Rohit guides MI to 4-run victory over Kings XI Punjab
Mumbai: Captain Rohit Sharma's batting heroics made all the difference in the end as Mumbai Indians beat Kings XI Punjab by a narrow four runs in a nail-biting Pepsi IPL clash here on Monday.
Opting to bat, Sharma led from the front with a blistering unbeaten 79 off just 39 balls as Mumbai posted a challenging 174 for three before Punjab were bowled out for 170 in the match that went down the wire.
David Miller (56 off 34 balls) and later Praveen Kumar (24 off 15 balls) kept Punjab in the hunt till the end before the latter was out in the last ball of the innings in the match which kept the full-house crowd at the Wankhede Stadium on the edge of their seats throughout.
For Mumbai, Harbhajan was the pick of the bowlers as he grabbed three wickets for 14 runs while Mitchell Johnson, Dhawal Kulkarni and Pragyan Ojha took two wickets each.
With their third straight victory and second at home, Mumbai remained firmly in the hunt for a berth in knock-out phase as they jumped to fourth place with 12 points from nine matches. Punjab are now on sixth spot with eight points from nine matches.
Chasing the big score, Punjab lost half their side before the score had reached 80 and were then all out for 170 despite a valiant attempt by Miller and a fighting knock by Praveen.
David Hussey, who captained Punjab after regular skipper Adam Gilchrist decided to sit out, made 34 in 18 balls before the left-handed Miller kept them afloat by cracking five sixes and one four in 34 balls.
Miller's late charge helped reduce the target to 37 in three overs before he was caught at short extra cover off the leading edge while trying to hoist Johnson for another leg side six when 26 were needed.
The last pair of Praveen, who struck two sixes and one four, and Parvinder Awana (0 not out) took the game to the last over before the former was caught by Sachin Tendulkar off Kulkarni off the last ball of the match.