Pollard blitz wins it for MI

Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler added a match-winning 55 runs in 21 balls, and in the process, dealt a severe blow to RCB's chances of making it past the league stage.

Kieron Pollard's match-winning 19-ball 35 included three fours and two sixes.   -  PTI

Kieron Pollard (35 off 19) and Jos Buttler (29 off 11) kept their cool to guide Mumbai Indians (MI) past Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a crucial encounter here on Wednesday. The duo added a match-winning 55 runs in 21 balls, and in the process, dealt a severe blow to RCB's chances of making it past the league stage. MI, on the other hand, made amends for the 85-run defeat suffered in its previous fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

With a massive six by Buttler, Mumbai reached the modest 152-run target with eight balls to spare.


RCB, on the back of some stellar fielding, stayed in the hunt for the majority of the chase. Stuart Binny flew sideways and grabbed Nitish Rana's slice, while AB de Villiers plucked a catch inches off the ground to take out Ambati Rayadu (44 off 47). At this stage, MI had slipped to 98 for four, but Pollard and Buttler turned the tide.


There were a few swings and misses, but the big shots did connect at regular intervals. Gradually, the two overseas players shut RCB out.

Put in to bat, RCB scrambled to a sub-par score after its big three - Virat Kohli, A.B. de Villiers and Chris Gayle - failed to deliver. It was left to K.L. Rahul to shore up the innings, and the Karnataka lad came through to post his fourth fifty of the tournament.

Rahul showed pluck during his unbeaten 68. In the 15th over, bowled by left-arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan, a bouncer had the two-drop in a real tangle. Rahul regained his composure immediately, and smacked the next delivery for a straight six. An imperial pull to the square-legfence followed, allowing his team to collect 15 runs off the over.

His partner, Shane Watson, fell to a Rohit direct-hit soon after. This brought Sachin Baby to the crease, who put on 53 quick runs in an unfinished fifth-wicket stand with Rahul.

The Mumbai attack kept things tight, on a slow Chinnaswamy Stadium wicket. RCB opener Kohli encountered a rare failure, guiding a McClenaghan delivery to fly slip. Gayle - drafted into the eleven after being dropped in the previous two matches - hoisted a length ball to mid-off. The visiting skipper, who had to peddle back to get under the skier, did well to hold on. De Villiers fared better during his 27-ball 24, but more was expected from RCB's star trio.

Kiwi paceman McClenaghan, who has 15 wickets to his name, snatched the purple cap.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :