Despite a change in name (from Kings XI Punjab), it has been the same old story for PBKS this season. After escaping with a narrow win against Rajasthan Royals (RR), they went down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Capitals (DC) before they were emphatically beaten by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Meanwhile, MI have only fared slightly better, winning two of their four games. They began with a last-ball defeat against RCB before registering impressive wins over KKR and SRH. The defending champions lost to DC in their last outing but will start as the favourites against PBKS.
In terms of their head-to-head record, MI enjoy a slender 14-12 lead over PBKS. MI beat PBKS comprehensively in their first meeting last year, but the other one was decided after two Super Overs, with PBKS edging out the defending champions.
With the two teams set to renew acquaintances tonight, let's take a look back at the three most impressive batting performances in PBKS vs MI matches over the years.
#3 Kieron Pollard (MI) 83 off 31 - IPL 2019 (in Mumbai)
Kieron Pollard has played some sensational knocks in the IPL for MI, bringing his brutal big-hitting ability to the fore on numerous occasions. PBKS were at the receiving end of one such incredible innings from Kieron Pollard in IPL 2019.
Set to chase 198 for victory, MI slumped to 94 for 4 at the end of the 12th over. Pollard, though, smashed 83 off only 31 balls to turn the match on its head. Promoting himself to no. 4, the MI captain that day slammed ten sixes and three fours in an exhibition of sensational power-hitting.
Although Pollard was dismissed with four balls to go, Alzarri Joseph (15 not out off 12) took MI home in a thrilling three-wicket triumph.
Ankit Rajpoot and Sam Curran bore the brunt of Pollard’s monster hits. They were taken for 52 and 54 runs respectively in their four overs.
Pollard’s knock meant PBKS opener KL Rahul’s century went in vain. Rahul had made an unbeaten 100 off only 64 balls and featured in a 116-run opening stand with Chris Gayle (63 off 36) as PBKS posted 194 for 4, batting first.
#2 Wriddhiman Saha (PBKS) 93 not out off 51 (IPL 2017) - in Mumbai
Wriddhiman Saha has been one of the surprise success stories of the IPL. A specialist wicketkeeper for India in Tests, he has made his name as a dogged batsman. But Saha has been able to shift gears with ease in the T20 event.
Saha scored an imperious 93 not out of only 55 balls against MI in Mumbai in IPL 2017. After MI asked PBKS to bat first in the game, Saha flourished on a batting beauty, slamming 11 fours and three sixes in his unbeaten knock.
The wicketkeeper-batsman and Martin Guptill (36 off 18) featured in an opening stand of 68 in just 5.3 overs.
Glenn Maxwell came in and hammered a quickfire 47 off 21 as PBKS ended up posting a mammoth 230 for 3 on the board. Mitchell McClenaghan was taken for 45 runs in his four overs, while Harbhajan Singh was blasted for 45 in three.
A strong MI batting lineup went hard at the target. Lendl Simmons made 59 off 32; Kieron Pollard was unbeaten on 50 off 24, while Hardik Pandya smashed a 13-ball 30. However, MI narrowly fell short, losing the high-scoring encounter by seven runs.
PBKS survived despite Mohit Sharma going for 57 runs in his four overs and Matt Henry for 40 in two.
#1 Lendl Simmons (MI) 100 not out off 61 - IPL 2014 (in Chandigarh)
For a few IPL seasons, Lendl Simmons was an inseparable part of MI’s top order, playing some match-winning knocks. One of them came against PBKS when he hit a brilliant unbeaten century.
Simmons scored exactly 100 of 61 balls as MI romped home easily in a chase of 157. The aggressive opener hit 14 fours and two sixes during his knock as MI won the game by seven wickets.
Lendl Simmons single-handedly took MI home after Michael Hussey (6), Ambati Rayudu (17) and Rohit Sharma (18) fell cheaply. In the end, MI won with an over to spare.
Earlier, the MI bowlers did a very good job to restrict PBKS to 156 for 8. Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Gopal claimed two wickets apiece as PBKS never quite got going. Captain George Bailey was the top scorer for PBKS with 39.
PBKS fought hard after posting a fighting total but could not dislodge Simmons, and that made a big difference to the end result.