Pollard guides Mumbai to four-wicket win despite Badree hat-trick

Kieron Pollard's lusty hitting in a 47-ball 70 that included five sixes steered Mumbai to a four-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Kieron Pollard of the Mumbai Indians hits over the top for six during match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday   -  Sportzpics

Not for nothing does Mumbai Indians pride itself for being a champion outfit. It almost always seems to have the right men for the right occasions. On Friday, it was Kieron Pollard who smashed a 47-ball 70 to take his side to a four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here.

The victory though looked a long shot when MI was reduced to seven for four and then 33 for five chasing 143. RCB seemed to have unearthed its own star of the day in Samuel Badree (4-1-9-4), who was playing his first match after being sidelined for the whole of last season because of a shoulder injury.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The leg-spinner almost won it for RCB with a hat-trick in his second over before Pollard and Krunal Pandya (4-0-21-1 & 37 n.o.) tipped the balance in MI's favour by putting together 93 runs in 57 balls for the sixth wicket.

In spite of being in dire straits, at no point did Pollard and Krunal seem flustered. After having scored at less than six runs per over for much of the innings, they took off with five overs remaining. The 15th and the 16th brought them 30 runs in all with Pollard being brutal on Pawan Negi. It was a hiding from which RCB never recovered.

Earlier, the home side, which was put into bat, brought in Chris Gayle and Badree at the expense of Shane Watson and Billy Stanlake.

Its start however played out in the same way it had against Kings XI Punjab in the last match. If it had allowed the Kings to bowl 22 dots in the six Powerplay overs, it let MI bowl 16. Only 41 runs were scored and 17 of those in a single Tim Southee over.

The MI bowlers tied Virat Kohli (62, 47b, 5x4, 2x6) up by packing the off-side. His first hits to the fence all came on the leg – the two fours and a six he hit Southee for. Gayle too couldn't break the shackles but he added to the misery by eating up deliveries. Harbhajan Singh bowled two overs in the Powerplay for just seven runs.

The arrival of A.B. de Villiers didn't bring much cheer either. The Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal – were at their suffocating best. The latter completed his quota at one shot, conceding a miserly 21 runs. Even de Villiers being dropped at deep mid-wicket by Jos Buttler when on seven didn't matter.

In the 14th ove,r de Villiers and Kohli collected 19 runs off Jasprit Bumrah. But it wasn't momentum-changing. Kohli and de Villiers were gone in back-to-back overs, the latter caught brilliantly by a diving Rohit Sharma at cover.

There was only one more boundary scored off the bat till the end of the innings and none in the last five overs. Pollard heroics not-withstanding, it is this phase that RCB will rue.

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