IPL: Mumbai Indians plunder 32 in the last two overs to stun Kings XI Punjab

Ambati Rayudu celebrates Mumbai Indians’ win after hitting a four off the penultimate ball of the game © AFP

On April 25, 2012, Mumbai Indians pulled off a remarkable heist against the Kings XI Punjab at Mohali. Punjab looked in complete command and the game firmly in their control until the penultimate over of Mumbai’s run-chase. Robin Peterson and Ambati Rayudu turned the game with some blazing hitting to see Mumbai through. Nishad Pai Vaidya relives that encounter.

During the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2012, the Mumbai Indians displayed a penchant for close finishes. Their star-studded batting line-up would invariably falter in run-chases and make a mess of easy targets. That they crossed the line on most occasions was a relief for their team management, but the instability was evident. When they clashed with Kings XI Punjab on this day in 2012, little did anyone know what was in store.

Prior to the encounter at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, the two teams had clashed at Mumbai. Punjab had the better of the contest as Shaun Marsh masterminded a successful run-chase in Mumbai’s den. Thus, Punjab were confident when they faced the same opposition in their own backyard.

Punjab skipper David Hussey won the toss and elected to bat first. They got off to a slowish start as the Mumbai bowlers maintained the pressure. At the end of the 15th over, Punjab had only 100 on the board with three wickets down. Hussey and David Miller teed off in the last five overs and took Punjab to 168. It was a magnificent display of hitting in the slog overs as the Punjab batsmen toyed with the Mumbai bowlers. That had given Punjab the confidence heading into the second half of the game.

Sachin Tendulkar and James Franklin opened the batting for Mumbai and were involved in a steady partnership. There wasn’t domination as such and they merely kept the scoreboard ticking. But, the asking rate was rising with both the openers back in the hut. At the halfway mark, Mumbai were 64 for two. They needed 105 off the last 10 to clinch the game.

Dinesh Karthik and Kieron Pollard weren’t able to last long. However, Rohit Sharma — Mumbai’s anchor fought hard and kept them in the hunt with a few big hits. Ambati Rayudu came in and was content in giving Rohit the strike.

Despite Rohit’s attacking innings, Mumbai still needed 40 off 18 deliveries. He smashed the first-ball of the 17th over for a six over square leg as Mumbai started believing they could cross the line. Those hopes were dashed off the next ball when he was caught at point. Harbhajan Singh joined him in the pavilion two balls later. Mumbai now needed 32 off 12 and many felt the game had slipped out of their grasp as they had lost six wickets. Robin Peterson had walked out to join Rayudu and was to face the penultimate over by Piyush Chawla.

Having played hockey at school, Peterson was ready to unleash that potential on a different playing field. Chawla bowled the first ball outside the off stump and Peterson switched his stance and lofted it over third-man for a four. The audacity of the shot shocked everyone as there was contempt in the strokeplay.
The leg-spinner now overcompensated and pitched it around the leg-stump. However, Peterson did not change his tactics and switched again. This time he bludgeoned it over the covers for another four. There was more power in the shot as he threw the kitchen-sink at it.

Chawla was stunned and baffled. What could he do against a man intent on hitting everything off the wrong foot? He then got it a little fuller around middle-stump, but Peterson maintained his footing. He now slog swept it for a huge six over square leg. In a matter of three balls, Mumbai’s chances had come alive.
The audacious reverse-sweep was back on show off the fourth ball, but it only fetched Peterson a single.

The more established Rayudu came to face with momentum on Mumbai’s side. He took a more conventional route when compared to his partner and charged down the wicket to Chawla. The fifth ball was dispatched high over long-off for a six and the last one was sent into the stands at long-on.

Chawla was utterly embarrassed by the carnage. He had been made to look absolutely ordinary as he conceded 27 runs in the over. The Mumbai batsmen were brave and it looked like there was nothing he could do to stop the mayhem. The visitors now needed only five off the last over and they achieved it when Rayudu hit a four off the penultimate ball of the game. Mumbai celebrated their jailbreak.

The spectators were left grasping for breath. Punjab were shell-shocked as they would have believed it was theirs all along. The other camp celebrated as if there was no tomorrow and charged onto the field to hug their heroes. The miracle at Mohali would live on in memory.  

The IPL has seen numerous thrilling finales, but this one is in a different league. It again highlighted the unpredictable nature of the game and vindicated the old statement, “It is never over until it is over.”

Brief scores:

Kings XI Punjab 168 for 3 in 20 overs (David Miller 68*, David Hussey 34*) lost to Mumbai Indians 171 for 6 in 19.5 overs (Rohit Sharma 50, Ambati Rayudu 34*; Parvinder Awana 3 for 39, Azhar Mahmood 2 for 23) by four wickets with one ball to spare.

Man of the match: Ambati Rayudu.  

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/nishad_44)