MUMBAI: Back on home turf at Wankhede Stadium, the venue of their unbeaten run previous year, Mumbai Indians’ batsmen held their nerve at the death to give their franchise their first victory of the season in six attempts. Mumbai Indians needed 41 off the last three overs but Kieron Pollard and Aditya Tare catapulted their side home with five deliveries to spare and ended Kings XI Punjab’s victorious five-game run.
The home side lost their openers cheaply before thirties from CM Gautam, Rohit Sharma and Corey Anderson revived them. The asking-rate climbed again after Rohit and Anderson departed in the 16th and 17th overs, but Pollard and Tare were around to ensure Mumbai Indians were not letting it slip away. It was Tare who wrested back momentum for Mumbai Indians when he lofted L Balaji for four over extra cover and pulled him over deep midwicket for six in the 18th over, which went for 16. Kings XI had Mitchell Johnson for the 19th, and Pollard has often been found wanting against quality pace from the likes of Dale Steyn.
But the allrounder never let Johnson get on top, lifting the first ball of the over, a full delivery, for six over long-on. Johnson followed up with a wide down the leg side. Pollard ran twos off the next two deliveries before inside-edging a yorker for four. A pull to deep square leg for four more and a single to keep strike made it 20 off the over. Pollard completed formalities by launching Sandeep Sharma’s first ball of the final over for six over long-off. He ended on 28 off 12 while Tare was unbeaten on 16 from 6.
Gautam and Rohit had come together at 23 for 2 after the openers departed to Sandeep’s swing and added 47 in 41 before Gautam fell to Rishi Dhawan. Rohit and Anderson took a six each off Dhawan’s next over but the real push Mumbai Indians needed came in the 13th over bowled by Akshar Patel. Anderson slogged the left-arm spinner for four consecutive boundaries, and the 20-run over brought down the asking-rate to eight-and-a-half from ten.
Kings XI fought back as Balaji, Johnson and Dhawan put in four tight overs, which earned the wickets of Rohit and Anderson. The rate shot up to nearly 14 after Dhawan completed his spell in the 17th, but Mumbai Indians had more ammunition in the form of Pollard and Tare.
Mumbai Indians 170-5 (R Sharma 39, C Anderson 35; R Dhawan 2-23, Sandeep Sharma 2-29) beat Kings XI Punjab 168-5 (W Saha 59, G Maxwell 45; Harbhajan Singh 2-34, L Malinga 1-25) by 5 wickets.
Toss: Punjab and chose to bat
Umpires: B Oxenford (AUS) and C Shamshuddin
Third umpire: R Deshpande
Match referee: R Madugalle (SL).
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