Kieron Pollard couldn’t have asked for a better start to his life after turning 26 on Sunday. The big-hitting West Indian left everyone shell-shocked as he played one of the finest innings of his Indian Premier League career yesterday.
Pollard slammed the second fastest half-century of the Pepsi IPL as Mumbai Indians romped to a seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium.
Pollard’s 27-ball unbeaten 66 (2x4s and 8x6s) helped Mumbai Indians chase down a challenging target of 179 with three balls to spare.
MI have now won all their seven matches at home this season and also take the top slot, dislodging Chennai Super Kings on better Net Run Rate.
Hyderabad were going strong till the 16th over as the hosts needed 62 in 24 balls. But the 17th over from Thisara Perera changed the whole complexion of the match. The Sri Lankan conceded 29 runs in his third over and Hyderabad never recovered from that blow.
In the next over, Pollard went berserk, slamming Amit Mishra for three sixes (five in a row overall) as he reached his half-century in just 20 balls — the second fastest in IPL-VI.
MI brought down the equation to 12 off 12 balls. With seven required off the last over, Pollard plundered Perera for two sixes to finish off the game. Dwayne Smith provided a fiery start, racing away to 21 in 17 balls, but his stay was cut short by Ishant Sharma after an in-swinging delivery knocked off his middle stump.
Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik kept the scoreboard ticking. Tendulkar delighted the crowd with a huge six by smacking a full toss over the head of the bowler, but his joy was short-lived as the batting maestro, who was looking good with 31-ball 38, decided to return to the pavilion after finding some difficulty in gripping the bat. One ball later, Karan Sharma dismissed Karthik for 30. Ambati Rayudu (2) was stumped in the next over.
Dhawan’s 59 goes in vain
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan’s 59 in 41 balls and vital contributions towards the end from skipper Cameron White (43 not out) and Hanuma Vihari (41) propelled SunRisers Hyderabad to 178 for three.
MI, who lost the toss for the first time at home in this season, appeared to be challenged at home. Parthiv Patel provided just the kind of start Hyderabad were looking for, cracking four boundaries in the first over as MI’s in-form pacer Mitchell Johnson went for 19 runs.
Apart from Malinga, who claimed two for 26 in his four overs, and Harbhajan Singh’s three overs for 19, no other MI bowler could stop Hyderabad’s momentum.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 178-3 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 59, Cameron White 43*; Lasith Malinga 2-26) lost to Mumbai Indians 184-3 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 66*, Sachin Tendulkar 38 retired hurt; Karan Sharma 2-22) by seven wickets
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