George Bailey smiles. George Bailey smiles when he smashes one of the best bowlers in world cricket for 28 runs in an over in test cricket and he smiles when he could not buy a run and is awfully out of form. George Bailey smiles when he shares a joke with the opposing captain and he smiles when he sledges the batsman from short-leg with his helmets on. George Bailey smiles when he takes his national team to the top ranking in ODI cricket and he smiles when he gets chucked out of the same team that he had lead for two years in the middle of a World Cup campaign. In short, George Bailey always smiles.

But Harbhajan Singh almost managed to wipe that smile off his face on Sunday night. When Harbhajan came to the crease, Mumbai Indians needed 119 runs from 38 balls with only four wickets in hand. A manic session of hitting ensued and it saw 100 runs added in six overs to give the full house at the Wankhede some reason to  cheer.

As Harbhajan recorded the fastest ever IPL fifty by a Mumbai Indians player, off 19 balls, the Kings XI captain looked a bit flustered. He waved his hands around, got the ball in his hand after it was returned from the crowd following each blow and continuously talked with his bowlers who had lost the plot against this unexpected surge by Harbhajan. But thankfully for Bailey, the asking rate was too much and Harbhajan ran out of steam in the end and Kings XI Punjab got their 2015 IPL season on track with an 18-run victory over the hosts Mumbai Indians.

Bailey got his batting order – and batting – sorted

The win was set up by the captain himself. Bailey promoted himself to number 5 and got the explosive Miller in at number 4 after the experimentation with the batting order costed the team the last match against Rajasthan Royals. He stayed not out at the end and his 62 off 31 balls was invaluable in Kings XI posting 177 on the board.

Bailey benefitted from the freedom to take a few balls to settle in and that helped him to regain his timing and touch. Kings XI lost Miller at a crucial stage in the 16th over for 24. But Bailey shifted his gears in the slog overs to score 38 from the last 16 balls he faced and did not let the momentum drift away.

He spared no one. When Lasith Malinga tried to slip in the yorker, he clobbered the resulting full toss over square leg. When young spinner Suchith beat him in flight, he went with the shot and cleared the long-on boundary comfortably. When Vinay Kumar gifted him a juicy full ball, he clobbered it over long-on for another maximum that went longer than the previous one.

Sehwag – stunning and breathtaking as long as he lasted

Before the Bailey show, the spectators were entertained by an opening blitz by Virender Sehwag, which invoked memories of his golden days. Sehwag was particularly severe on Vinay Kumar. In his second over, Sehwag inside edged the first ball for four, took full toll on the second one that drifted on to his pads and hoisted over square leg for six and in the next ball, he opened the face of  the bat to get it behind backward point for another boundary. The majestic timing, the beauty of minimalism in batting; it was all there today.

But now we have reached a stage where we should accept that good things come in small packages with regards to Sehwag's batting. He perished trying to go for a six off Harbhajan Singh, mistiming the shot completely and presenting a simple catch to Kieron Pollard at long-on for a breezy 36 off 19 balls. In fact, it has been a running theme with Sehwag in the IPL. In last year's edition, he reached 30-run mark seven times but managed to cross 40 only twice, once in the much talked about semi-final century against Chennai Super Kings.

The opening bowling salvo shut the door on the Mumbai Indians

After 10 overs into their chase, Mumbai Indians were at 32 for 4. The opening bowlers of Kings XI impressed once again and did not allow the batsmen to get away. On a pitch where the ball was coming nicely onto the bat, the bowlers needed to get off to a good start and the wicket of Rohit Sharma, who was coming into the match after a splendid 98 not out against Kolkata Knight Riders, in the first over itself gave the team the boost they needed.

There was no respite for the batsmen even when the opening bowlers were taken out as they had to confront the menace of Mitchell Johnson. He once again tuned out to be too hot to handle. His second ball accounted for Aaron Finch who played down the wrong line to a ball that angled in. Ambati Rayudu nicked one fuller delivery behind, going for an unconvincing drive. The extra pace is helping Johnson to get wickets with deliveries like these which are otherwise pretty innocuous.

Wankhede, the fortress of Mumbai Indians was transformed into a torture cell by the Kings XI bowlers until Harbhajan came in and tried to break the shackles and free the spirits of the team.

The fifth bowler problem persists for Kings XI

Kings XI still need to sort out their issues with the fifth bowling option. Rishi Dhawan, the allrounder who had come in for the profligate Karanveer Singh, did not fare any better as he was at the receiving end of most of the Harbhajan onslaught. His figures read 4-0-50-0.

The team's roster is not empty either. They should try out Yogesh Golwalkar, a 35-year-old former first class leg spinner from Madhya Pradesh. Given the way the IPL has turned out to be fruitful for wily old customers like Pravin Tambe, given a chance, Golwalkar might turn out to be the solution for Kings XI's fifth bowler woes.