Krunal Pandia hit an unbeaten 31 off 12 deliveries as Mumbai Indians snatched a thrilling six-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab, keeping their campaign in the Indian Premier League alive, at Indore last night.
The older brother of more renowned Hardik, Krunal showed he is no muck with the bat as he launched four fours and two sixes to resurrect what looked like a lost cause for the defending champions in chasing down the victory target of 175 in 19 overs. Skipper Rohit Sharma gave him able company with an unbeaten 24 off 15 deliveries after the foundation was laid by opener Suryakumar Yadav's 42-ball 57.
Afghan off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rehman's two wickets and an economical spell from veteran Ravichandran Ashwin had seemingly stifled the run chase, only for the late pyrotechnics from the older Pandiya.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab rode on a 40-ball 50 from Chris Gayle and some lusty blows from Marcus Stoinis towards the end to post a challenging 174 for six in their 20 overs.
The win kept the three-time champions alive in the tournament as they have six points from nine games, level on points with three other sides at the bottom. Punjab, despite the defeat, stayed on course for a last-four place with 10 points from eight games.
SCORES IN BRIEF
Kings XI Punjab: 174 for 6 in 20 overs (Gayle 50, Stoinis 29 not out, Rahul 24; Bumrah 1-19)
Mumbai Indians: 176 for 4 in 19 overs (Yadav 57, Krunal 31 not out, Sharma 24 not out; Mujeeb 2-37)
Result: Mumbai Indians won by six wickets