Like last year, PBKS have been disappointing yet again, unable to put together all-round performances. They managed to sneak in a close win against Rajasthan Royals (RR) but have been poor otherwise. In their last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), a shoddy batting effort saw them lose the game by nine wickets.
Meanwhile, MI have blown hot and cold in IPL 2021, but they have traditionally been slow starters in the competition. After four games, they have registered two wins and as many losses. In their last match, they went down to an impressive Delhi Capitals (DC) team.
In their head-to-head record over PBKS, MI have a slender 14-12 lead. Last season, MI beat PBKS in their first meeting, but the second one needed two Super Overs, following which PBKS emerged victorious.
With PBKS and MI looking to renew acquaintances tonight, let's take a look at the three most impressive bowling performances in matches between the two teams over the years.
#3 Jasprit Bumrah (MI) 3 for 15 - IPL 2018 (in Mumbai)
Jasprit Bumrah is a master in winning close games for MI with the ball. He has already done so twice in the current edition of the IPL.
Back in 2018, the death-overs specialist starred as MI got the better of PBKS by three runs in a close encounter. In a chase of 187, PBKS were cruising at 145 for 1 after 16 overs. But with the first ball of the 17th over, Bumrah sent back the well-set Aaron Finch (46), with the batsman slogging one high up in the air.
In the same over, Bumrah struck again, taking out Marcus Stoinis (1) with a searing bouncer, which the batsman could only glove behind the wickets.
KL Rahul was still around for PBKS, but Bumrah ended his resistance as well. Batting on a marvellous 94 off 60, Rahul toe-ended a slower ball from Bumrah to long-off as PBKS started choking.
It all came down to 17 off the last over bowled by Mitchell McClenaghan. PBKS went hard but fell tantalisingly short of their target. Bumrah’s heroics put a brilliant spell by PBKS pacer Andrew Tye (4 for 16) in the shade.
#2 Harbhajan Singh (MI) 3 for 14 - IPL 2013 (in Mumbai)
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh played a stellar role as MI defended a target of 175 against PBKS in Mumbai during the 2013 edition of the IPL. In a game that went down to the wire, MI eventually won by four runs.
Harbhajan Singh ran through the lower half of the PBKS batting line-up to crush their hopes of a win. He first dismissed Gurkeerat Singh Mann for 2 when the batsman slogged one to cover. Azhar Mahmood (9) tried to flick one but was caught off a leading edge.
The off-spinner claimed his third wicket of the game when Manpreet Gony (0) edged a doosra to the keeper.
Harbhajan Singh's figures of 3 for 14 saw PBKS crumble to 111 for 7 in their chase. David Miller (56 off 34) and Praveen Kumar (24 off 15) kept the chasing team’s hopes alive. However, Kumar was caught off the last ball as MI survived a scare.
Earlier, MI’s score of 174 for 3 was built around captain Rohit Sharma’s sizzling 79 not out off 39 balls, an innings that featured six sixes and as many fours. That was almost not enough, but Harbhajan Singh’s experience saw MI through.
#1 Marcus Stoinis (PBKS) 4 for 15 - IPL 2016 (in Visakhapatnam)
Marcus Stoinis came up with a brilliant bowling performance for PBKS against MI in Visakhapatnam during the 2016 IPL. He claimed fabulous figures of 4 for 15 as PBKS stunned MI by seven wickets.
MI elected to bat first after winning the toss but could only finish with a disappointing 124 for 9 in their allotted 20 overs. Stoinis ran through the strong MI middle order to stunt their progress. The Australian all-rounder first took out Nitish Rana (25) with an off-cutter which was edged behind the wickets.
The dangerous Jos Buttler (9) then holed out to long-off, unable to time a full ball. Krunal Pandya (19) tried to pull Stoinis but only managed to get the ball as far as deep midwicket. MI’s hopes now depended on Kieron Pollard. However, he too perished to Marcus Stoinis, getting cleaned up after missing a slog.
Sandeep Sharma (2 for 11) and Mohit Sharma (2 for 26) also excelled for PBKS as MI endured a poor outing with the bat. Chasing a modest target, PBKS eased home by seven wickets courtesy mature knocks from Murali Vijay (54 not out) and Wriddhiman Saha (56).