Pollard’s 83 off 31 seals unlikely Mumbai Indians win

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Mumbai Indians stand-in captain Kieron Pollard's sensational 83-run knock included three fours and 10 sixes. (Hindustani Times photo)

MUMBAI, India (CMC) – Captain Kieron Pollard struck a magnificent half-century but it was an unruffled Alzarri Joseph who stole a share of the honours, as he scampered a couple off the last ball of the match, to hand Mumbai Indians a dramatic three-wicket win over Chris Gayle’s Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here yesterday.

Starting the final over requiring 15 runs to overhaul their target of 198 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai looked certain for the win when Pollard blasted a six off the first ball – a no-ball – from seamer Ankit Rajpoot and then lashed the resulting free hit for four.

With just four runs needed from five balls, Pollard holed out to deep mid-wicket for a top score of 83 off just 31 deliveries.

Joseph, who ended on an invaluable 15 not out off 13 balls, was kept scoreless off the third ball before getting a single off the fourth, and when Rahul Chahar squeezed a single into the deep, it left Mumbai needing two from the final ball.

However, Antiguan Joseph kept his composure to punch Rajpoot down the ground and claim a memorable win for the hosts.

Veteran Gayle had earlier struck 63 off 36 balls as Kings XI reached 197 for four off their 20 overs, after being sent in.

The left-hander struck three fours and seven sixes but was outshone by opening partner Lokesh Rahul who carved out a brilliant unbeaten even hundred off 64 balls, striking half-dozen fours and sixes.

Crucially, the pair put on 116 for the first wicket before Rahul combined with Mandeep Singh (seven not out) to add a further 46 in an unbroken fifth stand and give Kings XI a strong end to their innings.

Joseph, who snatched a record-breaking six-wicket haul in his previous match, sent down two overs for 22 runs.

In reply, Mumbai found themselves in trouble at 94 for four at the end of the 12th over despite 24 from Quinton de Kock and 21 from Suryakumar Yadav.

But Pollard, leading Mumbai for the first time in the absence of Rohit Sharma, promoted himself to number four and revived the innings, adding 41 for the fifth wicket with Hardik Pandya (19) and a further 54 with Joseph for the seventh wicket.

All told, the right-handed Pollard blasted three fours and 10 sixes as he raced to his first half-century of the season off 22 deliveries.

With the victory, Mumbai moved up to third on eight points while Kings XI, also on eight points, slipped to fourth.