IPL 2024: Ashutosh Sharma’s 61 in vain as MI edge PBKS by nine runs in a thriller at Mullanpur

 Ashutosh Sharma almost single-handedly won Punjab Kings he game out of nowhere, but Mumbai Indians survived his stunning assault to win by nine runs in a thrilling match at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur on Thursday evening.

PBKS were in real trouble of getting their net run rate being hit by a massive margin when they were 14/4 and later on at 77/6 in the chase of 193. After Shashank hit a 25-ball 41, Ashutosh continued dishing out good finishing knocks with a whirlwind 25-ball 61.

But once he fell, PBKS were eventually dismissed for 183 in 19.1 overs, as the hosts’ were consigned to their fourth defeat of the competition coming in the final over. For MI, Gerald Coetzee and Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets each as the visitors’ managed to get a win despite a real scare from Ashutosh.

Chasing 193, PBKS were plunged into trouble from the word go. Prabhsimran Singh gloved a pull down the leg side to Ishan Kishan off Coetzee. Bumrah left Rilee Rossouw’s stumps in a mess with his trademark yorker, before strangling Sam Curran down leg on review.

Liam Livingstone miscued a pull, and on seeing that, Coetzee made a slide to his left to complete a low catch. Impact Player Harpreet Bhatia couldn’t keep the punch down and gave a caught-and-bowled dismissal to Shreyas Gopal. Jitesh Sharma missed a full toss from Akash Madhwal and was trapped lbw.

The first signs of counter-attack were shown by Shashank in punching fours off Coetzee and Madhwal, before swinging Gopal for six. He took a liking to Gopal’s bowling by cleanly striking him for sixes down the ground and over long-on, before being deceived by a slower ball from Bumrah.

From the other end, Ashutosh began by swinging Madhwal for six, before slashing and pulling Romario Shepherd for four and six respectively. When Hardik Pandya strayed down leg, Ashutosh was quick to whip it for six.

But the standout moment of his knock was Ashutosh staying low and sweeping a Bumrah yorker for a six over fine leg, followed by pulling Shepherd for another maximum. He would swing a Coetzee full toss for another four and with Harpreet Brar taking back-to-back fours off him, PBKS felt they were in the hunt to do the impossible.

Ashutosh reached his fifty in 23 balls by drilling Madhwal over mid-off for six, and then scooped a free-hit over the keeper for another maximum. Harpreet then hit Madhwal for six down the ground as PBKS now needed 28 runs off last four overs, with the crowd chanting Ashutosh’s name.

After Bumrah gave away only three runs in the 17th over, Ashutosh pulled the first ball of the 18th over from Coetzee straight to deep mid-wicket, falling for a whirlwind 28-ball 61. In the next over, Harpreet flicked to deep backward square leg off Hardik. Kagiso Rabada’s six made the equation 12 runs off the final over, but his run-out by Mohammad Nabi ensured relief for MI and heartbreak for PBKS.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 192/7 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 78, Rohit Sharma 36; Harshal Patel 3-31, Sam Curran 2-41) beat Punjab Kings 183 in 19.1 overs (Ashutosh Sharma 61, Shashank Singh 41; Jasprit Bumrah 3-21, Gerald Coetzee 3-32) by nine runs

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