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15 May 2017, 12:59 | Alberta Rodriguez
Rising Pune Supergiant elect to field against KXIP
The Kings XI Punjab may have given themselves the slimmest of chances of making it to the playoffs, thanks to their disciplined bowling against the Kolkata Knight Riders, but they are still very much on the edge.
Earlier, Indian Test specialist Wriddhiman Saha showed the explosive side of his batting by hammering unbeaten 55-ball 93.
The win took Kings XI Punjab's points tally to 14 from 13 games and they still are in the hunt with a match against Rising Pune Supergiant left.
Supergiant's defeat to Delhi Daredevils in the last match made their final regular-season game with Kings XI, who went into the contest trailing Pune by just two points, into a de-facto play-off for the last top-four berth.
In reply, Mumbai Indians almost pulled off the highest ever chase in IPL before being restricted to 223 in 20 overs.
Thakur's returns of 3 for 19 was his best in T20 cricket.This was the second time he had taken three wickets in 28 T20 matches.
The 453 runs scored in the match was the second-highest aggregate in IPL history.
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Mohit Sharma, despite being smashed for 33 in his first two overs, bowled a delivery that climbed on a surging Parthiv, who offered simple skier to Manan Vohra.
Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab can not beatMumbai Indians on points. Hardik out-scored Pollard at one point, clobbering Tewatia for a six before milking Henry for two consecutive maximums before a sensational diving catch from Saha off Sandeep Sharma proved fatal for the all-rounder.
The pair blasted 68 for the opening wicket before Guptill (36) skied one from Karn Sharma which Hardik Pandya held well running back from mid-on.
With the big-hitting Pollard and the less-intimidating Harbhajan Singh attempting to scamper through for two, Maxwell gathered the ball and threw to the far end - knowing the wicket of Pollard to be the more valuable of the two. The other batsmen struggled to score runs in front of the Punjab bowlers but Ben Stokes took the responsibility and ensured that he guided the team to dependable score.
Saha and Guptill brought up the Kings XI fifty in just 22 balls and the glovesman kept the pedal to the floor once Maxwell joined him at the crease.
They were all but out of the game after being shot out in only 15.5 overs. Mohit Sharma gave only 7 runs in last over when Mumbai needed 16 of the final over. Instead, the Kings XI Punjab crumbled under the pressure and handed Rising Pune Supergiant an effortless win, to set up the Qualifier against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.
Three balls later, he had Glenn Maxwell flicking a catch to deep square leg to leave Kings XI at 32 in 5 inside the first six overs.
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