Mumbai Indians’ veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has lashed out at the Wankhede curator after his side fell agonisingly short of chasing down a huge total against Kings XI Punjab on Thursday (May 11).
Batting first in the must-win game, the Kings XI began with a purpose right from the word go as their new opening combination of Martin Guptill and Wriddiman Saha scored 13 runs in the first over bowled by Hardik Pandya and then never looked back. The duo played their shots on a consistent basis and as a result, their side raced to fifty in just 3.4 overs – the second fastest this season behind Kolkata Knight Riders, who got there in 3.3 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore. By the time the powerplay ended, they were 71 for 1- their best powerplay score this season.
And if the Mumbai Indians players were hoping for a respite in the middle overs, they were made to look like fools by Maxwell and Saha. With Saha finding the occasional boundaries, the Kings XI skipper decided to take on the bowlers and scored 47 off just 21 balls before being bowled by Bumrah. Saha then remained until the end to ensure his side capitalise on the good start. The wicketkeeper-batsman scored an unbeaten 93 off 55 balls to steer his side to a massive 230 for 3 in the 20 overs.
Barring Jasprit Bumrah, who didn’t go for much giving away just 24 runs in 4 overs, all the other bowlers were taken to cleaners.Not a single bowler could manage an economy rate of under 10 while Harbhajan Singh was the worst bowler on the night, conceding at an economy of 15.
In reply, Mumbai Indians batsmen also made the full use of a belter of a pitch as Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel added 99 runs off just 52 balls for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed. A mini-collapse, which saw Simmons, Rohit Sharma and Nitish Rana departing in space of 15 runs, threatened to derail Mumbai’s chase but Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya brought their team in the game with a brilliant 55-run partnership from just 21 balls.
With 23 runs needed from the last two overs and Pollard still going strong, the tie was heavily tilted towards Mumbai but a brilliant penultimate over from Sandeep Sharma where he conceded just seven runs, gave the visitors a glimmer of hope. Mohit Sharma then bowled a brilliant final over, conceding eight runs, as Kings XI won the match by 8 runs.
The 453-run slugfest, meanwhile, was the second-highest aggregate in IPL history and failed to impress Harbhajan Singh who conceded 45 runs in 3 overs.
Taking a dig at the pitch curator, the spinner tweeted: “Man of the match @ Wankhede #curator almost 460 plus runs in 40 overs??.Time is near when only bowling machines will b bowling not bowlers.”
Man of the match @ wankhede #curator almost 460 plus runs in 40 overs??.Time is near when only bowling machines will b bowling not bowlers
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 11, 2017