Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard shone as Mumbai Indians (MI) fought their way back into the top four with a five-run win over defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium here tonight.
Put in to bat first, the hosts posted a challenging 171 for four from their 20 overs, riding on a superb unbeaten 61 by Hardik Pandya -- his first IPL half-century -- and a patient 33 not out by Kieron Pollard.
Skipper Rohit Sharma made 30 and opener Parthiv Patel contributed 21 to the MI tally.
Chasing 172 for a win, KKR ended up a little short at 166 for seven from their quota of overs, after Yusuf Pathan brought them pretty close with a briliant 52. Earlier, skipper Gautam Gambhir (38) and Robin Uthappa (25) had given them a solid start, putting on 45 for the first wicket but, except Shakib Al Hasan (23), the other batsmen could not build on that foundation today.
KKR are now in the second place with 15 points from seven wins, five losses and one no-result in their 13 matches so far, with one more league match to go.
Mumbai Indians are back in the fourth spot in the eight-team league with seven wins and six losses from 13 matches. They, too, have one league outing left.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are currently at the top of the table, with 16 points and one match to go. Sunrisers Hyderabad are in the third place, with 14 points from 12 outings so far and two more matches to go.
Mumbai Indians began on a shaky note today, losing Patel at 29 in the fifth over and the other opener Lendl Simmons (14) in the next over at 42. Ambati Rayudu (2) did not stay very long and left at 47 before Sharma and Pollard steadied the innings with a 32-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Sharma hit five hours in his 21-ball essay.
Sharma's departure at 79 brought Pandya and Pollard together and they steered the home team to 171, adding 92 in their unbroken partnership for the fifth wicket off 50 deliveries. They put on 72 in the last five overs
Pandya faced 31 balls and hit eight fours and two sixes in his 61 while Pollard had one four and one six in his 33 that came off 38 balls.
Shakib Al Hasan took two for 22, while Morne Morel and Sunil Narine picked up one each.
Gambhir and Uthapa were all confidence as they began the chase. Gambhir hit five fours in his 38, while Uthappa slammed three fours and a six in his 25.
Uthappa left at 45 and Manish Pandey (1) was run out two balls later to make it 46 for two in the sixth over. Gambhir and Pathan added 42 for the third wicket before the former left at 88 in the 11th over.
Pathan then found an able ally in Shakib as the two added 30 for the fourth wicket. However, he later ran out of partners as Andre Russell (2) and Suryakumar Yadav (11) did not stay very long.
At the end of 17 overs, KKR were 144 for five, needed 28 runs from the remaining 18 balls. Yadav fell off the first ball of the 18th over, hitting Mitchell McClenaghan straight to Rayudu at deep mid-wicket. That over produced seven runs, including a four by Pathan over short third man.
KKR needed 21 from 12 balls now. A fumble by wicket-keeper allowed Piyush Chawla to go for a quick bye, bringing Pathan back on strike. Pathan slammed the next one from Lasith Malinga for a six over the mid-wicket fence, the target seemed within their reach. In all, that over yielded nine runs.
Pollard, who had held the MI innings together with his patient knock, came on to bowl for the first time in the innings and claimed Pathan with his first delivery, caught behind by Patel when he top-edged an attempted pull. Pathan's 52 was made off 37 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes.
Umesh Yadav struck the medium-pacer's next ball for four to short fine leg and then ran a single, which left KKR with seven to get from three. The fourth ball was a wide. The next two were dot balls. Six were required from the last ball, a slower one, and Chawla stepped out to it and swung wildly, but could not connect.
Mumbai Indians (20 overs maximum)
LMP Simmons c Pandey b Morkel 14
PA Patel c Pandey b Shakib Al Hasan 21
RG Sharma b Narine 30
AT Rayudu c Russell b Shakib Al Hasan 2
KA Pollard not out 33
HH Pandya not out 61
Extras (lb 1, w 6, nb 3) 10
Total (4 wickets; 20 overs) 171
Did not bat: Harbhajan Singh, J Suchith, MJ McClenaghan, R Vinay Kumar, SL Malinga
Fall of wickets: 1-29 (Patel, 4.2 ov), 2-42 (Simmons, 5.4 ov), 3-47 (Rayudu, 6.3 ov), 4-79 (Sharma, 11.4 ov)
UT Yadav 3 0 37 0
M Morkel 4 0 27 1
Shakib Al Hasan 4 0 22 2
PP Chawla 1 0 9 0
SP Narine 4 0 38 1
AD Russell 4 0 37 0
Kolkata Knight Riders (target: 172 runs from 20 overs)
RV Uthappa c Malinga b Harbhajan Singh 25
G Gambhir b Suchith 38
MK Pandey run out (Simmons) 1
YK Pathan c Patel b Pollard 52
Shakib Al Hasan c Pandya b Vinay Kumar 23
AD Russell c Patel b Malinga 2
SA Yadav c Rayudu b McClenaghan 11
PP Chawla not out 1
UT Yadav not out 5
Extras (b 1, w 7) 8
Total (7 wickets; 20 overs) 166
Did not bat: M Morkel, SP Narine
Fall of wickets: 1-45 (Uthappa, 5.3 ov), 2-46 (Pandey, 5.5 ov), 3-88 (Gambhir, 10.6 ov), 4-118 (Shakib Al Hasan, 14.2 ov), 5-128 (Russell, 15.5 ov), 6-144 (SA Yadav, 17.1 ov), 7-160 (Pathan, 19.1 ov)
SL Malinga 4 0 31 1
MJ McClenaghan 4 0 31 1
R Vinay Kumar 4 0 33 1
Harbhajan Singh 4 0 31 1
J Suchith 2 0 23 1
HH Pandya 1 0 10 0
KA Pollard 1 0 6 1
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