 14 off nine balls with two boundaries to leave Kings XI Punjab on 113 for five.

Though Marsh tried his best with not much support coming from the other end he also fell in the 19th over when he gave an easy catch to Tendulkar at mid-wicket for 61 which came in 47 deliveries with eight boundaries inclusive in the knock.

Kings XI Punjab ended up with 136 for eight wickets in their 20 overs to lose by 23 runs.

Earlier, put in to bat by Gilchrist, Mumbai Indians had a quiet start to their innings, losing opener Davy Jacobs for just 10 runs to be 14 for one in the third over.

Rayudu then walked out to join his skipper in the middle and the two set about consolidating the Mumbai Indians innings, picking up runs in ones and twos as they went into the first strategic timeout after eight overs at 46 for one.

However, after the time-out Mumbai Indians batsmen stepped on the accelerator as Rayudu smashed Ryan Harris for two boundaries in the ninth over and then smashed Praveen Kumar for two boundaries and a six to get a move on.

At the other end, Sachin played a well paced innings placing the ball into gaps and putting the loose balls away.

Rayudu got to his half-century off 35 balls with seven boundaries and a six before holing out to long-on where Dinesh Karthik took a sensational catch diving behind and picking up the ball just inside the boundary line of the bowling of Piyush Chawla.

Rayudu made 51 off 36 balls putting on 95 runs for the second wicket with Tendulkar in 12 overs to give the hosts a great launching pad.

Pollard, who had not been in the greatest of forms, however, hit a four and a six to get going before Tendulkar was dismissed for 51 giving Abhishek Nayar an easy catch on the sweeper cover boundary off Harris. Tendulkar made 51 in 45 balls with three fours and a six.

Pollard also fell soon after making a quick fire 20 in 11 balls with a boundary and two sixes giving Valthaty an easy catch at point off Chawla with Mumbai Indians on 144 for four after 18 overs.

Mumbai Indians finally ended at 159 for five with Rohit Sharma making an 11-ball 18 with three boundaries.


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