Arshdeep, Curran shine as Punjab Kings pip Mumbai Indians in high-scoring IPL thriller

Mumbai, Apr 22 (PTI) Death overs specialist Arshdeep Singh shattered stumps at will in a tense final over as Punjab Kings were back to winning ways with a 13-run victory over Mumbai Indians in a high-scoring entertainer in IPL, here on Saturday.
After Sam Curran’s 29-ball 55 led Punjab Kings to a massive 214 for 8, Mumbai Indians took the game into the final over due to fine counter-attack from Cameron Green (67 off 43 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (57 off 26 balls). The duo added 75 off only 36 balls.
Arshdeep struck a decisive blow in the 18th over to dismiss an on-song Suryakumar with Mumbai needing another 33 from 15 balls, and bowled an impressive final over while accounting for Tilak Varma (3) and Nehal Wadhera (0) to return with figures of 4-0-29-4
However the hosts only managed 201 for 6 as Arshdeep broke the middle-stump in back-to-back deliveries to sent NT Tilak Verma and Nehal Wadhera packing.
On a batting belter, Arshdeep again showed why even Indian team depends on him in T20 games to deliver during the end stages of the game.
Mumbai Indians would agree that Jitesh Sharma’s 7-ball-25 towards the end did become the difference although 82 runs conceded by MI bowlers between overs 15-18 was another turning point.
MI did fight well after conceding 117 runs in the last seven overs, but their effort with the bat was not enough to avert a defeat in a game wherein more than 400 runs scored here at the Wankhede Stadium.
For MI, the biggest gain would be Suryakumar’s return to form.
It was in January this year that the swashbuckling batter made his last score in excess of 50 112 not out against Sri Lanka at Rajkot and after a rocky period in which he was dismissed for a rare three consecutive first-ball ducks, the right-handed batter delighted a packed Wankhede Stadium with a typical Suryakumar innings.
Mumbai were also rocked early by Arshdeep, who had his India teammate Ishan Kishan (1) caught by Matthew Short for his 50th IPL wicket.
Rohit and Green fuelled MI’s charge in the remainder of the powerplay, taking them to 54/1 after six overs taking their association to a 76-run stand for the second wicket, coming off 50 balls.
Rohit looked in imperious form but fell to Liam Livingstone in the 10th over for 44 from 27 balls, studded with four fours and three sixes.
Earlier, Curran justified his top billing with a splendid 29-ball-55 as Punjab Kings lifted themselves from a precarious position to post a commendable 214 for 8.
A 92-run stand for the eighth wicket with Harpreet Bhatia (41 off 28 balls) changed the course of the game with 131 runs coming in the back-10.
Arjun Tendulkar (1/48 in 3 overs), who had a couple of impressive games first up, had a good opening spell but went for 31 in his third over as 69 runs were yielded between overs 16-18. Jofra Archer and Cameron Green went for 13 and 25 respectively in the 17th and 18th over.
But the hero undoubtedly was Curran, who hit his first fifty of IPL this season and Bhatia made a 28-ball 41 (4x4s, 2x6s) while adding 92 runs from 50 balls for the fifth wicket to power Punjab Kings to a daunting total. This was after MI bowlers strangulated their middle-order post a promising start.
Curran struck five fours and four sixes to help Punjab Kings bounce back strongly here at the Wankhede Stadium after they lost way in the middle overs, leading a strong recovery.
Punjab Kings were 97/4 after 13 overs but courtesy brilliant efforts from Curran, Bhatia and Jitesh Sharma, they added 117 runs in the last seven overs, with 96 runs coming on the last 30 balls.
Punjab wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh also provided later fireworks, hitting four sixes in his seven-ball 25 before being cleaned up by Jason Behrendorff in the last over.

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