Marcus Stonis out Kieron Pollard
Marcus Stoinis was adjudged Player of the Match for his figures of 4 for 15 © AFP

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) edge past Mumbai Indians (MI) by 7 wickets in Match 43 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016, thanks to Marcus Stonis’ swashbuckling four-for. Earlier, KXIP bowlers put up a commanding show to restrict MI to 124 for 9. Mohit Sharma and co. were right on the money, as Unmukt Chand and Ambati Rayudu went in quick succession. 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 Sharma was castled by Akshar Patel while sweeping. Full Cricket Blog: Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2016 Match 43 at Visakhapatnam

Kieron Pollard played a breezy 20-ball 27 to help MI score past 120. 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.

Tim Southee made early inroads by dismissing Hashim Amla on a duck. Amla tried to flick away an in-swinger and eventually got caught in the crease. The onus was then on in-form Vijay and Saha to take their team over the line. They did not take any risk and put a price on their wicket. What’s even more commendable was that they waited for the right delivery to put it away. They stitched a match-winning 116-run partnership and scored a half-century each to put help MI thump by 7 wickets.

None of the MI bowlers could provide impetus and take wickets at regular interval. Experienced campaigner Harbhajan Singh leaked most runs in his 4 overs.

After this victory, KXIP jump above Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) at the penultimate position. MI, on the other hand, stay at the 5th spot.

Brief scorecard:

Mumbai Indians 124/9 (Kieron Pollard 27 (20), Nitish Rana 25 (28); Mitchell McClenaghan 2 for 24, Tim Southee 1 for 22) lost to Kings XI Punjab 127/3 (Wriddihiman Saha 56 (40), Murali Vijay 54* (52); Marcus Stoinis 4 for 15, Sandeep Sharma 2 for 11) by 7 wickets

Player of the Match: Marcus Stoinis

(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_)