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Winless Mumbai slump to fifth IPL defeat

MUMBAI: Five-time Indian Premier League champions Mumbai Indians crashed to their fifth consecutive defeat on Wednesday, losing by 12 runs to Punjab Kings. Chasing 199 to win, even 18-year-old South African teenager Dewald Brevis’s 49 off 25 balls, with four boundaries and five sixes, was not enough for Mumbai who had won the toss and chose to field first. Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma hit 28 off 17, with two sixes, to give a perfect start to his team’s chase but the middle-order failed to build partnerships.

Sharma fell to Kagiso Rabada’s pace and his opening partner Ishan Kishan lost his wicket to rookie Vaibhav Arora’s swing for just three runs. Suryakumar Yadav, 43 off 30 balls with four sixes, and Tilak Varma, 36 off 20 balls with two sixes, failed to capitalise on their impressive starts as Mumbai crashed to the bottom of the expanded 10-team IPL tournament. Mumbai’s big-hitter Kieron Pollard only scored 10 and was run out to an accurate throw by fellow West Indian Odean Smith.

Smith finished with an impressive 4-30 in his three overs while Rabada took 2-29. “If you’re not winning games, you’ve got to try to find a way you can succeed as a team as a batting group,” Sharma said after the defeat. “So we’re trying to find different ideas, different thought processes. It doesn’t seem to be working at the moment.” For Punjab, Shikhar Dhawan smashed 70 off 50 balls with three sixes and five fours. Dhawan’s opening partner and skipper Mayank Agarwal finally hit some form and made 52 off 32 balls.

Punjab rookies Jitesh Sharma (30) and M Shahrukh Khan (15) took the team to a par score after two quick wickets in the middle overs. Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah was the most impressive Mumbai bowler and finished his four-over spell with one wicket for 28 runs. Jayadev Unadkat, 1-44 in four overs, Basil Thampi, 2-47 in four overs, and Tymal Mills, 0-37 in four overs, were wayward and expensive throughout the Punjab innings. – AFP

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