MUMBAI, India, CMC – There were contrasting fortunes for West Indians Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine in the Indian Premier League yesterday.
Pollard, better known for his explosive batting, took two wickets for 12 runs in a strangling spell of medium-pace but Mumbai Indians lost by six wickets with three balls to spare against Kings XI Punjab in Mumbai. His fellow Trinidadian, off-spinner Narine, also picked up two wickets for 26 runs for Kolkata Knight Riders, who beat Deccan Chargers by five wickets with one over remaining in Cuttack.
Australian Shaun Marsh’s fighting half-century defied a Mumbai Indians that had batting genius Sachin Tendulkar back from injury, a different mix of internationals – James Franklin and Thisara Perera instead of Richard Levi and Davy Jacobs.
Pollard scored only seven off ten balls in a total of 163 for six with Franklin, the New Zealand left-hander, blasting 79 off 51 balls inclusive of six fours and four sixes at the top.
Tendulkar made 23 before he was run out in an opening stand of 51 off 8.1 overs.
Marsh then made 68 not out off 40 balls at No. 3, slamming five fours and three sixes to spur Kings XI to victory.
Kings XI have now extended their dominance over Mumbai to six wins from nine matches in IPL history and have got their 2012 campaign back on track, after they lost four of their opening six fixtures.
The Deccan Chargers bowlers strived to earn their side a maiden victory this season but, even on a slow pitch that turned, they did not have enough runs to defend. The upshot was a fifth consecutive defeat for the home side while Kolkata Knight Riders drew level with the other top teams in the tournament with their fourth win.
The finish, however, was far more tense and hard fought than was expected after Chargers had been limited to only 126 for seven.
Narine’s two wickets pushed his tally to ten – the same as another Trinidad & Tobago player – seamer Kevon Cooper who plays for Rajasthan Royals – making them the joint third highest with Munaf Patel of Mumbai Indians.
Perhaps surprisingly, Pollard has the second most wickets (11) behind South African Morne Morkel, whose 15 wickets have been attained for Delhi Daredevils.