Saurabh Tiwary harboured Mumbai Indians' run-chase while Hardik Pandya found his mojo back as the defending champions on Tuesday defeated Punjab Kings to record their first win in the second leg of IPL 2021.
Tiwary, who hit 45 off 37 deliveries, held the fort before Hardik's blitz at the end sealed a six-wicket win for Mumbai. The under-fire Baroda all-rounder notched up a 30-ball 40, showing glimpses of his ability ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Kieron Pollard also chipped in with 15 from 7 balls after registering bowling figures of 2/8. He also became the first player to have over 10,000 runs and 300 wickets to his name in the T20 format.
The West Indies dasher also picked the "Player of the Match" award. "I enjoyed my 300th wicket which was KL and obviously it's a landmark and very special. For me, it's just of trying to practice and it's all about practising and batting according to the situation.
"I admit that I don't have pace, swing and seam but I can use my brain and get the job done. For us it's very important to get these 2 points," he said in the post-match presentation.
Skipper Rohit Sharma acknowledged his side's performance, heaping praise on Saurabh for sticking around in middle overs and Pollard for delivering a crucial performance. He also acknowledged Hardik's effort.
"The way he (Hardik) understood the situation was very crucial from a team's perspective, it's important for him to spend the time in the middle as he's coming back from a injury.
"Saurabh has played the perfect role today and he's done well to nudge around in the middle overs. Pollard is one of our key players. Crucuial part of MI for so many years. He will be happy with taking the 'Man of the Match' for his bowling performance," said Rohit.
With the win, Mumbai jumped to the fifth spot on the points table while Punjab slipped to sixth.
Punjab have three games in hand and skipper KL Rahul said that his unit needs to take one game at a time. He made no bones in admitting that they were a few runs short of posting a challenging total.
"It was a great fight, but 135 was not enough on this pitch. We should have got about 170.
"We need to be positive. We have three games, so we need to take one game at a time. We need to go out there and enjoy ourselves. All our games in the UAE have gone down to the wire, hopefully, we can build on that," he said.