When a team is pegged back into a corner, bold decisions are what makes it spring back into contention. Kings XI were heavily praised for their clarity of thought in the early part of the season, but they stuttered big time during the middle phases, when suddenly Maxwell was being used in the way that is criminal to say the least. There is a method to Maxi’s big hitting, you can’t equate to slogging, and that is why it is tantalising too see him being used a mere slog overs specialist. Use him up the order, give him time to show his prowess, and revel in the Maxi show.
But the boldest decision of all was sending Saha up the order, when you had Manan Vohra sitting in the pavilion. It was an opportunity for Saha to show his skill in the shorter format and he obliged big time, scoring a classy 90 odd to lead his side to 230 in a must win game.
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Simmons and Parthiv gave Mumbai a rollicking start, and when it looked like the stage was set for Rohit to take over and guide his side home, Kings XI made an unlikely comeback in the game, leaving Mumbai with 94 to get in 6 overs. Rohit Sharma accounted for another failure and Nitish Rana too couldn’t replicate his early tournament form.
But when have Mumbai Indians given up so quickly? A Pollard-Pandya special led to the Wankhede believing that a miracle could be pulled off, only to be derailed by a Sandeep Sharma lesson in death bowling in the 19th over. Mohit Sharma then had to defend 16 in the last over, and ultimately did with ease, winning the game for his side by 7 runs.
Kings XI can breathe easy now, but they’ll have to do it all over again in Pune on Sunday, and do some ‘praying’ before the game as well, because only a SRH loss would muster a place for them in the playoffs.
Delhi Daredevils vs Rising Pune Supergiant
It is getting a little tricky for all the teams present in the middle table rut. None of them are sure of a playoff spot and it is only tomorrow that air will start to clear a bit.
RPS need to win at least one of their last two games to guarantee a playoff spot. A loss in both games could mean them bowing out, owing to their poor run rate.
Delhi on the other hand will go around collecting ‘prides’. Their young domestic side has reinvented themselves and Rahul Dravid has been true to his idea of using the IPL as a platform to nurture young Indian talent, rather than being sucked into striving for results.
Let’s get to business now!
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