Murugan Ashwin, KL Rahul star as Punjab beat Mumbai by eight wickets

R Ashwin-led Punjab, playing at home, registered second win of the season.

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Murugan Ashwin and batsmen – KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal – starred as R Ashwin-led Punjab beat Mumbai by eight wickets. @BCCI/PTI

Murugan Ashwin and batsmen – KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal – starred as R Ashwin-led Punjab beat Mumbai by eight wickets at the Punjab Cricket Association’s IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Saturday and registered their second win of the Indian T20 League 2019.

Chasing 177,  Punjab made a watchful start. Jasprit Bumrah, who bowled that brilliant penultimate over against Bangalore and helped Mumbai register their first win of the season, kept things tight. While Chris Gayle attacked the other bowlers, Punjab could only score 38 runs in the powerplay. While the big-hitting West Indian hit two sixes in the seventh over, Krunal Pandya dismissed Gayle in the eighth over to give Mumbai their first breakthrough. (Punjab vs Mumbai: AS IT HAPPENED)

While Mumbai would have hoped they could contain Punjab, with Gayle’s departure and KL Rahul struggling to up the ante, Mayank Agarwal spoilt those plans. The Karnataka batsman scored a quickfire 43 off 21 balls, hitting 4 fours and 2 sixes. While he could not score a fifty, his knock took the pressure off Rahul and helped Punjab to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Mayank’s dismissal David Miller to the crease. However, Rahul, after bringing up his fifty, upped the scoring rate before David Miller hit the winning runs to seal Punjab’s second win of the season. (ALSO READ: Indian T20 League: Chris Gayle first to 300 sixes)

R Ashwin’s decision to pick Murugan Ashwin paid dividends as the Tamil Nadu mystery spinner scalped two wickets, conceding just 25 runs in his four overs,

Rohit Sharma, Mumbai skipper, at the toss had said that his side would have batted first if they had won the toss. The Indian team’s vice-captain in the limited-overs cricket seemed in a mood to justify his thoughts as he attacked the Punjab bowlers as Mumbai reached fifty in five over, with Rohit scoring 32 of those runs.

However, Hardus Viljoen ended Rohit’s innings after the Mumbai skipper was given out LBW. The replays showed that Rohit could have survived had he opted for a review as the ball was missing the leg stump.

Suryakumar Yadav was the next man to get out after he was trapped before the stumps by Murugan Ashwin, who replaced Varun Chakravarthy, to give Punjab their second wicket.

Quinton de Kock, who brought up his 1000 runs in the cash-rich league, meanwhile kept the scoreboard ticking as the South African wicketkeeper-batsman scored 60 off 39 balls and was involved in a 58-run stand with Yuvraj Singh.

However, the two perished in quick succession as Mohammed Shami dismissed de Kock and M Ashwin got Yuvraj out for 18. The duo of Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya failed to score big.

However, Hardik Pandya scored a quickfire 31 off 19 balls, hitting 3 fours and a six to take Mumbai to 176.

Brief scores: Punjab 177/2 (KL Rahul 71*, Mayank Agarwal 45; Krunal Pandya 2/43) beat Mumbai 176/7 (Quinton de Kock 60, Rohit Sharma 32; Murugan Ashwin 2/25) by eight wickets

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