Kings XI Punjab needed just 9 runs in the last over to win against Mumbai Indians in Dubai on Sunday night. Even going by the horrible run chases of Punjab in committing hara-kiri in dying moments and losing winnable matches bizarrely, this looked like a formality as the 20th over was to be bowled by New Zealander Trent Boult who had already gone for 40 runs in his first three overs.
Chris Jordan somehow managed a boundary on the second delivery of the over and even if the equation was four runs in four balls, it boiled down to Punjab’s all-too-familiar territory of 2 runs in the last ball!
That KXIP didn’t lose it against one of the best teams of the tournament must have come as a big relief when match went into the Super Over. But Kings XI Punjab had botched up an easy chase once again.
SUPER OVER 1
If there is one bowler in the world known as a Super Over specialist, it is Mumbai Indians' Jasprit Bumrah. There was nothing exceptional about Bumrah’s 5-run over as he is expected to bowl such kind of overs. What was special though was how Bumrah didn’t allow KL Rahul to flex his arms despite the KXIP skipper playing the best knock (77 off 51 ) of the match.
If Bumrah did the usual stuff, his senior India mate Mohammed Shami did the opposite even if he is as skillful. Regardless of his fine show in this IPL with new ball, Shami has cut a sorry figure in death overs but tonight Shami seemed to settle all the debts. The finest exponents of yorkers, the great Pakistani pair of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis would have been proud of Shami’s work as the KXIP bowler suffocated both Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, who could manage only four singles in the first five balls.
“He was very clear he wanted to go for six yorkers. He has been phenomenal, and keeps getting better every game. It is important that senior players win the games for the team,” KXIP captain said after the match. When two runs were needed off the last ball, de Kock was run-out by Rahul.
SUPER OVER 2
Never ever before two Super Over have been played in one IPL match and none would have expected that one of the teams to feature in this would be KXIP. Chris Jordan bowled more than a decent over by giving just 11 runs against the likes of Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya.
Mayank Agarwal’s gravity defying save
Even before opener Mayank Agarwal could go to bat and face a ball, he had scored a four (by saving a definite six to bring down the target from 16 to 12). “This is sport. It can get hard, but you definitely can’t do without it. For a moment or two, the DC game was in the back of my head, but the thinking was to watch the ball and hit the ball. It is amazing to be part of this game, which will go down in history,” said Agarwal after the match in the post match chat with the host broadcaster.
And when, his partner Chris Gayle hit the very first delivery for a six all the drama for over four hours turned into a mere formality of completing another 6 runs in five balls which they did it without any hiccups.
“Yeah okay. It is not the first time. But we don’t want to make a habit out of it. We will take the two points in the end. It doesn't always happen the way you plan so you don't really know how to stay balanced. I was just hoping we get over the line because the boys have been working really really hard,” said Rahul after getting Man of the Match award.
What happened in the match otherwise?
In Dubai, Mumbai Indians won the toss and batted first and scored 176 runs with opener Quinton de Kock scoring a 53 and Pollard and Krunal scoring 34 runs each.
In reply, Rahul’s best innings of the match was supported by Gayle and Nicholas Pooran (both scored 24 runs) and Deepak Hooda’s 23 but it still proved inadequate to force the win until Super Over came.
(Vimal Kumar is a senior sports journalist who has covered multiple cricket world cups and Rio Olympics in the last two decades. Vimal is also the author of Sachin: Cricketer Of The Century and The Cricket Fanatic’s Essential Guide.)Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of IPL 2020 here