Pollard finds form with cameo to take down RCB

MUMBAI, India, CMC – West Indies big-hitter Kieron Pollard fired for the first time in the new Indian Premier League season, blasting a cameo to propel Mumbai Indians to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore here yesterday.

The right-hander, entering the game on the back of scores of 1, 1 and 1 in his last three IPL innings, hit a typically robust, unbeaten 40 off 19 deliveries as the hosts chased down RCB’s 170 for seven with two overs remaining in the contest at the Wankhede Stadium.

Captain Rohit Sharma top-scored with 62 at the top of the order while Ambati Rayudu chipped in with 31 and Englishman Jos Buttler, a quick-fire 28.

The victory was the second for Mumbai in five outings and it left them fourth on four points while RCB have now lost two of three games and lie three from bottom.

West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard … struck a cameo, unbeaten 40 for Mumbai Indians.

Sent in, RCB suffered from batsmen getting starts but failing to carry on. Without star West Indies opener Chris Gayle who returned to Jamaica for the birth of his first child, the visitors were guided by Travis Head who top-scored with 37 from 24 balls, captain Virat Kohli who gathered 33 from 30 deliveries and South African AB de Villiers, whose 29 came from 21 balls.

Kohli and de Villiers put on 59 for the second wicket but both fell in the 10th over to left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya.

Tottering on 99 for four in the 14th over, the innings was rescued by Head and Sarfaraz Khan (28) who put on a crucial 63 for the fifth wicket.

In reply, opener Parthiv Patel fell cheaply for five with the score on six in the second over before Rohit and Rayudu stitched up the innings in a 76-run second wicket stand to put Mumbai on course for victory.

Both fell in the space of 16 balls to pave the way for Pollard’s arrival at 109 for three in the 13th over.

The Trinidadian then took control of the innings, striking four fours and three sixes and anchoring successive 31-run stands for the fourth wicket with Buttler and for the fifth wicket with Hardik Pandya (2 not out).

Pollard took two boundaries off Australian seamer Shane Watson’s third over – the 15th of the innings – which cost 13 runs and then clobbered two consecutive sixes off the 17th over bowled by medium pacer Kane Richardson which went for 14 runs.

With 14 runs required for victory from three overs, Pollard smashed a six and two fours off the 18th over bowled by Watson, to seal victory for Mumbai.

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