Although the Indian Premier League is going down to the wire with still no spots confirmed for the Playoffs and several teams in similar situations, Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings showed a great sporting gesture during a high-voltage IPL 2021 clash on Tuesday. It all unfolded in the final ball of the sixth over of the Punjab innings being bowled by Krunal Pandya.
While Chris Gayle was on strike, Krunal delivered a full-length ball into the blockhole. The Universe Ball struck it straight to KL Rahul at the non-striker's end and it deflected off Rahul's leg and came into the hands of the bowler who dislodged the bails and tried to run -out Rahul. However, almost instantaneously, Krunal as well as captain Rohit Sharma withdrew the appeal as a sporting gesture.
Later, KL Rahul was seen flashing thumbs up to his opponents for their gesture. The video of the incident is doing the rounds on the internet.
Check it out here:
Talking about the match, with both teams on 8 points from 10 matches before this game, it is a must-win game for both teams if they want to be the masters of their own destiny as far as Playoff qualification is concerned. The teams would want to finish with 16 points and need to win all the matches including this, to finish there.
However, a defeat here for either team would mean they would have to hope for several other results to go their way for them to secure a playoff berth. Opting to bowl first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai have managed to keep Punjab down to 135/6. Although Aiden Markram was the top-scorer for the Punjab side and finished with 29-ball 42, the KL Rahul-led side struggled for any kind of momentum whatsoever in the final few overs.
In fact, Punjab's last boundary came in the 16th over, courtesy of a superb bowling effort from the MI bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah (2/24) and Kieron Pollard (2/8) were the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai while Nathan Coulter-Nile was miserly and conceded just 19 from his 4.
After having bundled out for just 111 in their last innings, it would be interesting to see if Mumbai can manage to chase it down successfully. On the other hand, Punjab have successfully defended 125 in their previous match.