Kieron Pollard, the Mumbai Indians all-rounder, played a dazzling knock of 83 runs off just 31 balls on Wednesday to take his team over the line in a thrilling match against Kings XI Punjab, in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
A leg spasm had forced Rohit to miss an IPL game for the first time in 11 seasons when he set out of Mumbai's last game against Kings XI Punjab.
Kings XI Punjab: Lokesh Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Karun Nair, Moises Henriques, Varun Chakravarthi, Harpreet Brar, Simran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Hardus Viljoen, Ankit Rajpoot, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Agnivesh Ayachi. The duo started slowly but exploded from the fifth over onwards. They had withstood an assault from Chris Gayle and a century from KL Rahul to fight back and take the points. The rest of the batsmen lost their way.
Rahul too was struggling to accelerate, leaving Punjab with a real danger of a slow finish.
Rahul carried his bat though the innings and ended with an unbeaten 100 off 64 deliveries. It is a must-win for Rajasthan to keep a healthy chance of playoff berth, while a win for Mumbai would take them to their fourth straight win and will help them consolidate their top-three position.
When Pollard came in to bat in the eighth over, Mumbai Indians required 142 to win in 12.2 overs, which means the asking rate was 11.5 per over. From then onwards, it was a Pollard show.
Joseph, who snatched a record-breaking six-wicket haul in his previous match, sent down two overs for 22 runs. Yadav scored 15 runs, Kishan scored Seven runs while Pandya scored 19 runs. The Royals desperately need to win as another defeat would literally throw them out of the competition. With four runs required Mitchell Santner smashed Ben Stokes for six. Even though he got out in the next ball, the remaining batsmen ensured that this effort was not wasted. Someone also needs to tell him he is not the best man to bowl the final over of the match! "We had a couple of bowlers whom we had to target and we did that and got the much needed two points chasing down 198", he said matter-of-factly. "I Just love the way he bats and I can watch him bat every single day".
MI enter the match high on confidence following successive victories over holders Chennai Super Kings and last edition's finalists Sunrisers Hyderabad.