Mumbai Indians registered their third successive win this season and it was all due to their stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard that they were able to pull off a terrific result in their favour against Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday as the home team won by 3 wickets at the Wankhede stadium.
Mumbai needed 198 runs to win but got off to a poor start with openers Siddhesh Lad, Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav back in the hut inside the first 10 overs.
Kieron Pollard then joined the run chase and slowly but surely, started to bring Mumbai back in the run chase along with Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and Alzarri Joseph.
Pollard added 32 runs with Kishan for the fourth wicket, 41 runs with Hardik for the fifth and then 54 with Joseph for the 7th to take Mumbai within touching distance of the target.
The burly West Indian was dismissed in the second ball of the last over with four needed for victory from final five balls.
Alzarri Joseph (15 not out), who added a crucial 54 runs in 23 balls with Pollard for the seventh wicket, and Rahul Chahar (1) managed to hold their nerves to take side past the finish line.
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Pollard, who was leading Mumbai Indians in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, dedicated the win to his wife.
“I would like to thank God. Need to thank him for giving strength to me for doing the things that I do. Also love to thank my wife, it’s her birthday today and I want to dedicate this to her. I went up the order because I enjoy batting at Wankhede.
“Plan was to attack Ashwin as spin wasn’t doing great. Unfortunately it didn’t happen but it was about staying calm. Was a difficult pitch to bowl on and good to bat on, so we did well with the ball after the start they got. We did pull things back in the middle overs a bit but lost the plot at the end.
“Again, can’t be harsh on the bowlers. We finished on the right end of the result and thanks to God for that to. Obviously, Rohit is the captain of the team and it was only a precautionary measure for the team. He should be back in the next game. I would gladly give it back to him and field at the boundary, while also thinking of what to contribute to the team,” Pollard said after picking up the man-of-the-match award.
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Pollard’s pyrotechnics stole the thunder from Kings XI openers K L Rahul who had carried his bat through with an unbeaten 100 in 64 balls with the help of six fours and as many sixes and his opening partner Chris Gayle who smashed 63 in 36 balls with seven sixes and three fours.
The victory was the third in a row for MI and took their tally to eight from six games while Kings XI suffered their third defeat in seven games.