As Preity Zinta rightly said at the end, “We are not here to spoil anyone’s party, we are here to have our own party!”
And Kings XI Punjab certainly had a party time as they outclassed Mumbai Indians by six wickets to finish off their home campaign with a morale boosting victory.
It was encouraging to see Preity back her team to the hilt despite a series of losses and it seems some of her energy has rubbed off on the team.
It was a fearless and a confident Punjab that took on Mumbai in their final match at their home ground in Mohali.
Piyush Chawla did the star turn with the ball for Punjab as he claimed three for 23, including the big wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, who was bowled for 29. Irfan Pathan showed glimpses that he might regaining his form with the ball during his vital spell of three for 29 in four overs.
Mumbai Indians never got going throughout their innings and finished on 154 for nine in their 20 overs.
With the ball, Mumbai were hoping for a few early wickets, but it was Punjab who steamed away with a rollicking start.
Mahela Jayawardene started off with a barrage of boundaries against the pacers, hitting 31 from 18 balls, to give his team a flying start. Adrian Barath also chipped with a vital knock of 33 from 27 balls to put Punjab in charge after the good start.
Sangakkara ensured that the innings never lost momentum in the middle overs as he hit boundaries at regular intervals. The Punjab captain made it a point to target Mumbai’s best bowlers as he went after Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh.
Despite Yuvraj Singh looking off colour during his 15 from 21 balls before being dismissed by Kieron Pollard, Sangakkara never let Mumbai make a comeback.
He made 56 from 42 balls, with the help of six boundaries and a six, but towards the end he lost his wicket. He chipped compatriot Lasith Malinga straight to Shikhar Dhawan and was naturally quite annoyed at himself to be dismissed close to the end.
Irfan Pathan saw his team home as he hit 15 runs, including the match winning boundary.
Mumbai’s loss has once again thrown the IPL wide open with as many seven teams, except for Punjab, in contention for the semi-finals!!