BANGALORE, India, CMC – Kieron Pollard stunned Royal Challengers Bangalore with a typically flamboyant cameo but West Indies teammate Chris Gayle’s wretched form continued as Mumbai Indians emerged with a six-wicket win in their Indian Premier League contest here yesterday.
Set 152 for victory at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the defending champions chased down their target with eight balls to spare, to go fourth in the standings on 12 points but more importantly, just two points off leaders Gujarat Lions.
They were rocking at 98 for four at the start of the 16th over – still needing 54 from 29 balls at a required run rate of 11 per over – but Pollard blasted an unbeaten 35 from 19 deliveries while Englishman Jos Buttler slammed 29 not out from a mere 11 balls, to see their side over the line.
They added 55 for the fifth wicket off just 21 deliveries, a stand that ruined RCB’s victory hopes and left them third from bottom on eight points.
Once again, the 36-year-old Gayle failed to fire, making just five before becoming the second wicket to fall, holing out to Rohit Sharma at mid-off off seamer Tim Southee in the fourth over with the score on 17 for two.
The left-hander has now scored 1, 0, 7 and 5 in his four IPL innings this season. He has not reached double figures in seven innings since striking an unbeaten century against England back in March, during West Indies’ opening game of the Twenty20 World Cup.
Lokesh Rahul stepped up to stroke an unbeaten 68 off 53 balls while Sachin Baby scored 25 not out from 13 balls and AB de Villiers, 24.
Pollard’s one over of slow medium leaked 22 runs.
In reply, Mumbai lost Parthiv Patel cheaply for one at two for one in the second over but Ambati Rayudu hit a top score of 44 and captain Rohit, 25, in a stand of 58 for the second wicket, to revive the innings.
However, they made slow going and when three wickets crashed for 38 runs, Mumbai were wandering.
But Pollard smashed three fours and two sixes and Buttler, a four and three sixes, as they spectacularly hauled the visitors back into the contest.
Pollard single-handedly took 18 runs from Australian Shane Watson’s third over – the 17th of the innings – before Buttler belted a pair of sixes off the next over from England teammate and Barbados-born seamer Chris Jordan, to put Mumbai ahead.