Mumbai Indians overcame Punjab Kings in match number 42 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season on Tuesday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Mumbai Indians overcame Punjab Kings in match number 42 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season on Monday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. It was a good game of cricket with MI showing steel and substance to get past the line. PBKS struggled with the bat, managing just 135/6 in 20 overs. Aiden Markram top-scored for PBKS with a well-made 29-ball 42. Nobody else went on to get a significant score. In response, MI were off to a poor start before the middle-order chipped in to guide the side home. MI managed 137/4 in 19 overs.

The win sees MI get to 10 points as they scripted their fifth victory this season. PBKS missed the chance to go fifth themselves, as they remained sixth with eight points from 11 games. With MI winning, this was a good two points as they chase a top-four finish. They are on the same points as KKR, who earlier defeated the Delhi Capitals.

Here we present the heroes and villains of the match.

(Note: By mentioning villains we don’t intend to bring any malign to sportspersons. It’s only about the key moments where players failed to take the initiative).

Heroes of the match

Kieron Pollard: The West Indian all-rounder bowled just the one over and it turned out to be gold as he claimed two crucial wickets. Pollard got the dangerous KL Rahul and Chris Gayle in his only over to turn the game for MI. Those were two priced wickets at a crucial juncture. And then, he came in and smashed a four and a six to remain unbeaten on 15 from seven balls, helping MI clinch victory. He was awarded the Man of the Match.

Hardik Pandya: The Indian all-rounder played a decisive knock for MI, coming in when the score read 61/3. He smashed an unbeaten 40, hitting four fours and two sixes. This is the Pandya we know and his contribution with the bat will please the MI management. The star all-rounder didn’t bowl but the significance with the bat was huge. He shared a vital stand alongside Saurabh Tiwary.

Jasprit Bumrah: The Indian fast bowler continued his brilliance with the ball as he claimed two wickets for 24 runs from his four overs. Bumrah was once again a key force for MI as he got the wickets of Nicholas Pooran and Deepak Hooda. Bumrah has now raced to 16 wickets in IPL 2021 at an average of 20.50. He bowled an excellent 17th and 19th over for MI, conceding just 11 from the two at the death. His accuracy saw PBKS’ innings get stalled.

Villains of the match

Chris Gayle: The West Indian has become more of a luxury for PBKS rather than being a vitality player. The veteran Gayle is yet to fire this season and his performance in the UAE since IPL’s resumption has been awful. It was another poor outing for the southpaw, Gayle lacked the patience after coming on and tried to hit a slower ball by Pollard over cow corner and ended up finding the fielder. Just when PBKS lost Mandeep Singh in the previous over, to see Gayle go thereafter was a huge loss.

Nicholas Pooran: The West Indian suffered once again as his story has been this season in the IPL. Pooran has become an issue for PBKS and he hardly offers anything. PBKS’ decision is baffling, going with an out-of-form batsman match after match. Pooran was trapped LBW by Bumrah as the latter bowled a brilliant yorker. However, Pooran also played the wrong line and misfired with a score of just two.

KL Rahul: The Kings needed Rahul to get going after he got off to a decent start but a miscued shot saw him perish. Rahul (21 off 22) just saw Gayle depart two balls earlier as Pollard bowled a bit slow and another slow ball banged on to the pitch saw Rahul get tempted as he mistimed a pull shot and was caught. This was the turning point in the game and Rahul should have handled the situation better. He will be aggrieved with himself.

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