Mohali | Hardik Pandya once again provided the final flourish after yet another middle-order collapse as Mumbai Indians managed 176 for 7 against Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League encounter here Saturday.
Quinton de Kock with a 39-ball-60 created a platform which the middle-order unfortunately didn’t make full use of before Hardik smashed 31 off 19 balls to enable MI get past 175-run mark.
While De Kock hit six boundaries and two sixes in his innings, Pandya hit three boundaries and a six off Mohammed Shami.
Skipper Rohit Sharma also looked good during his brief stay at the crease, scoring 32 off 18 balls with five fours. He added 51 for the opening stand with De Kock.
For the home team, it was the lesser known Ashwin — Murugan, who emerged as the most successful bowler with figures of 2 for 25 from his four overs.
Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t get any wickets but gave away only 26 runs in his four overs.
The pace troika of Shami (2/40 in 4 overs), Andrew Tye (1/40 in 4 overs) and Hardus Viljoen (2/40 in 4 overs) were among wickets but bowled a lot of loose deliveries, giving away 13 fours and three sixes.
MI were off to a great start after Shami was hit for a couple of boundaries by Rohit and one from De Kock in the very second over.
In the fifth over, Rohit hit Andrew Tye for three more fours but Viljoen dismissed him in the very next over when he tried to play across the line.
Suryakumar Yadav (11) was caught plumb in-front by Murugan but De Kock found his ways to get boundaries off both the Ashwins.
For a good measure he pulled Shami for a six behind square and brought up his fifty with a boundary off Murugan.
In between Yuvraj Singh became Murugan’s second victim and once De Kock was trapped leg before by Shami, MI were in a spot of bother.
Once Pollard was gone, MI slumped to 146 for five from 120 for two but Hardik ensured a safe total for the visitors.