Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma credited all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya as the duo’s late blitz powered Mumbai to a massive 191/4.
In reply, Punjab was restricted to 143 for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs.
“Was a great win. We didn’t start really well, but we always knew with the kind of attack Punjab had we wanted to capitalize. Those two guys they back themselves to get the runs, it’s nice to have them in form as well. It wasn’t going to be easy with the ball against KXIP batting line-up. We knew we had to get early wickets and everything went to plan, credit to the bowlers,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation.
Rohit made a fine half-century and in the process reached the 5000-run mark in the IPL.
“Feels nice to get the runs, but the two points matter more,” the Mumbai skipper said.
Pollard, who made an unbeaten 47 off 20 deliveries was named the Player of the Match.
“Feels good. We were on the losing side last game, so we want to come out on the right side today. It’s about what’s there in front of you. Look at the bowlers and see how many you want to get, 15 off the over and then you try to go hard,” Pollard said.
The all-rounder further said: “Yes the Sharjah boundaries are small, but we got to hit them right and execute really well with the ball too. We can bask in glory for now but we have an important game coming up in a couple of days time.”
Losing skipper KL Rahul said that he was disappointed with his team’s effort but said Punjab would come back stronger.
“Obviously disappointing. Looking back, we could’ve been three wins out of four. This game, we made some mistakes. Important we come back stronger,” Rahul said.
The skipper further said that he might consider another bowling option as another couple of losses could harm the team’s chances.
“Another bowling option would be nice – an all-rounder option who can bat and bowl well. Will be sitting with the coaches to decide if we want to play an extra bowler,” he said.
Rahul further heaped praise on Mayank Agarwal who got the Orange Cap.
“Until and unless that orange cap stays with Kings XI I’m happy. He’s (Agarwal) worked very hard and deserves that cap. I’m sure I’ll take it off him soon,” he said.
With 246 runs, Mayank holds the Orange Cap and the Punjab opener said that he is not competing with anyone for the Cap.
“We are not competing for the cap, we are just looking to play some good cricket. It doesn’t matter who gets the runs, be it Rahul, Maxwell, Pooran or anyone else,” Mayank said.
“Runs in the international circuit has given me a lot of confidence. In the lockdown I sat down and looked on how things will work in the T20 template. The thought is just about getting into great positions,” he added.