KL Rahul’s maiden Indian Premier League hundred went in vain after Kieron Pollard powered Mumbai Indians toa sensational 3-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
Chasing 198, MI were 65 for 3 off 10 overs but Pollard’s fireworks stunned KXIP who were the more dominant team for the first 30 overs of the match.
Pollard’s knock was studded with 3 fours and 10 sixes. Thanks to his blitz, Mumbai Indians scored 133 runs off the final 10 overs of the innings to record a memorable win.
KL Rahul was unbeaten on 100 off 64 balls while Chris Gayle blasted 63 off 36 balls as Kings XI Punjab posted 197 for 4 off their 20 overs. The pair added 116 for the opening wicket and lost their way in the middle when Davud Miller, Karun Nair and Sam Curran fell in quick succession.
Faced with a steep chase in the absence of Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians got off to a poor start. Mohammed Shami removed Rohit’s replacement and debutant Siddesh Lad during a brilliant first spell of 2-0-4-1.
Suryakumar Yadav fell to Sam Curran in the 8th over of the MI innings and R Ashwin got rid of Quinton de Kock to leave the hosts reeling by the 9th over.
Half-way into their chase, Mumbai Indians were 65 for 3 with Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard at the crease.
Mumbai Indians needed a special effort from Kieron Pollard to stay in the hunt for 198. And that is precisely what he did. He stunned KXIP with a flurry of sixes as R Ashwin conceded 30 runs off his final 2 overs after bowling the first 2 for only 7.
Sam Curran brilliantly ran Ishan Kishan out but Pollard’s presence meant Mumbai Indians still hoped.
Mohammed Shami struck with the first ball of his second spell to remove Hardik Pandya who promised to be an able ally for Kieron Pollard.
Three balls later, Shami dismissed Krunal Pandya but Pollard stormed to his first fifty of the season off 22 balls in the next over from Sam Curran and Mumbai Indians, at that stage, needed 40 off 18 balls.
Mumbai only had 4 wickets in hand and Pollard had to farm the strike. But he was unstoppable Wednesday night. In the 19th over, Pollard hit Sam Curran for a 4, refused a single and then smashed two successive sixes before finally giving Alzharri Joseph the strike on the ffith ball.
.@mipaltan beat KXIP by 3 wickets on the last ball!
IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 10, 2019
15 runs were needed off the last over.
Ankit Rajpoot bowled a no-ball first up and Pollard hit it for a six. He hit a four off the free-hit and was out in the second legal delivery of the over with MI needing 4 runs off 4 balls with 3 wickets in hand.
It was a cliffhanger alright as MI needed 2 off the final over. Joseph drove Rajpoot straight down the ground and ran two runs to give Mumbai Indians victory.
Earlier in the evening, Kieron Pollard, standing in for Rohit Sharma as Mumbai Indians captain, won the toss and opted to bowl.
KL Rahul and Chris Gayle, both in good form, got off to a sedate start but Gayle took off and looked set for his 7th IPL hundred when he fell to Jason Behrendorff for 63. This was his second fifty of the 2019 IPL.
After Gayle’s dismissal, KXIP lost 3 more wickets for 20 runs. It looked like Mumbai Indians had pulled things back a little before KL Rahul exploded in the penultimate over of the innings.
He smashed Hardik Pandya for a 6, 4, 6 and 6 to move into the 90s before bringing up his maiden IPL hundred off 63 balls in the 20th over bowled by Jasprit Bumrah.