31 Mar 2019

KL Rahul and M Ashwin start KXIP home leg on a high

By cricinsane

After toppling between Dharamshala, Indore, Raipur and Mohali, KXIP found a full fledged season in the city rightfully theirs. Starting the home leg at Mohali, KXIP invited the MI to have a go with the bat and Rohit Sharma was at it in one of his favourite cricket grounds. He along with De Kock got MI off to a flyer and much as was expected MI were off the blocks. But Rohit was trapped in front and with no good DRS support from the other end, MI went one down LBW despite the ball missing the sticks. De kock kept going and breezed away to a scintillating 50 but Just when things looked like stabilising, MI found their top order in the middle trying to continue the momentum to continue the score looking like sailing towards 200 and beyond. But Murugan Ashwin, who was brought in place of Varun this game kept things tight in the middle and despite the Hardik Pandya cameo Mumbai ended up on a score which was well short of what they were looking at by 15-20 runs. Bumrah and Malinga kept the Universe Boss quite in the powerplay and in trying to escape the hunches he was in, he successfully launched Pandya Junior for two sixes but was trapped by Pandya Senior and the game was wide open. Mayank Agarwal, as soon as he walked out, looked like he was set from the dressing room and with KL Rahul slowly finding his 2018 touch, the game rarely looked out of KXIP hands at any point. When 25 were required off the last 4 overs, the world knew the two bowlers who would come back to back to try and defend what looked impossible. But if You weren’t expecting a Bumraheroic again like in Bangalore, You have missed the whole point of this. Expectations are not always meant to come true and fiction finds it prevailance sometimes, and it was may be too good a fiction in Bangalore, the hangover of which was done and dusted in Chandigarh. Kings portrayed an epitome of chasing down a stiff total in this format and have made some statement here at home. They were unbeaten at Mohali last year and they have continued that winning run into this year. Mumbai Indians, having one ‘lucky’ win under their belt have a lot of questions to answer, but It is not yet the time their IPL has begun. Another two games down, and may be we see the tortoise take the hare over, like it does every alternate Year.