Punjab Kings (PBKS) returned to winning ways after defeating Mumbai Indians (MI) by nine wickets at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.
Chasing a paltry target of 132, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (25) gave their side a solid start as the pair added a 53-run stand for the opening wicket. Agarwal was outdone by Rahul Chahar in the eighth over, but Rahul kept his end alive and formed another vital partnership with Chris Gayle.
The duo of Rahul and Gayle put together an unbeaten stand of 79 runs to take their side over the finish line. While Rahul smashed another half-century and stayed not out on 60 runs, Gayle contributed with an unbeaten 43.
Earlier, PBK bowled magnificently well to restrict Mumbai to a low score of 131/6 in their allotted 20 overs. MI skipper Rohit Sharma showed his high-class batting and top-scored for his side with 63 from 52 deliveries.
Despite wickets falling at the other end, the Mumbaikar scored runs at an impressive strike rate of 121.15, featuring five fours and two sixes. Rohit was well supported by middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav, who smashed 33 off 27 balls packed with four boundaries, including a maximum.
For PBKS, Mohammad Shami and Ravi Bishnoi performed outstandingly well, picking up two wickets each. Both the bowlers conceded 21 runs each in their quota of 4 overs. Apart from the duo, Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Hooda also bagged one scalp apiece.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
KL Rahul today has been just right. And Gayle has played a little gem.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 23, 2021
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) April 23, 2021
— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) April 23, 2021
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) April 23, 2021
MI got themselves into a very strong losing position when they got 21 in their first 6 overs. In which Moises bowled 3 and Hooda 2. #MIvPBKS
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 23, 2021
V imp win this will be for @PunjabKingsIPL controlled this chase superbly! @klrahul11 and @henrygayle curbed their instincts, showed patience and now have it firmly in control. MI again will ask questions of their batting. Rare for them but it happens in sport.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) April 23, 2021
Perfect day for Punjab. Big call to bowl first! Mumbai wanted to bat first and to beat them what they wanted to do and do it so emphatically, well done @PunjabKingsIPL!
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) April 23, 2021
Played KL & Boss! Great win 👏🏼
— Saurabh Malhotra (@MalhotraSaurabh) April 23, 2021
And that's that from Chennai.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 23, 2021
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) April 23, 2021
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) April 23, 2021
Chris Gayle, at 41, still smashing bowlers all round the park – 43* runs from 35 balls including 5 fours and 2 sixes – The greatest ever in this format. pic.twitter.com/93318xAncF
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) April 23, 2021
Let Mumbai Indians play all their matches at Chepauk to maintain the balance of the tournament.
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) April 23, 2021
Watching Gayle bat fills me with so much joy.
— R (@artemiscrockfan) April 23, 2021
This is why you can never drop Chris Gayle from the T20 side irrespective of what his age and form is. Guy will always be the standout performer in the toughest situation.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) April 23, 2021