IPL

Pollard and Pandya power Mumbai Indians past Punjab Kings

By Sports Desk September 28, 2021

Mumbai Indians put an end to a three-game losing streak to boost their play-off hopes in the Indian Premier League, beating Punjab Kings by six wickets. 

Saurabh Tiwary made 45 and Hardik Pandya hit an unbeaten 40 as the reigning champions overhauled their opponents' score of 135-6 with an over to spare on Tuesday. 

Looking to beat Mumbai for a third time in a row – a feat they had not managed since a run between the 2008-09 seasons – Punjab Kings simply failed to fire with the bat. They appeared to be making solid progress when their opening pair reached 36 without loss, only to then lose four wickets for the addition of just 12 runs.

Kieron Pollard claimed two in one over, including dismissing fellow West Indian Chris Gayle for one. Captain KL Rahul followed soon after, hitting a slower bouncer straight to Jasprit Bumrah at short fine leg to depart for 21. 

Aiden Markram led a recovery of sorts, finishing as the top scorer in the innings with 42. Deepak Hooda contributed 28 while Harpreet Brar ended up unbeaten on 14, though both struggled to up the run-rate in the closing overs. 

Ravi Bishnoi provided hope for Punjab Kings by dismissing Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav with successive deliveries in the powerplay, but Pollard came out at number six in the order to rush his team to victory, making 15 not out from just seven balls.

 

Bowlers help dethrone Kings 

Mumbai Indians have lost 13 games against Punjab Kings in the history of the IPL, the joint-most for the franchise against any rival in the tournament. 

However, they came out on top this time thanks mainly to their bowling attack. Krunal Pandya and Bumrah both claimed 1-24, while Nathan Coulter-Nile's four-over stint conceded just 19 runs. 

All-round excellence in Abu Dhabi 

Pollard may be better known for his big-hitting exploits with the bat, but the all-rounder has now reached the milestone of 300 wickets in Twenty20 cricket, meaning he becomes the first player to achieve both that feat and also score 10,000 runs in the format.

He dismissed Gayle for just the second time in T20 action, tempting the left-hander to have a go at a slower delivery that only ended up in the safe hands of Hardik Pandya. 

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