Cricket

IPL 2021 | Pollard and Hardik keep Mumbai Indians in the hunt with six-wicket win

Kieron Pollard of Mumbai Indians celebrates the wicket of KL Rahul of Punjab Kings during the Indian Premier League match between Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, Sept. 28, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard lived up to their tag of finishers as Mumbai Indians defeated Punjab Kings by six wickets with an over to spare at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Hardik (40 n.o., 30b, 4x4, 2x6) and Pollard (15 n.o., 7b, 1x4, 1x6) were involved in an unbroken 46-run stand off 23 balls for the fifth wicket. Earlier, Saurabh Tiwary, who replaced an out-of-form Ishan Kishan, laid the foundation for the chase with a 37-ball 45 (3x4, 2x6) after the bowlers had kept PBKS on a leash.

The victory at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium — MI’s first in fourth matches in the second leg — kept MI’s title defence alive while dealing a big blow to Punjab Kings’ aspirations of making it to the playoffs.

When Pollard joined Hardik in the middle after Tiwary was caught behind off Nathan Ellis’ back-of-the-hand slower ball in the 16th over, MI required 44 off 29.

Hardik, who was dropped by Harpeet Brar off left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh in the 15th over, took his time before going after Mohammed Shami in the 17th. Pollard then went after Arshdeep in the next over before Hardik sealed it with a six off Shami — the ball going through Deepak Hooda’s hands at long-on — in the penultimate over.

When PBKS batted, Hooda (28, 26b, 1x4, 1x6) and Aiden Markram (42, 29b, 6x4) stabilised the innings with a 61-run association for the fifth wicket after their team slid to 48 for four in the eighth over.

With MI picking up four wickets for 12 runs off 14 balls, the Punjab side was in serious trouble.

Pollard triggered the collapse, taking the prize scalps of Chris Gayle (caught at long-on) and captain K.L. Rahul (caught at short fine-leg off a slower delivery) in the space of three balls. With Rahul’s wicket, Pollard became the first cricketer to achieve the double of 10,000 runs and 300 wickets in T20s. The West Indian celebrated the day in style by shining with the willow too.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 12:35:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ipl-match-2021-mumbai-indians-punjab-kings-abu-dhabi/article36720482.ece

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