Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard have acted as their reliable finishers in T20 cricket for the first time in the second leg of the Indian Premier League.
Thanks to Hardik (No. 40, 30B, 4×4, 2×6) and Pollards (No. 15, 7B, 1×4, 1×6), an unbroken partnership of 45 off 23 balls, MI has confirmed that the bowling unit and Sourav Tiwary have made it an impressive one. The first performance was not in vain as Rohit Sharma & Co chased down the target of 136 runs with six wickets and many balls remaining.
The win at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium – Mumbai’s first win in the fourth attempt since the tournament resumed – has kept MI’s hopes of defending the title alive, dealing a major blow to PBKS ‘bid for a place in the play-offs.
When Pollard added Hardin in the middle of Tiwary (45, 37b, 3×4, 2×6) য who replaced Ishan Kisan out of form-was caught by Nathan Ellis in the 16th over. MI needed 44 off 29 balls.
Hardik, who was bowled out by left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh in the first over, took time before targeting Mohammad Shami in the 17th over. When Pollard trailed Arshadip in the 1st, Hardik hit a six to Shamim, who should have been caught by Deepak Hooda at the long-on boundary.
Hooda (28, 26b, 1×4, 1×6) cannot be blamed for the loss as he and Aiden Markram (42, 29b, 6×4) put on a 61-run stand for the fifth wicket to stabilize the PBKS composition. Thanks to MI for taking four wickets for just 12 off 14 balls, Punjab scored 48 for four in the eighth over.
Pollard Chris Gayle (long-on catch) and captain K.L. Rahul (slow ball catch at short fine) says three. Rahul’s wicket means Pollard is the first cricketer to double 10,000 runs and 300 wickets in T20 cricket.
And Pollard has confirmed that he celebrated the great occasion by playing his part with Willow.
AS THEY SAID
KL Rahul, PBKS Captain: It was a great fight but 135 runs on this pitch was not enough. We should have scored about 170 runs. The boys showed a lot of struggle with the ball, we played two matches in a row. The table looks interesting The next three matches will be interesting for us.
Rohit Sharma, MI Captain: We agree that we did not play to the best of our ability but it is a long tournament and we have to abide by our plan and it is very important to read the conditions and we can take a lot of confidence from it. It is important not to lose the guard.
Kieron Pollard, Player of the Match: It was very important for me to get my 300th wicket, which was KL (Rahul). I know what I can do in every aspect of the game. I would be more than happy to do what the team wants from me.