Visakhapatnam: Medium pacer Marcus Stoinis led the way with four wickets as a disciplined Kings XI Punjab thrashed Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match here tonight.
Kings XI Punjab put the brakes on their summer of discontent as they chased down the target of 125 with 18 balls to spare over the defending champions.
Medium pacer Stoinis led the way with his accomplices being Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma
Stoinis returned brilliant figures of 4/15 in his full quota of four overs after Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma elected to bat.
Skipper Murali Vijay, by far the struggling team’s best batsman in the ninth season of the cash-rich league, once again led from the front with an unbeaten 54 off 52 balls, while the improving Wriddhiman Saha compiled a brisk 56 off 40 deliveries.
Walking out to bat after the departure of Hashim Amla, Saha put on a match-winning partnership of 116 runs for the second wicket with Vijay to help KXIP register their fourth win in 11 outings. The duo consumed only 14.2 overs to stitch together the century stand.
Saha reached his half century off just 38 balls, lofting Jasprit Bumrah over cover for a boundary. Vijay followed suit, as he too reached his fifty with a cut through the point region, an overthrow helping him to complete the second run and reach the landmark.
As Kings XI Punjab raced towards the victory target, Saha was bowled by Mitchell McClenaghan, which, however, did not matter in the end. Glenn Maxwell though failed to open his account.
Saha struck six boundaries and a six in his strokeful knock, while Vijay hit five fours and cleared the fence.
While MI stayed at the fifth position with 12 points, Kings XI Punjab moved a step up to be in seventh place with eight points.
Earlier, Australia’s promising all-rounder Stoinis claimed an impressive four-wicket haul as Kings XI Punjab restricted Mumbai Indians to a meagre 124/9.
Kieron Pollard (27) was the top scorer for Mumbai, while Stoinis (4-15), Sandeep Sharma (2-11) and Mohit Sharma (2-26) were the pick of the bowlers for Kings XI.
Opting to bat, Mumbai got off to a disappointing start losing opener Unmukt Chand (0) and Ambati Rayudu (0) inside the first three overs to have the team in the back foot right at 8/2.
Chand’s opening partner and skipper Rohit Sharma (15) along with incoming batsman Nitish Rane (25) held on to take the team to 21/2 after completion of powerplay.
With the home side going at a poor run rate, Rohit, trying to up the scoring, sought to sweep left-arm spinner Axar Patel but was clean bowled.
His wicket at a crucial juncture brought more troubles for the defending champions as they were down to 36/3 in the ninth over itself.
It was not the end of worries for Mumbai as yet as another set batsman Rane, who looking to score, was eventually caught behind by wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha off the bowling of Stoinis.
Incoming batsman Jos Buttler (9) too did not trouble the opposition much as half of Mumbai’s batsmen were back in the pavilion with the team at 61/5 in the 14th over.
Hard-hitter Pollard and Krunal Pandya (19), who were new at the crease, took a bit to settle down but once they got used, took on the bowlers with couple of boundaries and sixes to put Mumbai back into the game. The duo helped the side cross the 100-run mark and stay on course for a competitive total.
But the 42-run partnership for the sixth wicket came to an end in the 17th over as Stoinis dismissed Krunal, followed by Pollard in successive balls to put Punjab back into the game.
From there on the home side lost wickets in clusters, losing Tim Southee (1) and Mitchell McClenaghan (4), but Harbhajan Singh (14 not out) with a few blows helped his team cross 120-run mark.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 124/9 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 27; Marcus Stoinis 4-15) vs Kings XI Punjab