Defeat for Pollard as Mumbai lose opener

PUNE, India, CMC — West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard produced a cameo but bowled a poor last over as his Mumbai Indians tasted defeat with a seven-wicket loss to Rising Pune Supergiant, in the second game of the new Indian Premier League season here Thursday.

Sent in at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, the visitors marched to an impressive 184 for eight off their 20 overs, with Englishman Jos Buttler top-scoring with 38 off 19 deliveries at the top of the order and Hardik Pandya chipping in with an unbeaten 35 from 15 deliveries at number eight.

Fresh from a disappointing series against Pakistan where he scraped just 20 runs from three innings, Pollard showed a glimpse of form with a 17-ball 27, which included three fours and a six.

West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard.

Mumbai seemed set to end on a average score when they reached 154 for seven at the end of the 19th over but Pandya smashed a four and four sixes off the final six deliveries from new-ball bowler Ashok Dinda, which cost 30 runs — the most expensive final over in the history of the IPL.

South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir was the best bowler with three for 28.

In reply, Australia batting star Steve Smith unveiled a magnificent, unbeaten 84 from 54 balls to ensure Rising Pune reached their target with a ball to spare.

The right-hander struck seven fours and three sixes in a well-controlled innings, posting 58 for the second wicket with opener Ajinkya Rahane (60) and another 50 for the third wicket with Ben Stokes (21).

With 13 runs required from the final over, Pollard conceded just three singles from the first three deliveries to shift the game in Mumbai’s favour.

But Smith clobbered the next two deliveries for leg-side sixes to end the game emphatically.

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