Kings XI Punjab players celebrate
Marcus Stoinis has scalped 8 wickets in just 6 matches in IPL 9 © AFP

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) bowlers put up a commanding show to restrict Mumbai Indians to 124 for 9 in Match 43 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 in Visakhapatnam. Earlier, MI won the toss and elected to bat first. MI captain Rohit Sharma decided to go against the trend and put some runs on the scoreboard. However, MI’s playing XI took everyone by surprise. Parthiv Patel, who played a match-winning innings in MI’s previous contest against KXIP, was replaced with Unmukt Chand. The decision didn’t pan out well as Chand was dismissed for a 3-ball duck while trying to scale up the run-rate. In the next over, Sandeep Sharma knocked over Ambati Rayudu with a peach of an in-swinger. Sandeep bowled in the right channel and conceded only 8 runs in his first 3-over spell. Full Cricket Scorecard: Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2016 Match 43 at Visakhapatnam

KXIP captain Murali Vijay kept making bowling changes and didn’t let the MI batters settle down. In the first 8 overs, he made three bowling changes by rotating Marcus Stoinis with spinners Akshar Patel and KC Kariappa. The tactic paid off as Rohit was castled by Akshar while sweeping. It was a rare failure by Rohit, as he never got going and struggled to find his feet.  Full Cricket Blog: Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2016 Match 43 at Visakhapatnam

Despite losing wickets, Nitish Rana kept the scoreboard ticking and bludgeoned three huge maximums before he was stumped by Stoinis. The onus was then on MI’s previous match’s hero Kieron Pollard. He stayed true to his reputation and scythed two flat maximums off KC Kariappa’s over. But his stay was cut short by Stoinis yet again. Stoinis was KXIP’s pick of the bowlers with his staggering figures of 4 for 15. In matter of just 6 matches, Stoinis managed to scalp 8 wickets at an impressive strike-rate of 15.00.

Mohit and  Sandeep gave finishing touches by conceding only 20 runs and scalping 2 wickets in the last 3 overs to restrict MI to 124 for 9.

Brief scorecard:

Mumbai Indians 124/9 (Kieron Pollard 27 (20), Nitish Rana 25 (28); Marcus Stoinis 4 for 15, Sandeep Sharma 2 for 11) versus Kings XI Punjab

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @kaumedy_)