KL Rahul's maiden IPL ton went in vain as the 'spectacular' Kerion Pollard smashed a blistering 30-ball 83 to guide Mumbai Indians to a thrilling three-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. (Match Highlights)
Pollard ran riot as his innings included 10 sixes and 3 fours before he was dismissed before Alzarri Joseph and Rahul Chahar could score the winning runs. (Match Scorecard)
Punjab removed the top order with ease, however, once Pollard stepped in, boy did he target the bowlers and hammered away at will.
The West Indian promoted himself up the order and played a heroic knock to achieve this victory.
Chasing a stiff target, Mumbai kept losing wickets at regular intervals and always appeared behind the 8-ball. Kieron Pollard, though, held one end tightly and then unleashed when it mattered the most. His stands first with Hardik Pandya and then with Alzarri Joseph were very crucial in this run chase.
Pollard getting dismissed in the final over made things interesting but with 4 needed off 4 balls, Alzarri finished the job on the last ball along with Chahar. Quinton de Kock (24) and Suryakumar (21) gave Mumbai a promising start before debutant Siddhesh Lad departed for 15.
The victory was the third in a row for MI and took their tally to eight from six games while Kings XI suffered their third defeat in seven games.
Pollard’s pyrotechnics stole the thunder from Kings XI openers K L Rahul who had carried his bat through with an unbeaten 100 in 64 balls with the help of six fours and as many sixes and his opening partner Chris Gayle who smashed 63 in 36 balls with seven sixes and three fours.
Pollard, standing in for Rohit Sharma, who missed out on the game due to leg spasm injury, promoted himself in the order.
After 10 overs, MI needed 133 in 60 balls, still fancying their chances with the big-hitting Pollard at the crease and another fine finisher Hardik Pandya to follow.
Shami got rid of the other Hardhik and Krunal Pandya in space of four balls.
The equation whittled down to 63 from 30 balls and then 15 off the last six balls after Pollard smacked Curran for two sixes and a four in the penultimate over before he was caught off Rajput in the last over.
Earlier, Rahul smashed his maiden IPL hundred while Chris Gayle struck a 36-ball 63 to power Kings XI Punjab to an imposing 197 for four against Mumbai Indians in an IPL match on Wednesday.
Gayle, who smashed seven towering sixes and also hit three fours, laid the platform for the big total with his opening partner Rahul, who carried his bat through to remain unconquered on 100, laced with six sixes and as many fours.
The duo’s 116-run stand in 77 balls took MI by storm. Gayle’s dismissal in the 13th over slowed down the innings but Rahul punished Hardik Pandya by hitting three sixes and a four in the 19th, which yielded them 25 runs.
Thirteen came off the final over to boost the total. The flamboyant Gayle, who was circumspect initially, struck Australian pacer Jason Behrendorff for three huge sixes and one four to cream off 23 runs to begin the punishing act.