IPL 2019 MI vs KXIP: Pollard heroics help Mumbai clinch a humdinger

Kieron Pollard smashed 83 off just 31 balls as Mumbai Indians pulled off its highest successful chase at the Wankhede Stadium and registered its third win on the trot.

Kieron Pollard

Kireron Pollard smacks one over the bowler into the stands during his blazing knock of 83 off 31 balls.   -  IPL/Sportzpics

Kieron Pollard stole Kings XI Punjab’s thunder as he played a blistering 31-ball 83 to guide Mumbai Indians to a three-wicket victory at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

Leading the side in the absence of Rohit Sharma — who was rested because of a muscle spasm in his right leg -- Pollard crafted his innings with 10 sixes and three boundaries to help Mumbai bag its third consecutive victory, chasing 198.

K.L. Rahul’s unbeaten century guided Kings XI to 197/4, but Mumbai struggled initially and it was Pollard who held the run-chase together. However, he couldn't stay till the end to finish the job and it was his compatriot Alzarri Joseph who kept his cool to pull off a last-ball thriller.

Highlights: MI vs KXIP

In a stiff chase, Mumbai needed a good start from its openers. But that did not happen. Siddhesh Lad, making his IPL debut, was cleaned up by Mohammed Shami for 15, while his opening partner, Quinton de Kock, also failed to fire after being dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin for 24.

Mumbai was reduced to 94 for 4, but its stand-in captain Pollard brightened Mumbai’s chances by putting up a 41-run partnership with Hardik Pandya. Then Shami brought Punjab back into the game with the quick wickets of Hardik (19) and Krunal (1).

Pollard took control and along with Joseph stitched a 54-run partnership -- who remained unbeaten on 15 and struck the winning runs. Pollard took Sam Curran and Ankit Rajpoot to the cleaners, making sure that the team witnessed no further slip-ups.

After bringing the team strikingly closer to the line, Pollard was caught by David Miller off Rajput in the second ball of the final over. Punjab then needed two off the final ball and Joseph ensured that Pollard's effort didn't go in vain by running the two runs after pushing the ball to long-on.

Read: Rahul slams maiden IPL century

While it was a memorable outing for Mumbai, the day ended on a disappointing note for Rahul, who played a gritty knock of 100 in 64 deliveries -- which is also his maiden ton in the Indian Premier League.

After a rather slow start to the tournament with scores of 4 and 1, Rahul turned it around with three fifties and now this ton which had six boundaries and the same number of sixes.

K.L. Rahul after bringing up his maiden hundred in the Indian Premier League.   -  PTI Photo

 

Rahul put up an opening stand of 116 runs off 77 balls with Chris Gayle after Punjab was put in to bat. While Rahul held fort at the other end, Gayle slammed a 36-ball 63, which was studded with seven sixes and three fours to lay the platform for a big total.

Rahul pushed the pedal after Gayle’s dismissal in the 13th over. Even though, Punjab’s pace slowed down and it lost a couple of wickets quickly, Rahul hammered Pandya for three sixes and a four in the 19th, which yielded the side 25 runs. He kept the momentum going, picking up 13 in the final over to propel the visiting side to 197/4, a competitive total.

But in the end, that had very little impact.