Dubai: Kieron Pollard almost ended Mumbai Indians drought in UAE, but in the end the Rohit Sharma-led side fell to their 5th loss in a row as Sunrisers Hyderabad emerged winners on the night on Wednesday.
It was the Pollard show all the way, but the lack of support meant Mumbai ended on 157 for 7, 15 runs short of their target.
With 20 runs needed to win with 6 balls remaining, Irfan Pathan claimed Pollard off his first ball to dash all hopes of the defending champions.
Pollard hit 78 off 48 balls with three boundaries and half-a-dozen sixes.
Pollard was especially hard on Amit Mishra. He first hit the leggie in the 13th over for two sixes & a four. The West Indian then hit 3 sixes & a four from four deliveries off Mishra plundering 27 runs off the 17th over to bring the equation down to 31 from 18 balls.
Kieron Pollard plays an on-side shot during his 78-run innings against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Wednesday. PTI Photo/BCCI
After losing three quick wickets, Mumbai fought through big-hitting Pollard (78) and Ambati Rayudu (35 off 27) but all they could manage was 157 for seven in the end.
The defeat means that Mumbai Indians now need to win most of the nine matches in the Indian leg to make it to the knockout stage of the tournament.
Pollard prevented it from becoming a one-sided match with his scintillating 48-ball knock, embellished with six sixes and three fours.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar also played a stellar role in Hyderabad's win as he gave away just 17 runs in his four overs and also took two wickets.
Led by a ferocious Dale Steyn, the SRH attack rocked the Mumbai top order by taking three quick wickets.
Bhuvaneshwar was incredible in his two-over spell as he conceded just three runs and also got the rival skipper Rohit Sharma (1).
An intimidating Steyn had Corey Anderson (1) caught on a well-directed bouncer.
Darren Sammy joined the party by castling opener Ben Dunk (20), reducing Mumbai to 31 for 3 inside powerplay overs.
Pollard and Rayudu brought some respectability to the Mumbai's chase with their fighting knocks.
The tall West Indian scored 32 runs in two overs -- 13 and 14th -- to make it a contest and Mumbai now required 74 runs in 36 balls.
Dhawan brought Bhuvaneshwar back into the attack and the paceman continued his with good form, conceding just six runs from his third over.
Pathan broke the stand by dismissing Rayudu but there was no stopping Pollard. But with none of the other batsmen rotating the strike or striking form, the chase proved a little too much for Pollard to accomplish single-handedly.
Earlier, David Warner hit a fighting half-century and combined well with Lokesh Rahul (46) for a superb 111-run partnership as Sunrisers Hyderabad scored a competitive 172 for five.
Warner worked hard for runs initially but once he got his eye in and was settled, the Australian left-hander scored runs at a brisk pace. He hit more sixes (4) than fours (1) in his 51-ball knock before departing towards the end of the SRH innings.
Rahul also contributed in Hyderabad's decent total by supporting Warner well in their third-wicket stand, following cheap dismissal of their openers.
K.L Rahul (left) and David Warner of the Sunrisers Hyderabad had a valubale 111-run partnership against Mumbai Indians in Dubai on Wednesday. PTI Photo/BCCI
Veteran paceman Zaheer Khan (2/26) bowled with good rhythm and succeeded in sending Shikhar Dhawan (6) and Aaron Finch (16) back to dugout inside the first five overs.
The SRH skipper edged one to Harbhajan Singh in slips immediately after hitting a boundary while Finch, who yet again looked in good touch, failed to keep a drive on the ground and was caught in covers by Ben Dunk.
Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh also bowled well and at the same time SRH batsmen did not lack in application and were maintaining a decent run-rate.
Pragyan Ojha was the only Mumbai bowler who failed to make an impact. He was hit for consecutive boundaries by Rahul and was also punished by Warner, who smashed the spinner to a huge six over the mid-wicket. In his first two overs, the left-arm spinner leaked 25 runs, allowing SRH to overcome the early loss of the openers.
At half-way mark, SRH were 71 for two, albeit there were not much boundaries, only six at that stage.
Warner and Rahul had to work hard for runs. They relied on rotating the strike, rather then going for big shots.
In fact, at one time, the gap between two boundaries was almost six overs. The shackles were broken when Ojha returned.
He first fired his second wide for five runs and then Warner again hammered him for a massive six. Warner did not spare Pollard and even umpire Kumar Dharamasena, who was hit on his shoulders by one of his furious shots.
SRH ultimately scored 83 runs off their last 7 overs to post a competitive score.
A Finch c Dunk
b Zaheer Khan 16
S Dhawan c Harbhajan Singh b Zaheer Khan 6
L Rahul c Gautam b Malinga . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
D Warner c Gautam
b Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
D Sammy c Pollard
b Anderson 10
N Ojha not out 10
I Pathan not out . 1
Extras (lb 5, w 12, nb 1) 18
Total (5 wickets; 20 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Fall of wickets 1-21, 2-38, 3-149, 4-161, 5-162
Z Khan 4-0-26-2
Harbhajan Singh 4-0-16-0
B Dunk b Sammy 20
R Sharma b Kumar . 1
C Anderson c Ojha b Steyn 1
A Rayudu c Warner b Pathan 35
K Pollard b Pathan 78
A Tare c Ojha b Steyn . 7
Harbhajan Singh c Dhawan
b Kumar . 1
CM Gautam not out . 4
Z Khan not out . 1
Extras (b 2, lb 1, w 6) . 9
Total (7 wickets; 20 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Fall of wickets 1-6, 2-8, 3-31, 4-108, 5-146, 6-149, 7-153
B Kumar 4-0-17-2
K Sharma 4-0-33-0