Mumbai Indians climbs to the top spot with unbeaten home record

Kieron Pollard stunned Sunrisers Hyderabad into silence with some awesome hitting at the Wankhede stadium. Eight sixes from Pollard powered Mumbai Indians to a seven-wicket victory with three balls remaining in their Pepsi-IPL-VI match on Monday.

Mumbai Indians has 20 points after 10 wins, the same as Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, but ascended to the top of the table on the strength of its superior net run rate.

Needing 179 to win and with Sachin Tendulkar retired hurt on 38, Pollard calmed the nerves in the MI dugout en route to the second fastest half-century of the season (50 off 20 balls behind Chris Gayle’s 50 off 17).

Thisara Perera and Amit Mishra reeled under the weight of the West Indians’ blows. Dale Steyn’s fiery bowling went in vain as Sunrisers slumped to their sixth loss in 14 matches.

Brisk start to chase

Smith began the chase with an imperious pull off Steyn, then flicked Ishant Sharma comfortably to the square-leg fence. Ishant’s pumped-fist celebration after Smith played on symbolised the intensity in the Sunrisers’ camp.

Tendulkar’s composure against the fast bowlers forced Cameron White to play the spin card. Mishra came on in the eighth over to bait the MI strokemakers

Tendulkar gave young leg-spinner Karan Sharma the charge, hoisting him for a superb six over mid-wicket, but had to return to the dugout with an injured hand soon after.

Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu paid a high price for exuberance against Karan. Rohit Sharma and Pollard survived a torrid Steyn over, and at one stage, 62 runs were required off four overs. Perera gave away 29 in the 17th and Mishra 21 in the 18th, and that settled the issue.

MI’s experienced attack, except Lasith Malinga, felt the heat in the wake of fluent strokeplay from Parthiv Patel, top-scorer Shikhar Dhawan and Hanuma Vihari (41 off 37).

White inflicted his brand of punishment, slogging at will. His 43 off 23 balls was the second-highest score. Dhawan and Vihari consolidated the innings with hard running and placements.

But, Dhawan lost his wicket to an over-ambitious shot against Johnson, edging behind after stepping out to the left-arm pacer. That brought skipper White into the middle.

He stepped on the gas in the last five overs. Kulkarni and Ojha suffered at the Aussie’s hands.

Scoreboard:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Parthiv Patel c Rayudu b Malinga 26 (14b, 5x4), Shikhar Dhawan c Karthik b Johnson 59 (41b, 6x4, 2x6), Hanuma Vihari c Johnson b Malinga 41 (37b, 4x4), Cameron White (not out) 43 (23b, 3x4, 3x6), Thisara Perera (not out) 2 (5b); Extras (b-1, w-6): 7; Total (for three wkts. in 20 overs): 178.

Fall of wickets: 1-38 (Parthiv), 2-111 (Dhawan), 3-166 (Vihari).

Mumbai Indians bowling: Mitchell Johnson 4-0-43-1, Dhaval Kulkarni 4-0-42-0, Harbhajan Singh 3-0-19-0, Lasith Malinga 4-0-26-2, Pragyan Ojha 4-0-37-0, Kieron Pollard 1-0-10-0.

Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith b Ishant 21 (17b, 4x4), Sachin Tendulkar (retd. hurt) 38 (31b, 3x4, 1x6), Dinesh Karthik c White b Karan 30 (23b, 4x4), Rohit Sharma (not out) 20 (15b, 2x6), Ambati Rayudu st. Parthiv b Karan 2 (5b), Kieron Pollard (not out) 66 (27b, 2x4, 8x6); Extras (lb-1, w-5, nb-1): 7; Total (for three wkts. in 19.3 overs): 184.

Fall of wickets: 1-26 (Smith), 2-95 (Karthik), 3-99 (Rayudu).

Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling: Dale Steyn 4-0-23-0, Ishant Sharma 4-0-32-1, Thisara Perera 3.3-0-55-0, Darren Sammy 2-0-15-0, Amit Mishra 3-0-36-0, Karan Sharma 3-0-22-2.

Man-of-the-match: Kieron Pollard.

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