T20 2018: Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah turns tables as Mumbai pull it off against Punjab in style
Keiron Pollard's 50 and Jasprit Bumrah's 3-15 help Mumbai beat Punjab to stay alive in T20
Mumbai players celebrate the wicket of Punjab’s Chris Gayle at Wankhede yesterday. Pics/Suresh Karkera
Defending champions Mumbai kept their T20 playoffs chances alive with an incredible three-run win over Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Riding on comeback man Kieron Pollard’s 23-ball 50, Mumbai posted 186-8. But KL Rahul’s matured 94-run knock off just 60 balls almost took the game away from the hosts.
However, the timely introduction of Jasprit Bumrah by skipper Rohit Sharma turned the tables for the hosts as the lanky pacer finished with 4-0-15-3. The loss has put Punjab virtually out of playoff contention now. It was no secret that openers Chris Gayle and Rahul were the only hopes for Punjab in their chase. But Mumbai’ bowlers failed to exploit the vulnerability in Punjab’s batting unit.
Though MI pacer Mitchell McClenaghan removed Gayle (18) in the fourth over while the West Indian tried to whack every ball, Rahul preferred to take calculative risks. In-form Rahul, with over 600 runs in this T20 , and Finch steadily stitched a 111-run partnership that could have proved decisive. Skipper Rohit brought back Bumrah, who conceded just five runs in his first two overs, into the attack only in the 17th over and was straightaway rewarded with Finch’s (46) wicket and then Mark Stoinis off the last ball. He conceded just four runs in his third over and six in his final over which included the big wicket of Rahul, who holed out at long-off.
Punjab's KL during his 94 v Mumbai yesterday
With 17 needed off the final over, McClenaghan did well to concede just 13 runs as the Wankhede erupted in joy. Mumbai showed lack of tactical smartness when their batsmen tried taking on Purple Cap-holder Andrew Tye, who eventually finished with 4-0-16-4. MI had already posted 60 runs in the Powerplay overs, thanks to Suryakumar Yadav scoring 21 runs off Ankit Rajpoot’s second over and Ishan Kishan walloping 18 runs off Mohit Sharma.
It was an ideal scenario for Pollard to prove his worth after being benched for the last six matches. The 12-minute interruption due to power failure injected some much-needed ammo in Mumbai’ batting unit as Pollard and Krunal Pandya (32 off 23) hammered 49 runs in three overs (Overs 12 to 14). The duo put up a 65-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Though Pollard was lucky on most occasions with edges and mishits flying to the fence, the big-hitting West Indian nonetheless powered his way to a 22-ball half century with a six over long-off. The dismissals of Krunal and Pollard in back-to-back overs proved detrimental as MI once again failed to capitalise, scoring just 35 runs in the last five overs of their innings.
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