IPL 2023: Arshdeep proves bowlers can also shine in high-scoring thrillers

Punjab’s decisive victory after their loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore has thrown open the race for the playoffs

by

Leslie Wilson Jr

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Arshdeep Singh of Punjab Kings celebrates the wicket of Nehal Wadhera of Mumbai Indians. — IPL
Arshdeep Singh of Punjab Kings celebrates the wicket of Nehal Wadhera of Mumbai Indians. — IPL

Published: Sat 22 Apr 2023, 10:57 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Apr 2023, 10:58 PM

Another decisive final over and yet another electrifying end to an absolute potboiler of a match. This year’s IPL is setting unimaginable new standards that can only propel the franchise-based T20 league to even greater heights.

How often over the past three weeks have we seen a match go down to the wire as Saturday’s thriller between Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians did before Indian pacer Arshdeep Singh’s two explosive fireballs clinched victory for the former.

Mumbai was attempting to do what no team has ever done at the Wankhade Stadium and that was to chase down a total of 200 plus to win.

And although they gave it a good shot, it was not to be as they would fall short by 13 runs.

Here are five highlights from a match that produced an incredible 415 runs.

Two outstanding deliveries

After Singapore-born Australian cricketer Tim David smashed Mukesh Kumar for a 114-meter six, the second biggest of the tournament in the 19th over, the momentum appeared to have swung decidedly in Mumbai’s favour.

But Arshdeep had other ideas. In the space of two magical deliveries, he sealed the match for Punjab, first breaking the dangerous Tilak Varma’s middle stump and then clean bowling Nehal Wadhera of the next.

And in an instant, it was all over.

David’s late heroics (25 off 13) went in vain as Arsheep finished with outstanding figures of four for 29.

In the hunt

Other than Arsheep’s standout performance with the ball batters almost completely dominated the match.

It was always evident that Mumbai would need its top order to deliver some huge scores and they did not disappoint. Skipper Rohit Sharma showed the way with a 22-ball knock of 44 in the company of Cameron Green (67 off 43) before the ultra-classy Suryakumar Yadav hit a majestic 57 off 27 deliveries.

But even in the face of this onslaught, Punjab skipper Sam Curran marshaled his resources well even to the extent of employing seven bowlers to derail Mumbai. And it worked.

History in five overs

After Piyush Chawla bagged two wickets in a single over midway through the innings, Punjab had its back against the ropes at 83 for four.

But Sam Curran, who has been a revelation wearing the captain’s hat, played an inspirational innings and with the help of a reborn Harpreet Singh Bhatia was able to launch a massive total of 213 for eight.

And they went about it with calm and confidence relying on singles and two before feasting on Arjun Tendulkar for 31 runs in an over that put them firmly in the driver’s seat.

Jitesh blitzkrieg

In today’s slam-bam franchise cricket time is money and perhaps nobody knows that better than Jitesh Sharma who is proving to be one of the finds of the tournament as a finisher.

Adopting a baseball-style approach, Sharma took on the Mumbai bowling as soon as he arrived at the crease smashing 25 runs off just seven balls including sixes off the first two balls he faced.

Babe Ruth would have been impressed with the way Punjab’s wicketkeeper-batsman pummeled maximums as if there was no tomorrow.

Playoffs thrown open

Punjab’s decisive victory after their last-match loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore has thrown open the race for the playoffs approaching the halfway stage of the tournament.

The win pushed them into fifth place, albeit it has played seven matches together with Lucknow Super Giants, while the eight other sides have only played six games.

Brief scores:

Punjab Kings beats Mumbai Indians by 13 runs

Punjab Kings 214/8 (Sam Curran 55, Harpreet Singh 41, Atharva Taide 29, Prabhsimran Singh 26, Jitesh Sharma 25; Piyush Chawla 2-15, Cameron Green 2-41)

Mumbai Indians 201/6 (Cameron Green 67, Suryakumar Yadav 57, Rohit Sharma 44, Tim David 25; Arshdeep Singh 4/29)

Man-of-the-match: Sam Curran


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