Durban: A lion-hearted effort by the Kings XI Punjab bowlers glossed over the frailties of their batting colleagues as the Mohali-based outfit edged out Mumbai Indians by three runs in a low-scoring thriller in the Indian Premier League.
Chasing 120 for a win, Mumbai Indians managed 116 for seven, thanks to JP Duminy’s 63-ball 59 which proved not enough in the end.
Irfan Pathan removed Sanath Jayasuriya off the second ball as Mumbai Indians faltered during the chase against Kings XI Punjab in Durban. AP
Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara’s unbeaten 45 saved Kings XI Punjab the blushes as the side fumbled and faltered its way to 119 for eight wickets.
In reply, Mumbai Indians realised, much to their horror, that their boat was rocking dangerously early in the chase.
For them, the first 19 balls yielded only 12 runs while costing them the wickets of Sanath Jayasuriya (0), Sachin Tendulkar (1) and Shikhar Dhawan (3).
Irfan Pathan had Jayasuriya caught in the lone slip with his first legitimate delivery and in the next over, Vikramjeet Malik sent groans across the stadium when Mahela Jayawardene caught Tendulkar at point.
Not to be left behind, in-form Yusuf Abdulla trapped Dhawan plumb in front with a toe-crusher and at 12 for three, things looked far from rosy for Mumbai.
Dwayne Bravo (15) scratched around for a while before Ramesh Powar got rid of him.
Earlier, barring Sangakkara, none of the Kings XI Punjab batsmen could make their presence felt.
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Sangakkara waged a grim battle with a 44-ball 45 on a day when only three of his teammates returned double digit scores.
Yuvraj Singh’s decision to bat first backfired and by the first strategy break, the Punjab side crawled to 50 in 10 overs with three top order batsmen, including the skipper himself, cooling their heels in the hut.
Openers Karan Goel (12) and Ravi Bopara (6) just could not get going and the first three overs yielded only 10 runs.
The subdued start would have pleased any rival captain but not Sachin Tendulkar who tossed the ball to Harbhajan Singh in the fourth over and the offie struck with his third delivery.
Goel, having slog-swept the spinner for a six in the previous delivery, stepped out to court peril and return stumped after completely misreading the line.
Dwayne Bravo followed in Harbhajan’s footsteps and struck in his first over, removing Bopara.
A lot was expected of Yuvraj (10) but the left-hander let down once again, leaving his team in dire straits.
Tendulkar pressed Sanath Jayasuriya into service and the wily Sri Lankan responded by removing Mahela Jayawardene (7).
To make it worse Irfan Pathan’s (7) was a brief stay, cut short by Zaheer Khan, and Lasith Malinga then castled Wilkin Mota and Piyush Chawla off successive balls to dash hopes of Punjab’s rearguard defiance.
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint