The Punjab Kings’ struggles in IPL 2024 continued as they fell short by a narrow margin of nine runs in a thrilling encounter against the Mumbai Indians at the Mullanpur stadium. Despite a valiant knock of 61 runs from Ashutosh Sharma, the Kings were unable to chase down a target of 193 set by Mumbai.

Early Collapse Leaves Kings on Back Foot

Chasing a challenging total, the Kings’ hopes for a successful pursuit seemed bleak from the outset. Openers Prabhsimran Singh and debutant Rilee Rossouw were dismissed cheaply by the potent bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Gerald Coetzee, leaving the Kings reeling at 14 for 4 within the first three overs. The misery continued as Liam Livingstone and Harpreet Singh Bhatia also departed quickly, putting the Kings in a precarious position at 77 for 6.

Shashank and Ashutosh Sharma Spark Hope

Just when all seemed lost, a fighting partnership between Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma rekindled hope for the Kings. Shashank, batting at number six, played a vital knock of 41 runs off just 25 balls, peppering his innings with three sixes and two fours. Ashutosh, who joined the crease at a critical juncture, played a swashbuckling knock that defied the odds.

Ashutosh’s Blitz Takes Kings Closer

Ashutosh displayed remarkable power-hitting, launching Madhwal for a six over fine leg in the tenth over and then taking Romario Shepherd for four and six in the following over. He continued his onslaught, hammering Hardik Pandya for a six in the 12th over. Even after Bumrah dismissed Shashank in the 13th over, Ashutosh remained undeterred, audaciously sweeping the fast bowler for a six in the same over.

Partnerships Keep Kings in the Hunt

The duo of Ashutosh and Harpreet Brar stitched together a crucial partnership, accumulating 65 runs in a span of five overs. They targeted Coetzee’s bowling in the 15th over, scoring 13 runs. The equation had tilted in the Kings’ favor when Ashutosh took Madhwal to the cleaners in the 16th over, smashing consecutive sixes. Harpreet joined the party with a six of his own, reducing the target to a manageable 28 runs from 18 balls.

Momentum Shifts as Wickets Fall

With a required run rate of just seven, the Kings seemed to be in control. However, the tide turned dramatically with the dismissal of Ashutosh at the start of the 18th over. Coetzee, with his knack for breaking partnerships, induced Ashutosh to pull the ball straight to deep mid-wicket. Harpreet’s dismissal by Hardik Pandya in the 19th over put the Kings under further pressure.g

Rabada’s Late Six Ignites Brief Hope

Needing 13 runs from the final seven balls, Kagiso Rabada, the number eleven batsman, provided a glimmer of hope with a six off the last ball of Hardik’s over. A single off the first ball of the final over, bowled by Akash Madhwal, and a wide off the very next delivery brought the equation down to a more manageable 11 runs off six balls.

Run Out Seals Mumbai’s Victory

Unfortunately for the Kings, Rabada’s dismissal while attempting a second run dashed their hopes. Mumbai, despite the scare, managed to secure a narrow victory, leaving the Kings to rue their missed opportunities.

Suryakumar Yadav Anchors Mumbai’s Innings

Earlier, Suryakumar Yadav was the bedrock of Mumbai’s innings, scoring a well-paced 78 runs off 53 balls. He walked in at number three after Ishan Kishan’s dismissal and steadied the ship alongside Rohit Sharma. The duo put together an 81-run partnership in 57 balls, with Suryakumar playing the dominant role.

Suryakumar Deals in Boundaries

Suryakumar used his exquisite wristwork to find the boundary with ease, peppering his innings with fours off Harshal Patel and Sam Curran. While Rohit struggled for fluency, contributing only 26 runs to the partnership, Suryakumar reached his fifty in just 34 balls.

Curran Provides Breakthrough

Rohit’s dismissal in the 12th over, caught at point fielder while attempting a lofted shot over the covers off Curran, halted Mumbai’s momentum. While Suryakumar continued to bat cautiously due to the slow pitch and the effectiveness of Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh’s change

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As an editor at Atom News, Ira Chatterjee combines her passion for storytelling with a commitment to journalistic integrity. Ira Chatterjee editorial expertise lies in technology and lifestyle, ensuring that our readers stay informed about the latest trends and innovations.