Defending champions Mumbai Indians finally snapped their losing streak on the back of a collective batting effort as they defeated Kings XI Punjab by five wickets in an Indian Premier League contest on Saturday.
Kieron Pollard smashed Sandeep Sharma for a six over long-off in the first ball of the final over as MI surged past Kings XI score of 168 for 5 by scoring 170 for five.
Pollard remained unconquered on 28 off 12 balls and put on 44 runs in only 15 balls for the unfinished sixth wicket with Aditya Tare (16 off 6 balls) at the Wankhede Stadium.
Prior to their quick-fire partnership, MI were put on the victory path by significant contributions from opener C Gautam (33), skipper Rohit Sharma (39) and Corey Anderson (35).
The dismissal of Sharma and Anderson in successive overs brought Punjab back into the game but Pollard and Tare shattered their hopes.
It was MI’s first win in six games. It was also their first game at home in this edition and they have now extended their winning run at this venue to nine since the last edition.
It was Punjab’s first defeat after a glorious winning streak of five out of five.
Mumbai’s run-chase started on a none-too-promising note when they lost opener Ben Dunk in the fifth ball of the innings and also Ambati Rayudu to be down 33 for two.
Dunk was caught brilliantly by a diving Wriddhiman Saha behind the wicket off by Sandeep Sharma who also accounted for Rayudu by trapping the batsman in front with a ball that moved in sharply and also kept low.
Chidambaram Gautam, promoted in the order in yet another new opening combination for the title holders, and Rohit Sharma then repaired the innings with a stand of 47.
After the power play, MI were 49 for two and then advanced to 70 for 3 following the exit of Gautam who was dismissed by Rishi Dhawan.
New batsman Anderson smashed a six off Dhawan over long on to make a good start. The left hander from New Zealand, whose highest score has been 39 batting at no. 3 against Chennai Super Kings, then hit left-arm spinner Akshar Patel for three fours and a six in the next – the 13th – to swing the game in MI’s favour. Patel conceded 20 runs in that his last over for expensive figures of 0 for 40.
With the 100 coming up in the 13th over, MI were well on way to their first win in six games. The breezy fourth-wicket partnership between Rohit and Anderson added 53 runs in 35 balls. Sharma was dismissed by Laxmipathy Balaji, caught behind mistiming a flick, to continued…