Fourth straight loss for Punjab

Punjab, last season???s beaten finalists, failed to chase down Mumbai???s score of 172-3 on Sunday afternoon, restricted to 149-7 to sink to a fourth straight loss in this term.

Mumbai, though, have now won three in a row to enter the play-off chase and the 2013 IPL champions??? latest triumph was set up by a ton-plus opening partnership between Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel.

Simmons (71 from 56) and Patel (59 from 36) treated recalled home seamer Mitchell Johnson (1-41 from four overs) with particular disdain, bringing up the hundred stand in the 11th over.

However, Patel holed out in the deep with the score on 111 and some tighter bowling from Kings XI subsequently ensured just 62 runs came from the final eight overs of the innings, a tiring Simmons departing late in the piece after scooping to deep square leg.

Virender Sehwag (two) displayed butterfingers to drop Indians captain Rohit Sharma (26 from 20) and the veteran???s day got worse when he struck Lasith Malinga to point shortly after Punjab began their reply, the out-of-sorts Glenn Maxwell (12) also falling cheaply.

Murali Vijay (39 and David Miller (43 from 37) sparked Kings XI???s innings into life and skipper George Bailey (21 from 18) threatened to take his team close, but the threat was nullified in the main by Harbhajan Singh.

The 34-year-old spinner ended with figures of 1-27 from his four overs ??? an economy rate of 6.75 ??? though a trio of run outs also proved costly for Kings XI, who are now four points adrift of Delhi and Sunrisers at the base of the IPL standings.

Kings XI – who have??suffered defeat in seven of their nine contests – are next in action against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday, while Mumbai welcome Delhi to the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

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