Pollard eclipses Sunrisers
It was not just the Wankhede crowd that was praying for a Mumbai Indians victory. With the top half of the Twenty20 league's points table crowded, Royals Challengers Bangalore were also praying for that result to make things easier for themselves in the playoff race that remains very open. Kushal Phatarpekar reports.Scorecardindia Updated: May 14, 2013 01:44 IST
It was not just the Wankhede crowd that was praying for a Mumbai Indians victory. With the top half of the Twenty20 league's points table crowded, Royals Challengers Bangalore were also praying for that result to make things easier for themselves in the playoff race that remains very open.
Through the season, the resilience of Sunrisers Hyderabad had been built on their bowling. And on Monday, their batsmen led the charge after they chose to bat first. While Shikhar Dhawan's firepower is acknowledged, it was fellow opener Parthiv Patel who get going from the start.
And a mixture of excellent selection by the pair and lacklustre bowling in the early stages meant Hyderabad, fifth in the table and within catching distance of a playoff spot, posted a solid 178 for three — the highest by a visiting team at the venue this season. Scorecard
It seemed to go their way for a while until Kieron Pollard decided to take things into his massive hands. He smashed 66 off a mere 27 balls, hitting eight sixes to guide his team to a seven-wicket victory with three balls to spare.
Pollard came into his own in the 17th over when Mumbai needed 64 from the last four overs.
He smashed three back to back sixes off Thisara Parrera that over, to change the complexion of the game. He followed it up with another set of three sixes in the 18th over. Mumbai sealed the victory with three balls to spare as Pollard fittingly hit the winning runs with his eighth six of the match.
Chasing a difficult target of 179, Sachin Tendulkar tried to play the anchor, scoring 38 (31b, 3x4, 1x6). The effort though was cut short as he had to retire in the 12th over with Mumbai in trouble.
However, the domineering performance of the West Indies all-rounder ensured Mumbai continued with their unbeaten run at home.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan stroked his third half-century of the season. But his dismissal in the 13th over against the run of play brought the run-rate down.
Dhawan fell for 59 (41b, 4x6, 2x6). Skipper Cameron White smashed 43 (23b, 3x4, 3x6) but Mumbai pacemen reined in the batsmen at the death, which made all the difference.