Effortless knocks from Martin Guptill, Glenn Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha ensured Kings XI Punjab racked up 230 for 3 in the first innings after being put to bat first at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.

In the first 10 overs, almost half of the time was spent fetching the ball from the boundary area by the home side. The MI bowling attack looked completely rusty and the visitors took full advantage of it.

Martin Guptill started the onslaught and took Punjab to 60 in just five overs before ending with 36 runs off just 18 deliveries. The New Zealander’s failure, however, made way for Glenn Maxwell. The skipper entered and his ballistic mood was quickly visible.

Maxi subjected Mumbai bowlers to sheer ruthlessness. He looked unstoppable at one point and sixes just kept flying off his bat. The hitting looked so effortless at one point that the MI unit looked like complete amateurs. Unfortunately, Maxwell also was undone at a crucial point in the 10th over.

Wriddhiman Saha then took control of the proceedings. After making a great impact batting under the shadows of Guptill and Maxwell, Saha ensured that the run rate stayed high. Shaun Marsh (25 from 16 balls) also contributed a small attacking cameo.

Punjab’s performance with the bat has made them look like complete favourites at the moment, threatening the qualification chances of SRH. However, considering the firepower Mumbai has in its XI, the target may be knocked off if a couple of names like Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Nitish Rana get going.

These men have already scripted few epic chases this season and given the way the pitch has behaved we may continue to witness bowlers getting bashed mercilessly.

The onus will also be on the KXIP bowling attack. Ishant Sharma, who has had an underwhelming season, will face an acid test today. The others like Sandeep, Mohit Sharma, Axar Patel, and Rahul Tewetia too will face the music from Mumbai’s formidable batting line-up.


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