IPL: Mumbai set stiff target for Punjab

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Mohali, April 25 (IANS) Mumbai Indians rode on strong batting performances by Parthiv Patel and Ambati Rayudu to post 189/6 in their Indian Premier League (IPL) tie against Kings XI Punjab at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here on Monday.

Opening the batting along with skipper Rohit Sharma, Parthiv batted almost till the end of the innings. The discarded India wicketkeeper showcased some superb batting form to plunder 81 runs off just 58 deliveries.

He smashed 10 boundaries and a couple of sixes to notch up his highest ever IPL score before falling to a well directed bouncer from veteran Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.

Parhiv’s entertaining strokeplay was well-matched by Rayudu at the other end. The 30-year-old right-hander slammed 65 runs off 37 deliveries with the help of four boundaries and an equal number of sixes.

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The duo added 136 runs between them to lay the foundation for a big total.

Mohit Sharma was the most successful among the Punjab bowlers. The medium-pacer was a bit expensive in a wicketless first spell, but did better in his second spell to return figures of 3/38. Sandeep Sharma (1/20), Axar patel (1/41) and Johnson (1/43) claimed a wicket each.

Put into bat by the hosts, Mumbai had a shaky start as skipper Rohit Sharma lasted all of two balls before edging a Sandeep Sharma inswinger to the wicketkeeper. That was the only piece of celebration the Punjab players and their home crowd could indulge in for a considerable period of time as Patel and Rayudu proceeded to hit the bowlers to all parts of the ground.

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Rayudu finally fell to some poor shot selection as an attempted sweep off Axar Patel travelled straight to Manan Vohra at deep midwicket.

Jos Buttler (24) walked in to play a fast paced innings full of innovative shots, hitting three boundaries and a massive six over long-on off Pardeep Sahu in his 12-ball stint. He was bowled by a slowish, incoming delivery from Mohit Sharma while attempting another big hit.

That triggered a flurry of late wickets as the Punjab bowlers staged a late comeback. But by the time Johnson finally managed to send Parthiv back to the pavilion, Mumbai were well on their way to a big total.

Brief scores:

Mumbai Indians: 189/6 in 20 overs (Parthiv Patel 81, Ambati Rayudu 65; Mohit Sharma 3/38) vs Kings XI Punjab.

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