© BCCI
Kieron Pollard remained not out on 50 for MI © BCCI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) managed a narrow 7-run victory over Mumbai Indians (MI) in match 51 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Defending a huge target of 231, MI fell short by just 7 runs as they were halted at 223 for 6 in 20 overs, despite half-centuries from opener Lendl Simmons (59) and Kieron Pollard (50*). Despite this loss, MI are placed at the top of the IPL 2017 points table with 18 points, and having already qualified for the playoffs. For KXIP, they have ensured of keeping their chances alive of qualifying for the IPL 10 playoffs. Wriddhiman Saha was adjudged Man of the Match for his scintillating unbeaten knock of 93 from 55 deliveries. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), IPL 2017 Match 51

Talking in the post-match presentation ceremony, MI skipper Rohit Sharma appreciated his teams’ effort despite ending up as the losing side. “It is disappointing to be on the losing side. But we put up a great fight. Great effort from boys to be able to reach that score. It was evenly poised when Polly (Pollard) and Hardik were batting, but once Hardik got out it was tough for one guy to hit the big shot. We got to take lot of learning from this game” he said.

This game saw a total of 453 runs scored in 40 overs. Talking about the wicket and how helpful it was for the batsmen, Rohit said, “It was a fresh wicket, was not used this season. There was a bit of grass that held it together. It played true throughout the 40 overs.”

Despite seeing his bowlers hammered being all around the park by Saha and Glenn Maxwell (47 off 21), Rohit wasn’t harsh on them. “I do not want to be too critical and too harsh (on bowlers). One game does not change things for us. We have been bowling well and bowling on wickets like these is a challenge for us. They (bowlers) were trying a lot of things but the way Guptill and Maxwell were batting, it was very hard. Not to forget Saha as well. I don’t think we lag in any department. As a unit we want to move forward in all three departments,” he said.

This was the last group stage game for MI in front of their home crowd as they well go from here to Eden Gardens, Kolkata to play against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on May 13.

“The crowd has been brilliant throughout the seven games we have played here. We would like to thank them. It was our last league game here. As expected Mumbai crowd came in good numbers. I am sure we played some great cricket to entertain them,” Rohit said.