Mumbai Indians end three-game losing run in IPL with six-wicket win over Punjab Kings; defending champions move level on points with fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders; Kieron Pollard stars with bat and ball, while Hardik Pandya smashes 40 not out and match-winning six
Last Updated: 28/09/21 7:39pm
Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard’s late show powered Mumbai Indians to a six-wicket victory over Punjab Kings as the defending IPL champions ended a three-game losing streak.
Hardik (40no off 30 balls) and Pollard (15no off 7) smashed an unbeaten stand of 45 from 23 deliveries to take Mumbai to their target of 136 with an over to spare at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Pandya – put down on seven by Harpreet Brar at point – clubbed the match-winning six off Mohammed Shami as Deepak Hooda dropped the ball over the rope at long-on.
Hardik and Pollard had joined forces two balls in the 16th over, at which point Mumbai required 44 from 29 balls to top Kings’ 135-6.
Hardik struck Shami for four and six off successive balls in the 17th over, while Pollard – who had earlier claimed his 300th T20 wicket – did the same to Arshdeep Singh in the 18th after the target had been 27 from 15 deliveries.
Rajasthan vs Bangalore
September 29, 2021, 2:50pm
Pandya then nailed Shami for two fours before clinching his team’s first victory since the IPL resumed in the United Arab Emirates on September 19 with that Hooda-helped six.
Rohit Sharma’s side had been beaten by current table-toppers Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore to drop to seventh in the standings but are now up to fifth on 10 points, behind fourth-placed Kolkata only on net run-rate.
Punjab, two points adrift in sixth, are still in the play-off race, despite slipping to a third defeat in four games and a seventh in 11 matches overall.
Kings were rocked by four wickets for 12 runs on Tuesday once Mandeep Singh (15) was first man out, lbw to Krunal Pandya (1-24) in the sixth over with the score on 36.
Pollard, in his sole over, then had fellow West Indian Chris Gayle caught at long-off before making Kings captain KL Rahul (21) his landmark 300th T20 victim as the batsman gloved to short fine leg.
It was 48-4 when Jasprit Bumrah (2-24) trapped Nicholas Pooran (2) lbw with a superb dipping yorker in the eighth over, only for Aiden Markram (42 off 29) and Deepak Hooda (28 off 26) to put on 61 for the fifth wicket.
Markram was eventually bowled on the sweep by Mumbai leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (1-27) and Kings could only score 26 from the final 4.5 overs as Bumrah and Nathan Coulter-Nile (0-19) bowled tightly at the death.
Mumbai’s chase was dented by two wickets in two balls for Kings leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who had Rohit (8) caught at mid-on and then bowled Suryakumar Yadav (0) through the gate for a golden duck.
Quinton de Kock (27 off 29) and Saurabh Tiwary (45 off 37) rallied their side from 16-2 with a partnership of 45, while Tiwary – who suffered a painful blow when Arshdeep threw the ball into his box – then added 31 with Hardik, albeit at less than a run-a-ball.
Tiwary’s dismissal gave Kings another shot of belief but Hardik and Pollard’s lusty blows ensured Mumbai came out on top and revived their play-off hopes.
The IPL action continues on Wednesday as Rajasthan Royals take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai. Watch live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) from 2.50pm.