Mohali:Liam Livingstone and Jitesh Sharma slammed scintillating knocks while sharing a decisive 119-run partnership for the fourth wicket and carried Punjab Kings to a massive 214/3 against Mumbai Indians at the IS Bindra PCA Stadium on Wednesday.
At the end of the 12th over, Punjab were 99/3 and a slowdown seemed imminent. But Livingstone brought out his high-risk shots to be not out on 82 off 42 balls, hitting seven fours and four sixes. Jitesh, meanwhile, continued his good form to be unbeaten on 49 off 27 balls, smashing five fours and two sixes.
For Mumbai, barring Piyush Chawla's 2/29, all bowlers were at the receiving end of carnage from Livingstone and Jitesh, who amassed 69 runs off the last five overs as the five-time champions struggled with their death bowling yet again.
Punjab suffered an early blow when Prabhsimran Singh slashed away from his body off Arshad Khan, but the thick outside edge was caught behind by Ishan Kishan in the second over. Matthew Short feasted on short balls from Arshad by pulling him for four and six respectively, before tickling a fuller delivery through fine leg for a boundary.
Shikhar Dhawan, who got going with a gorgeous cover drive off Cameron Green in the opening over, welcomed Chawla with a loft down the ground and a sweep through deep square leg to pick back-to-back fours.
After being dropped by Jofra Archer at short third man in the seventh over, Dhawan then launched another four down the ground off Chawla in the eighth over. But on the very next ball, the leg-spinner had the last laugh by beating a charging-down-the-ground Dhawan with a googly and getting him easily stumped.
Livingstone was quick off the blocks, guiding Chawla past keeper for four, followed by thumping and swiping debutant pacer Akash Madhwal for four and six respectively. But Chawla struck again with his googly and bowled slower through the air to rattle Short's off-stump.
Jitesh had a rollicking start to his knock - smashing Archer over wide long-off, a thick outside edge flying past short third man and pull going past deep mid-wicket to take three fours off a 21-run 13th over.
Livingstone, meanwhile, was back to feasting on Arshad's deliveries, steering and cutting short balls with ease, before slicing a yorker between point and short third man to hit three boundaries in the 15th over.
Then came Jitesh's turn to take runs off Arshad in the 17th over - slamming a length ball down the ground for a huge six, followed by launching a full toss over the bowler's head for a boundary.
After Livingstone got his fifty in 32 balls with a stunning cover drive off Madhwal, he smacked Archer for a hat-trick of sixes in the 19th over - hammering twice over long-on while smacking one down the ground as Punjab crossed 200-mark.
Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 214/3 in 20 overs (Liam Livingstone 82 not out, Jitesh Sharma 49 not out; Piyush Chawla 2/29, Arshad Khan 1/48) against Mumbai Indians