Pollard’s blistering knock helps MI beat Sunrisers by 7 wkts
Kieron Pollard’s blistering unbeaten 27-ball 66 today all but assured Mumbai Indians of a play-off berth after the hosts defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets in their Pepsi Indian Premier League match.
Chasing 179 to win, Pollard snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as the big-hitting West Indian smashed six huge sixes off successive overs bowled by Thisara Perera and Amit Mishra to bring down the equation from 62 required off 24 balls to 13 off 12.
Pollard was at his destructive best as he decisively swung the match in his team’s favour after Sachin Tendulkar was retired hurt for a 31-ball 38 in the 12th over and Mumbai lost two quick wickets to be left starnded at 100 for three in 14 overs.
But Pollard had other ideas in his mind as he forged an unconquered 85-run partnership in just 37 deliveries for the fourth wicket with skipper Rohit Sharma, who made an unbeaten 15-ball 20, to romp his side home with three balls to spare.
Sharma was reduced to a mere spectator as it was Pollard, who took the onus on himself and decorated his innings with two fours and eight massive sixes.
Till the 16th over, the script was perfectly going the way Sunrisers wanted it but Pollard changed the complexion of the game with his power hitting.
Pollard finished the game in style, hitting two sixes off the final over.
Mumbai, with 20 points from 14 games, leapfrogged to the top of the points table with better net run-rate (+0.636) while Sunrisers’ campaign suffered a major jolt with their sixth defeat in the tournament, which left them placed at fifth position behind Royal Challengers Bangalore with 16 points.
Sunrisers’ run-rate is -0.117 at the moment and weakest among the top five teams.
Mumbai’s victory means defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders lived to survive another day as they still have an outside chance of making the play-offs. But for that to happen, they need to win their remaining tournament fixtures by a big margin.