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Ashutosh’s stunning knock in vain as MI overcome Punjab

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Mullanpur, April 18: Ashutosh Sharma’s pyrotechnics did not prove to be enough as five-time champions Mumbai Indians beat Punjab Kings by nine runs in an Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.
Chasing a challenging 193, young sensation Ashutosh played the knock of his nascent career, smashing a 28-ball 61 to keep PBKS in the hunt till the end.
Besides Ashutosh, Shashank Singh made 41 off 25 balls for PBKS but were eventually bowled for 183 in 19.1 overs.
Suryakumar Yadav struck 78 off 53 balls to take MI to 192 for seven. For MI, Jasprit Bumrah (3/21) and Gerald Coetzee (3/32) shared six wickets between them.
Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma produced gritty knocks on a sluggish wicket to fire Mumbai Indians to 192/7 against Punjab Kings in their Indian Premier League contest here on Thursday.
Suryakumar found his rhythm after a slow start to finish with 78 off 53 balls whereas left-handed Varma hit some lusty blows on the leg side to make 34 off a mere 18 balls.
Towards the end, Tim David blasted a seven-ball 14 to provide the visitors with late impetus.
On a typically low and slow surface here, MI batters struggled for timing yet garnered the highest total so far at IPL’s newest venue.
Rohit Sharma (36 off 35) and Suryakumar provided the bedrock with a sturdy 81-run stand for the second wicket before Varma and David found their mojo. But there was disappointment in store for MI skipper Hardik Pandya, who perished for a six-ball 10.
Early on, Ishan Kishan (8) went after Rabada off a short and wide delivery outside to hit it straight to Harpreet Brar at deep thirdman.
Rohit and Suryakumar teamed up to make the most of the powerplay as MI reached 54/1 at the end of it.Even though he did not get enough strike for the duration of his innings, Rohit looked in prime form to remain ahead of his aggressive partner Suryakumar in terms of strike-rate.
Playing in his 250th IPL match, Rohit brought up his 6,500 runs in the competition.Before he was hit on the helmet off his own shot while looking to paddle sweep Sam Curran, Rohit also survived an on-field leg-before call through DRS. The right-hander was eventually dismissed when an outside edge was snaffled by Brar at backward point for another fine catch.
Having consumed 34 balls for his fifty, Suryakumar flourished late in the innings to top score for Mumbai.
His exchanges with Kagiso Rabada were particularly entertaining, with two of the best in business trying to battle it out on a tough surface. In a captivating display of skill and determination, Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma propelled the Mumbai Indians to a formidable total of 192/7 against the Punjab Kings in a thrilling Indian Premier League encounter in Mullanpur. Despite the challenges posed by a sluggish wicket, Suryakumar showcased his class with a resilient innings of 78 runs off 53 balls, while Varma’s aggressive strokeplay added crucial momentum with his swift 34 off just 18 deliveries. As the innings progressed, Tim David’s brief cameo of 14 runs off seven balls injected late impetus into Mumbai’s innings (PTI)

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