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Four-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) on Thursday cruised to a 48-run win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Chasing MI’s total of 191/4 wickets in 20 overs, KXIP only managed to reach 143/8 wickets in 20 overs as a clinical MI bowling attack rarely allowed the batsmen any space to score runs freely.

MI separated KXIP’s star opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal early on. Jasprit Bumrah accounted for Agarwal in the fifth over. Karun Nair fell for a duck in the very next over while Rahul Chahar outfoxed KXIP captain and top scorer KL Rahul in the ninth.

Nicholas Pooran kept KXIP’s hopes alive, smashing 44 runs off 27 balls and putting up 41 for the fourth wicket with Glenn Maxwell. It also turned out to be KXIP’s highest partnership and the last one that crossed over into two figures as they wilted after Pooran fell to James Pattinson in the 14th over.

Between the start of the 15th and 19th overs, KXIP scored just 18 runs and lost three wickets and the match slipped away from them.

Earlier, a late blitz from Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya helped Mumbai Indians (MI) post 191/4.

Sheldon Cottrell gave KXIP a good start with the wicket of Quinton de Kock in the very first over. While captain Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav then seemed to be steadying the ship for MI, the latter was run out by Mohammed Shami with a direct hit from short fine leg.

Ishan Kishan, who scored a memorable 99 in the previous match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, struggled to get the run rate for much of his innings. His troubled stay at the crease was eventually ended on 28 off 32 balls by Krishnappa Gowtham, thus ending a 62-run stand between him and Rohit.

Pollard then came in and provided able company as Rohit increased the run rate. The MI captain, who crossed 5,000 runs in the IPL through the course of the innings, looked set for a century but a brilliant piece of teamwork between Glenn Maxwell and James Neesham at the boundary behind the bowler led to his dismissal.

Maxwell ran in from long-off and caught the ball which Rohit was looking to deposit over the ropes off Shami. His momentum however took him over the ropes but he lobed it back towards Neesham who ran in from long on before he touched the ground beyond the boundary.

But Pollard and Hardik came in and smashed 44 runs off the last overs to take MI beyond the 190-run mark.

Brief scores: MI 191/4 wkts in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 70, Kieron Pollard 47; Sheldon Cottrell 1/20) beat KXIP 143/8 wkts in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 44, Mayank Agarwal 25; Jasprit Bumrah 2/18) by 48 runs

Also Read: Royals’ guns go silent before the Knight Riders

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