Mumbai might have won against KKR in a thrilling contest at the Wankhede Stadium but their batting weakness in the first 12 overs was a repeat script of their several earlier innings. When Rohit Sharma was foxed by a straight ball from Sunil Narine, Mumbai were pathetically placed at 79/4 and that did not inspire chances of reaching a challenging target. KKR had won the toss and asked MI to bat first. Mumbai had lost Parthiv Patel, Lendl Simmons and Ambati Rayudu inside the first 7 overs and they had only reached 47/3. Though Kieron Pollard and Rohit added 32 afterwards, they couldn’t prop up the scoring rate until Hardik Pandya joined Pollard after Rohit’s departure. For a pleasant change, it was Pandya, who played the stellar role and Pollard was content in providing him support from the other end. These two carried the score to 171/4 at the end of 20 overs. Against KKR’s strong batting, this score was really not enough. But MI turned the tables in the end despite KKR coming tantalizingly close. For the victory in the final over, KKR needed just 12 runs. It was here that Rohit Sharma played his trump card. He called Kieron Pollard. Off the first ball, Pollard got rid of the dangerous Yusuf Pathan and though he conceded a boundary afterwards, he produced three successive dot balls in the end and Mumbai Indians wrapped up a 5-run victory to the delight of the packed Wankhede crowd.
Gautam Gambhir won the toss and took to the field. Though Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons notched up 29, they took the innings to the fifth over. That was a slow beginning for the power-play session, during which Parthiv Patel got out for 21. With Simmons and Rayudu also getting out in the 6th and 7th overs, Mumbai regressed to a paltry 47/3. Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard came together with the hope of accelerating but they couldn’t get going either. Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel and Shakib-Al-Hasan bowled tight spells and runs dried up. Sunil Narine proved expensive in the end but he tied down Rohit and Pollard in his initial spell. The way he bowled Rohit in the 12th over was a spinner’s delight. As Mumbai reeled at 79/4 in the 12th over and Pollard not finding his shots, the home team were destined to end up with a low score. Like in the past, Mumbai got lucky to find a savior. For the second time this IPL, Hardik Pandya’s explosive batting lifted Mumbai out of the woods. He overlooked the fact that his colleagues had found difficult to score as he began striking on arrival. It was odd for MI fans as they watched Kieron Pollard playing a support cast to Pandya. Runs began flowing from Pandya’s bat as he smashed KKR bowlers to all corners. In 31 balls that came his way, Pandya struck 8 fours and 2 sixes and raced to 61. Pollard was content to watch the youngster reeling off his shots at the other end as Mumbai finished their 20 overs at 171/4.
Coming out to chase 172 for victory, KKR were business-like in reaching 45 in the 6th over before Robin Uthappa was taken out by Harbhajan Singh. In the same over, Manish Pandey also fell as a run-out victim to a direct throw from Lendl Simmons. But Gambhir went on until the 11th over with Yusuf Pathan before he was bowled by Jagadeesha Suchith. KKR had reached 88/3 by then. Pathan was playing powerfully and he had Shakib-Al-Hasan for company. The two carried the score to 118 before Shakib-Al-Hasan got out in the 15th over. KKR were still cruising along and Pathan’s stay gave them hope. But Andre Russell and Surya Yadav fell cheaply and Pathan ran out of partners. The game became even in the 18th over with KKR requiring 28 off 17 and Pathan had Piyush Chawala for company. Some lusty hitting by Pathan brought the equation to 12 off the last over, for which Rohit Sharma took an amazing decision to call Kieron Pollard. With the first ball, Pollard removed Pathan to send MI supporters in a frenzy. Umesh Yadav struck a boundary of the next ball and ran for one off the third to bring Chawala to deal with Pollard. With the West Indian producing three dot balls and Chawala failing to connect each time, Mumbai romped home with a sweet 5-run victory. With this result, Mumbai moved into the top four while the Knight Riders were sorely disappointed.
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