If you thought that Andre Russel was the ultimate big hitter who got his team out of a hole when the chips were down, think again. When Keiron Pollard walked in to bat, Mumbai Indians were 56 for 2 and needed another 142 runs for a win in 12 overs. Pollard was captaining the Indians because Rahul Sharma was rested. The big Trinidadian played a blinder scoring 83 runs off 31 balls hitting 10 sixes while at it to help Mumbai Indians win the match. Pollard’s knock rendered useless Rahul’s unbeaten 100 (64 balls) and Chris Gayle’s brisk 36 balls 63 runs.
The Kings XI innings started sedately but Gayle took off in the fifth over bowled by Behrendorf. He hit three sixes and a four in an over that cost 23 runs. Rahul was timing his shots to perfection at the other end. Hardik Pandya’s first over cost 17 runs and Kings XI was 93 for no loss at the end of 10 overs. Gayle was out on 63 in the thirteenth over caught smartly at mid-wicket by Krunal Pandya off Behrendorff with Kings XI on 116 runs.
Only 30 runs were scored between the 12th and the 17th over while losing three wickets and that was to hurt Kings XI in the time to come. David Miller and Karun Nair were out after Gayle. Sam Curran hit two boundaries off two balls and was out on the third. But that did awake a sense of urgency as Rahul hit H Pandya for three sixes and a four in the 19th over. KL Rahul completed his century off 64 balls and Kings XI scored 197 for 4 wickets. Hardik Pandya bore the brunt of the wrath of both Rahul and Gayle and conceded 57 runs from 4 overs while taking two wickets.
Siddesh Lad had his debut for Mumbai Indians after sitting on the bench for five years and hit the first ball that he faced for a six. But he tried to walk across the stumps in order to flick a Mohammed Shami delivery and was bowled. Suryakumar Yadav looked threatening while hitting three boundaries off Ankit Rajpoot but fell to Sam Curran when he flicked a ball straight to deep square leg. Keiro Pollard, who had promoted himself to number four, came in to bat but Quinton de Kock got out in the very next over. De Kock’s 24 runs were to remain the second highest score for Mumbai Indians.
The onslaught started in Ravichandran Ashwin’s third over off which 11 runs were scored but were still not up to the required run rate. While Pollard hit Curran for two sixes and a four in the next over Ishan Kishan attempted a suicidal run and was run out by the bowler. Ashwin conceded another 19 runs in his last over and Indians needed 70 runs from 36 balls. Mohammed Shami got rid of the Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal in the 16th over. Needing another 54 runs from 24 balls Pollard added 50 runs with Alzarri Joseph before he got out on 83 runs, miscuing a pull shot to mid-wicket.
Joseph and Rahul Chahar scored the four required runs off four balls with some furious scurrying between the wickets. Two runs were scored off the last ball of the inning. With this win, Mumbai Indians are third in the league table behind Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders.