Rahul and Finch had settled so well that Punjab was sitting in a comfortable position. Finch too reached closer to his fifty. The bowlers had a very little success in terms of wickets and runs. The match entered the last leg and Mumbai, still longing for a wicket, swallowed whatever came their way. A wicket, however, could have made some difference there but Rahul was adamant on his approach. Meanwhile, both the batsmen completed a very well carved 100-run partnership.


Here are the squads for both the teams:


Mumbai Indians playing XI for today’s match: Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma(c), Ishan Kishan(w), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah


Kings XI Punjab playing XI for today’s match: Lokesh Rahul(w), Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Ankit Rajpoot


Kings XI Punjab innings update: Over by over


Over 1: Chris Gayle and K L Rahul to open for Kings XI, Mitchell McClenaghan to start it for Mumbai Indians. Rahul punches through the covers region and gets off the mark. Gayle on strike. Single to Gayle as well. Top edge, goes for six. Lucky for K L Rahul. Trying to play the miss, Rahul lucky yet again. Excellent square cut but equally well fielded. Dot to end the over. KXIP: 8-0


Over 2: Jasprit Bumrah comes to the attack, very fierce bouncer to Gayle. Well defended by Gayle. Single to Gayle. Brilliant ball by Bumrah to Rahul, wanted to cut but missed. Dot to finish the over. KXIP: 9-0


Over 3: Hardik Pandya comes to the attack, and Gayle swings and it goes for SIX. Over the slip for four. Single to Gayle. Edge, gone for four. No slip in place. Brilliant cover drive for four. 19 runs from the over. KXIP: 28-0






Over 4: Mitchell to continue, Gayle hits over mid-on for four. Pulled for one by Gayle. Good bouncer by Mitchell to Gayle. Good bouncer by Gayle again and he hit it in the air, simple catch. Aaron Finch comes to the crease. End of the over. KXIP: 34-1


Over 5: Pandya continues, dot ball. One run to Finch. Two runs to Finch. Two runs to Finch again. What a wack this is, SIX runs. KXIP: 46-1


Over 6: Krunal Pandya comes to the attack, FOUR runs over mid-on. IN the air, just getting the finger tips of Ben Cutting. Dot ball. Single to Finch. Swept for four, Rahul is not leaving any opportunity to score runs. KXIP: 56-1


Over 7: Mayank Markande comes to the attack, Rahul cuts and gets a four. Good start to the over. Single to Rahul. One run. Another single. One run. KXIP: 66-1


Over 8: Krunal continues, Rahul welcomes him with a four. Dot. Single to Rahul. Just one. Another single,7 runs from the over. KXIP: 73-1


Over 9: Markande continues, one run. Finch sweeps and gets one.WIDE. One run. Another single. 7 runs from the over. KXIP: 80-1


Over 10: Hardik Pandya comes to the attack, dealing in singles. Dot ball. Two runs. KXIP: 86-1


Over 11: Krunal comes back, single to Rahul. Finch plays for one. Swept for four. One run. Single and 50 for KL Rahul. KXIP: 95-1


Over 12: Bumrah is back, Well driven for one. Dot ball. Chance of a runout missed. Dot ball. Outside edge, just one. Another single. KXIP: 99-1


Over 14: Krunal is back, Finch hits it over his head for four. KXIP: 121-1


Over 15: Hardik comes in, One run to Finch, WIDE ball. Another wide.Swing and a miss. Single to Rahul. Bouncer. Good shot just for one. Single. KXIP: 127-1


Over 16: Markande comes back. Just one for Rahul. Double to Finch. In the air, just one. Reverse sweep, just two. Straight down the ground for six. 100-run partnership between Rahul and Finch. And again, huge six. KXIP: 145-1


Kings XI Punjab innings analysis after 16 overs


Chasing the mammoth target of 187 runs, KL Rahul and Chris Gayle opened for Kings XI Punjab. Mitchell McClenaghan bowled the first over and conceded 8 runs as a top edge went for six. Jasprit Bumrah came to bowl in the 2nd over and didn’t allow Chris Gayle to free his arm and gave only one run conceded. Hardik Pandya came to bowl the 3rd over and wacked by Gayle for a six and a four to start the over. Hardik Pandya leaked 19 runs as he was battered by both Rahul and Gayle. After 3 KXIP were 28 for no loss


Chasing the mammoth target of 187 runs, KL Rahul and Chris Gayle opened for Kings XI Punjab. Mitchell McClenaghan bowled the first over and conceded 8 runs as a top edge went for six. Jasprit Bumrah came to bowl in the 2nd over and didn’t allow Chris Gayle to free his arm and gave only one run conceded. Hardik Pandya came to bowl the 3rd over and wacked by Gayle for a six and a four to start the over. Hardik Pandya leaked 19 runs as he was battered by both Rahul and Gayle. After 3 KXIP were 28 for no loss. Mitchell McClenaghan came to bowl the 4th ball and walloped for four over the mid-on fielder but McClenaghan got the big man after hit for four, a big wicket given they need to chase 187 runs. McClenaghan conceded only 6 runs in his 2nd over. Aaron Finch replaced Gayle in the middle. Rohit Sharma asked Hardik to bowl the 5th over even though he conceded 19 in his first given Gayle was back to the dugout. This time around Hardik bowled with a great line and length while KXIP batsmen were not able to score big before Finch smacked the last ball for six. Krunal Pandya was greeted with a four. In the pursuit to hit another big shot Rahul nearly gave away his wicket but Cutting was not able to hold the catch. KXIP recovered from the Gayle wicket as had 23 runs partnership with a run-rate of 10.12 rpo.

Mayank Markande was brought in to curb the flow but Rahul who is in a great form cut the first ball for four followed by a single. KXIP batsmen played with a cool mind as they didn’t take any extra risk and nudged the good ball for singles. In-form Rahul again hit the first ball of the over for four and made the things easier for rest of the over as they nudged the ball for singles and doubles in the over maintaining the run-rate. Mayank Agrawal bowled brilliantly to gave away only 7 runs in his 2nd over. After 9 overs Mumbai Indians were 80 runs with the loss of 1 wicket with Lokesh Rahul (43 runs off 29 balls) and Aaron Finch ( 16 runs off 17 balls) at the crease.

The highest wicket-taker for Mumbai Indians Hardik Pandya bowled the 10th over and KXIP batsmen didn’t try to play any rash shot collecting 6 runs with singles and doubles. Krunal Pandya continued from the other end and conceded 9 runs. Rahul completed his 7th IPL 2018 fifty with a single of the last ball of the 11th over. In a desperate need of a wicket, Mumbai Indians skipper asked Jasprit Bumrah to bowl the 12th over and KXIP batsmen were looking to take the game deep. KL Rahul and Aaron finch restrained themselves to play any big shot and pushed the ball for a singles only. In 8 overs Kings XI Punjab needed another 88 runs with the required run-rate of 11 runs per over

Mumbai Indians desperately need to break the 2nd wicket stand to came back in the game and McClenaghan was asked to bowl the 13th over. McClenaghan bowled some wayward deliveries which were dispatched for four as KXIP batsmen collected 12 runs in the 13th over. Krunal Pandya bowled the 14th over and conceded 10 runs as KXIP batsmen were maintaining the required run-rate. Rohit Sharma kept on changing the bowler in a search of a wicket as he asked Hardik to bowl the 15th over and this time Pandya bowled with great line and length to concede only 6 runs as required run-rate reached 12 runs per over. KXIP were sceptical about middle order batting as they never clicked in IPL 21018 and it was mostly on the two batsmen, Finch and Rahul, to take their team home. The youngster Markande was asked to bowl the 16th over and the youngster did manage to get a top edge but the ball falls in no man lands. KXIP batsmen tried to hit Markande and failed till the 4th ball but Rahul showed his class by hitting the last two balls for six to collect 18 runs. Kings XI Punjab needed 42 runs 24 balls with a required rate of 10.5 rpo, a manageable task given they have 9 wickets in hand.


Mumbai Indians innings update: Over by over


Over 1: Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav to open for MI. Ankit Rajpoot op start it off for KXIP. Off the mark straight away. Given as a wide, a little too far from the off stump. One run to Lewis. Good ball by Rajpoot, hitting the deck hard. Slashed hard by Yadav and it goes for four. Driven but straight to the fielder. Same shot, not run. KXIP: 7-0


Over 2: Mohit Sharma to Evin Lewis, hit the ball straight to mid-off for no run. Leg-bye taken off the 2nd ball. DOT ball. Suryakumar hit the 4th ball to mid-off fielder for a quick single. Evin Lewis smacked the 5th ball for six straight down the ground. Lewis took a single to end the over. MI: 16/0, Suryakumar Yadav: 6(7b), Evin Lewis: 8(5b)


Over 3: Ankit Rajpoot to Evin Lewis, pulled the short of length for one run. Suryakumar pulled the 2nd ball for four in the deep square leg region. DOT ball. Top edge sailed over the boundary for six in the fine leg region followed by a flat six. Suryakumar nudged the last ball for four in the third-man region for four. MI: 37/0, Suryakumar Yadav: 26(12b), Evin Lewis: 9(6b)


Over 4: Andrew Tye to Evin Lewis, clean bowled. Ishan Kishan played a defensive shot, no run. Kishan beaten outside off, DOT ball. Another DOT ball. Ishan Kishan took double off the 5th ball. DOT ball to end the over. MI:39/1, Evin Lewis b Tye 9 (7b 0x4 1×6)


Over 5: Mohit Sharma to Suryakumar Yadav, a quick single taken. Outside edge of Kishan’s bat went for four. Kishan came down the ground but played a defensive shot as Mohit dragged down the ball followed by a pulled shot for six. Kishan cut the 5th ball for six. A single taken to end the over. MI: 57/1, Ishan Kishan: 19(10b), Suryakumar Yadav: 26(13b)


Over 6: Andrew Tye to Ishan Kishan, one run taken. Slower by nudged in the third-man region for a single. Ishan Kishan OUT off the slower ball while trying to hit another big shot. Two in two for KXIP’s Andrew Tye as Suryakumar dismissed, an inside edge on to the pad lofted in air taken by keeper KL Rahul. Krunal took a single off the 5th ball. Rohit left the ball alone for no run. MI: 60/3, Ishan Kishan c Stoinis b Tye 20 (12b 1×4 2×6), Suryakumar Yadav c Rahul b Tye 27 (15b 3×4 2×6)


Over 7: Axar Patel to Krunal, one-run taken. Rohit Sharma took an easy single. Another single taken. One run taken by Rohit Sharma. Reverse sweep for a run. Rohit took single to keep the strike. MI: 66/3, Rohit Sharma: 3(4b), Krunal Pandya: 4(4b)


Over 8: R Ashwin to Rohit Sharma, no run. One run taken. Another single taken. Rohit took a single off the 4th ball. A single taken by Krunal. Another single taken by Rohit Sharma. MI: 71/3, Rohit Sharma: 6(8b), Krunal Pandya: 6(6b)


Over 9: Ankit Rajpoot to Rohit Sharma, DOT ball. Rohit Sharma OUT while trying to play a pull shot. Inside edge of Pollard’s bat one run taken. DOT ball. Another DOT ball. Krunal beaten outside off for no run. MI: 72/4, Rohit Sharma c Yuvraj Singh b Rajpoot 6 (10b 0x4 0x6)


Over 10: Marcus Stoinis to Pollard, one run taken. Krunal Pandya again beaten outside off. Krunal nudged the ball off the pad for a single. A defensive shot played by Pollard for no run. Pollard played a drive on the up for four in the cover region. Pollard took a single to keep the strike. MI: 79/4, Krunal Pandya: 7(11b), Kieron Pollard: 7(11b)


Over 11: Axar Patel to Kieron Pollard, 2 runs taken. Inside edge into the pad for no run. One run taken by Pollard. Krunal took a single off the 4th ball. WIDE. DOT ball. Pollard took a single to end the over. MI: 85/4, Krunal Pandya: 8(12b), Kieron Pollard: 11(10b)


Over 12: Marcus Stoinis to Kieron Pollard, one run taken. Krunal smacked the 2nd ball for six just over square leg fielder followed by another six over mid-wicket and cover drive for four. A single taken by Krunal off the 5th ball. Pollard pulled the last ball for a single to keep the strike. MI: 104/4, Krunal Pandya: 25(16b), Kieron Pollard: 13(12b)


Over 13: Axar Patel to Pollard, one-run taken. Krunal flicked the 2nd ball for a double followed by a single. Pollard miss hit the ball in the air for single. Another single taken by Krunal. Pollard dispatched the last ball into the crowd. MI: 116/4, Krunal Pandya: 29(19b), Kieron Pollard: 21(15b)


Over 14: Ankit Rajpoot to Krunal, driven down the ground for one run. Pollard walloped the short ball for six followed by extra cover drive for four. Pollard flicked the 4th ball for four as Ankit missed the yorker. A single taken by Pollard. WIDE ball. Legbye taken to end the over. MI: 134/4, Krunal Pandya: 30(21b), Kieron Pollard: 36(19b)


Over 15: Marcus Stoinis to Krunal, 2 runs taken. Slower short ball, top edge Krunal OUT as Rajpoot completes the catch. High full toss punched down to long-on for a single by Hardik Pandya. Outside edge flies past slip region for four. Another top edge but this time over the short third-man for four. Slower ball dispatched into the crowd for six to end the over as Pollard completed his first IPL 2018 fifty. MI: 151/5, Krunal Pandya c Rajpoot b Stoinis 32 (23b 1×4 2×6)


Over 16: R Ashwin to Hardik Pandya, no run. One run taken by Pandya. Pollard OUT while trying to hit another six. Cutting played a paddle sweep for a single. Another single taken by Hardik. DOT ball to end the over. MI: 154/6, Kieron Pollard c Finch b Ashwin 50 (23b 5×4 3×6)


Over 17: Andrew Tye to Hardik Pandya, no run. DOT ball. Single taken off the 3rd ball. Another DOT ball. Cutting took two runs off the 5th ball. DOT ball to end the over. MI:157/6, Ben Cutting: 3(5b), Hardik Pandya: 4(7b)


Over 18: Ashwin to Hardik Pandya, one run taken. Cutting took a single off the 2nd ball. Another single taken by Hardik Pandya. Cutting OUT while trying to hit a big shot. One run taken by Hardik. McClenaghan hit the last ball for six. MI: 167/7, Ben Cutting c Patel b Ashwin 4 (7b 0x4 0x6)


Over 19: Andrew Tye to Hardik, WIDE. Hardik took two runs. Hardik OUT. One run taken by Markande. MacClenaghan hit the 4th ball for four. Two DOT balls to end the over. MI: 175/8, Hardik Pandya c Ashwin b Tye 9 (12b 0x4 0x6)


Over 20: Mohit Sharma to Mayank Markande, wide outside hit uppercut went for four. Slower ball single taken. WIDE ball. DOT ball. Full toss over waist height called NO ball. One leg-bye taken by Markande off the Free hit. Another leg bye taken. Single taken to end the over. MI: 186/8, Mayank Markande: 7(5b), Mitchell McClenaghan: 11(7b)


Mumbai Indians innings analysis after 20 overs


KXIP won the toss and invited MI to bat first. Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis opened the innings while Ankit Rajpoot bowled the first over. With a packed field towards off side, Rajpoot consistently bowled wider deliveries outside-off but was punished soon when Yadav punched him for a four in the third man region. Mohit Sharma was introduced into the attack in the second over. Bowled a lot more straighter deliveries, most of them ending in front of the wicket. It was turning out to be a tight over until Lewis went in for a maximum straight down the ground. Rajpoot continued from the other end and looked to bowl short-pitch deliveries. Went too short and was pounded away for a four towards deep fine-leg region. Another short delivery, Yadav got a thick top edge and six more runs were added. The over ended with a cheeky boundary towards third man. MI were gaining momentum and stood at 37/1 after 3 overs.


A bowling change was made and Andrew Tye came in to bowl the fourth over. Bowled a slower delivery, Lewis completely missed the line and was clean-bowled. Ishan Kishan was the new man in. Just like Lewis, Kishan was not able to pick the line. Mohit Sharma’s bowling end was changed and he was brought back into the attack in the fifth over. MI batsmen were getting some lucky runs, courtesy of some outside edge boundaries. Anyhow, the scoreboard was moving at a decent pace. Sharma bowled an across the line delivery to Kishan and was pulled away for a six. Mohit went wide down the off side on the next delivery, the powerplay was on and Kishan took the risk to step out, but could only manage to get a thick edge which again ended up clearing the boundary line. Andrew Tye continued in the 6th over. He wasn’t much-giving opportunities to the batsmen, bowling slower deliveries to force the batsmen to do something special. The strategy paid off and Kishan mishit the ball, making up for a simple catch at short mid-off. A change of fortunes for KXIP and Suryakumar Yadav departed on the very next ball, thanks to a knuckleball which got an inside edge off his bat which hit his pad and went straight into the hands of K L Rahul behind the wickets. KXIP made a comeback in the game. MI were 60/3 after 6 overs.

Spin was brought into the game for the first time in the with Axar Patel bowling the 7th over. Krunal Pandya and Rohit Sharma were on the crease. Batsmen became more cautious looking to stabilise the innings after two consecutive wickets. Ashwin brought himself into the attack in the 8th over and the story continued with no boundaries coming in the over as the batsmen were mostly depending on singles to keep the scoreboard ticking. MI stood at 71/3 after 8 overs.

Rajpoot was back into the attack and surprised Rohit Sharma with a short-pitched delivery and Rohit went for a pull short, lost control and hit the ball high up in the sky which landed in the safe hands of Yuvraj Singh. Kieron Pollard made his way on to the crease. Stoinis was introduced into the attack. Bowled a decent over conceding just 7 runs off it. Axar returned in the 11th over. No easy runs were coming in for MI. Stoinis continued and Krunal Pandya decided to go after him. He smashed Stoinis for back to back sixes followed by a boundary in the covers region. MI were recovering from the damage that was done to them by the KXIP bowlers. MI stood at 104/4 after 12 overs.

Axar Patel was brought back in to turn around the momentum towards KXIP once again. he did the job pretty well for the first five deliveries but Pollard took home enough out of the over with a maximum towards on side. Patel conceded 12 runs in his over. Rajpoot returned to bowl the last over of his spell. Batsmen had settled on the crease till then and looked to accelerate. Both Pandya and Pollard were hitting regular boundaries and MI were sailing at a scoring rate of 9 rpo. Rajpoot finished an expensive over conceding 18 runs in it. Stoinis was brought back into the attack and Krunal Pandya fell victim to a short-pitched delivery. He was caught at short fine-leg. Hardik Pandya was the new man in. Pollard seemed to be in a great form for the first time in the season and hit Stoinis for consecutive boundaries to reach his fifty in just 22 balls. MI were moving towards a big score and stood at 151/5 after 15 overs.

Ashwin came in to bowl the 16 over to put some breaks on the MI’s innings. Pollard looked to continue with his assault and reached out to hit a wide delivery towards long-off and handed a comfortable catch. Ashwin did the job for KXIP. Ben Cutting was the new man on the crease. Again, there were two new men on the wicket and Andrew Tye was brought back into the attack. Both the batsmen, considered as good finishers, had the responsibility to end the innings on a high as the MI were in a good position to capitalise. But Tye didn’t offer too many choices to go for big runs. Ashwin returned with the 18th over. Kept silent for a couple of deliveries, Cutting grew restless and tried to go for a big shot and had to depart early paving way for Mitchell McClenaghan who opened his account with a maximum off Ashwin’s last ball of the over. Andrew Tye bowled the 19th over. Bowled another slower delivery and dismissed Hardik Pandya at the short third man, thanks to a fine outside edge. Mayank Markande was the next man in. Tye ended his spell with wonderful figures bagging 4 wickets for just 16 runs. Mohit Sharma began the last over of the innings. Depended on variations to catch the tail-enders off-guard but still ended up giving 11 runs, including 4 extras. MI stumbled towards the end of the innings to post a total of 186/8 even after managing a good start. MI were 151/5 after 15 overs and could only add 35 runs in the last 30 deliveries, losing 3 wickets in the process.


Match Preview

Just when MI’s dream of making it to the final four was on the verge of getting shattered, the Rohit Sharma-led brigade came up with a spirited show to register a hat-trick of wins before faltering against Rajasthan Royals in their previous game. Mumbai Indians have to win both their remaining two matches to keep their chances alive for advancing to the playoffs.

Mumbai Indians, with an excellent net run-rate, need to put behind the humiliation by the Rajasthan Royals and come out with all guns blazing against an equally jittery KXIP, who have lost their way in the second half of IPL 2018 after starting strongly. MI’s middle order was yet again exposed in the last game when their batsmen, including skipper Rohit Sharma, failed miserably. Only Suryakumar Yadav has been among the runs on a consistent basis and MI would be pleased with the return to form of West Indian opener Evin Lewis. These two will be banked upon to provide an excellent start.

But they need the others down the order especially skipper Rohit to contribute big in today’s IPL match. Save his match-winning knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore here, Rohit has failed to perform to his potential and MI need him in cracking form, backed up by the Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal. Mumbai Indians’ bowling too has been a worry. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik and left arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan will have to bowl cleverly to stop the rampaging K L Rahul and Chris Gayle from scoring big runs in today’s IPL match. All three may come up with a short-ball attack on the rival openers as Umesh Yadav showed with great success for RCB. The role of leggie Mayank Markande (14 wickets) will also be crucial along with that of Krunal Pandya to choke the run-flow in the middle overs during today’s IPL match at Wankhede.

On the other hand, despite being a place ahead, Kings XI Punjab lag behind Mumbai Indians in net run-rate. The Ravichandran Ashwin-led side KXIP, who started their IPL 2018 campaign on a rousing note, faltered in the business end of the league, losing five of their last six games. KXIP suffered their worst defeat of IPL 2018 in their last outing when Royal Challengers Bangalore hammered them by 10 wickets, a game where both the batsmen and bowlers succumbed before Kohli’s men. Kings XI Punjab’s batting mostly relies on openers Rahul and Chris Gayle as the duo have accumulated 558 and 350 runs respectively. KXIP openers have been a major reason behind their success as the two have handed a perfect start to their side on several occasions in IPL 2018 and KXIP will hope that they must provide a great start in today’s IPL match again. Karun Nair has been inconsistent with 247 runs so far, while veteran Yuvraj Singh and Mayank Agarwal are yet to make their presence felt in the middle-order.

Kings XI Punjab will be relieved by the fact that Aaron Finch returned to form with a 34 & 26 during the loss to Kolkata Knight Riders and RCB, respectively. In the bowling department, Australian pacer Andrew Tye (20 wickets) and Afghan teenaged spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman (14 wickets) have been brilliant. Pacer Ankit Rajpoot (eight wickets), off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (six wickets) and medium-pacer Mohit Sharma (six wickets) need to raise the bar against Mumbai Indians in today’s IPL match, after going wicketless against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Here are a few things to know about the Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab (MI vs KXIP) match to be played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the two teams’ players who could prove handy, and who has said what before the clash:
MI has backed Kishan as he is talented, says Aditya Tare: Mumbai Indians reserve wicket-keeper Aditya Tare today had words of praise for young Jharkhand stumper Ishan Kishan saying the stumper has enormous talent and that’s the reason why the IPL defending champions have backed him. “He is pretty young. 19-20 years old and the talent that he has is enormous. That’s the reason Mumbai Indians have backed him as the first choice,” said the Mumbai Ranji Trophy-winning captain ahead of MI’s penultimate round robin game in today’s IPL match against Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium. “It is the start in his career, so it is a great opportunity for him playing for MI. A couple of games back he won a game for us, so it shows the amount of ability he has with the bat. This experience of playing all the games for a franchise like MI is going to help him going forward in his career,” Tare told reporters. He also said that MI would be playing fearless cricket and the team knows that if they win their two games, they can still make it to the play-offs, although they have gathered only 10 points from as many games.

What Ashwin said about KXIP batting woes ahead of today’s IPL match (MI vs KXIP): After suffering a 10-wicket defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin reckons that the team has a problem in the batting department. Monday’s defeat was the third consecutive defeat for Punjab. First they lost to Rajasthan Royals followed by Kolkata Knight Riders and then to Bangalore. In Monday’s match, Bangalore completely dominated their opponents as after bundling out Punjab for a paltry 88 runs, the openers guided their side home without losing a wicket. “We have a problem with our batting. We are not one of the top champion sides to be very honest, we are one of those sides that punched above our weight in the first half of the competition,” Ashwin said. “To be very precise, I did expect to find ourselves in such a situation, but not this much; probably thought we might have won one or two more games and probably reached 14 or 16 points. “Defending on this ground isn’t easy. We perhaps made the mistake of trying to score more than the par score and thereby ended up losing wickets. We did not play according to the situation,” he said.

I consider myself an all-format cricketer, says Karun Nair: Back in the Indian Test cricket team after more than a year, middle-order batsman Karun Nair says he is now working to become an all-format player in future. The 26-year-old Karnataka right-hander will replace Virat Kohli in the Indian team, which will take on debutants Afghanistan in Bengaluru from June 14-18. Captain Kohli will play for English county side Surrey during that time to prepare for the England tour later this year. Nair is currently playing for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2018. “I am really excited to be wearing those whites again and representing my country has always been an honour and privilege. I am really looking forward to it,” Nair told IANS. “I have worked really hard over the last one and half years. My form in the IPL and the way I have batted, I consider myself an all-format player and it’s just about getting those opportunities and making the most of them,” said Nair when asked about common perception that the Karnataka willower is a Test specialist. “It’s just that finding a spot in the one day team is difficult. I need to do better to get those opportunities and I am on the right track. I will do everything I can with the bat to make sure I play all formats,” he said. READ FULL INTERVIEW HERE

India A selection a step closer to national team, says Krunal Pandya: Mumbai Indians all-rounder Krunal Pandya today termed his selection in the India A squad for the tour of England as a “step closer” to realising his dream of playing for the senior team. It feels really good. Last year after the IPL, I got picked for the India A’s tour of South Africa. It was a good tour for me. The ultimate dream is to represent India and that is still there, Pandya told reporters here when asked about his India A selection. And it is just one step closer to the senior team. I will try to give my best when I go there (to England) but right now this is an important stage of the tournament (in IPL). I want to do well for MI first and then I will see how it goes, the all-rounder noted. Krunal has scored 189 runs in 11 matches and bagged 11 wickets with his orthodox left-arm spin.

Now IPL-style Women’s T20 Challenge like to be played in Mumbai on May 22: An Indian Premier League-(IPL) style women’s T20 challenge match will be played at the Wankhede Stadium on May 22, ahead of the opening play-off game of the IPL. India internationals Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the two teams in a match that will showcase some of the most talented women cricketers. Leading stars from Australia, New Zealand and England will be in action as they join their Indian counterparts for this match. The women’s game has seen a wave of popularity in the country following the national team’s run to the final of World Cup last year. With an eye on growing this wave, the BCCI is hosting the T20 Challenge to provide the women’s game a platform alongside its most popular tournament. Speaking about this T20 Challenge game, Rajeev Shukla, Chairman, IPL, said, “Even as IPL continues to roll like a well-oiled machine, over the last couple of weeks, efforts were made to put in place a similar structure for women cricketers. We were in talks with several Boards and I am pleased with the outcome. White Ferns captain Suzie Bates, attacking batter Sophie Devine, who holds the record for fastest half-century in women’s T20Is, Australia’s fine all-rounder Ellyse Perry, wicket-keeper bat Alyssa Healy, Megan Schutt and Beth Mooney have confirmed their participation. Danni Wyatt and Daniel Hazell will add the English flavour.” He further informed that the game will be played at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and will be telecast live in India and across the world.

The team head to head ahead of today’s IPL match (MI vs KXIP)


Overall:

Matches – 21, Mumbai Indians won – 11, Kings XI Punjab won – 10


At the Wankhede Stadium:

Matches – 7, Mumbai Indians won – 3, Kings XI Punjab won – 4





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