“The teams have gone back to the end of the world and come back.” said Mark Nicholas on air and no statement can ever explain it better. Kings XI Punjab held their nerve to finish on the winning side yet again. The fightback from the Mumbai Indians was too good to be undermined, but they failed to emerge victorious in the super over. Not once, but twice. The teams remained unseparated through their allotted 20 overs as well as the first super over. While the moment was reminiscent of the World Cup 2019 finals, the change in rule had come just in time. Cricket’s first ever double super over, staged at cricket’s greatest T20 carnival was an absolute ecstasy to watch. A cricket fan traversed through every single cricketing emotion through the entire encounter and I, like most of us, remain out of words even as I type.
Just the best game in the #Dream11IPL. Actually, maybe, ever. Both teams had chances, both teams blew them, both had great performances and between them they gave us a spectacle!
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 18, 2020
Kings XI Punjab had managed to mess up another winning run-chase but a few good hits from Deepak Hodda and some good fortune allowed them to scramble through to a tie. The stupendously crafted innings from the two wicket keepers, De Kock and Rahul, had set stage in either innings earlier. Krunal Pandya and Chris Gayle lent both openers support respectively. While Pollard and Coulter-Nile gave Mumbai the required boost by the end of the first innings, Punjab lost theirs to Boult and Bumrah by the end of the second. In fact, Mumbai Indians who defended 4 off 4 balls in the original run-chase, courtesy of Trent Boult, themselves failed to score 6 in the consequent first super-over.
The credit ought to be given to Mohammad Shami and KL Rahul for a pitch-perfect execution of the plans though. Jasprit Bumrah had already shown his abilities bowling 6 straight and quick yorkers in the first super over. His six balls had yielded only five runs and Mumbai batters, Rohit and de Kock were just a hit away from victory. However, Shami in what seemed to be a replication of Bumrah’s consistency and skill, nailed six more yorkers helping level the score in the first super over as well. One could only wonder what the atmosphere would be had the match happened in a stadium full of spectators. Having said, every single Mumbai and Punjab fan extended their weekend to watch this piece of art finish.
"This is sport. It can get hard but you definitely can't live without it" – Mayank Agarwal sums it up perfectly.#IPL2020 #MIvKXIP
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) October 18, 2020
In the second super over, Mumbai were to bat first. The nerves burst through everyone, evenn the umpires as a confusion in the rules resulted in a delayed start. Pollard and Hardik Pandya who took strike against Chris Jordan were determined to go big right from the word go. However, Jordan who is regarded as England’s T20 specialist back home, bowled to the plans and only gave away only 11 off his six balls. Pollard, who tried to go big a couple of times, only managed a solitary boundary. The mind-blowing effort on the boundary by Mayank Agarwal off the last ball saved four important runs for his side, perhaps the most deciding moment of all. The Karnataka right-hander stretched full-length to flick the ball back into play mid-air. Not only did it help reduce the team’s target but also gave him the confidence to go back and finish the task with the bat.
The required start was provided by ‘The Universe Boss – Chris Gayle’ hitting Boult over long-on for a maximum first ball of the ultimate run-chase. With only 5 needed of 4 balls, Mayank Agarwal drilled one through the off side for a boundary and followed it up with another on the leg over mid-wicket. He overcame the hauntings of Punjab’s first match against Delhi and stood his ground till the very end. Overall, the win is sure to give the Kings XI some hope and some confidence. More importantly, it is sure to give them two more points keeping their thread just about hanging in this competition.
Punjab, Chennai, Hyderabad and Rajasthan are all now in a must-win situation. The drama does not cease to exist but it wouldn’t be a surprise to find out the Top 4 much earlier than expected.