Mumbai Indians 170-5 (Sharma 39) beat
Kings XI Punjab 168-5 by five wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Mumbai
The Mumbai Indians finally tasted victory for the first time in the Indian Premier League 2014 as they beat the Kings XI Punjab by five wickets with five balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium, their home ground.
Kieron Pollard and Aditya Tare saw their side over the line at the sixth time of asking as they chased down a testing target of 169 in the final over.
Wriddhiman Saha had ealrier hit a half-century for the Kings XI as they posted 168 for five but Pollard (28 not out in 12 balls), Corey Anderson (35 in 25) and Aditya Tare (16 not out in six) finally gave the Mumbai fans something to cheer.
As well as being Mumbai's first win, this was Punjab's first defeat, and one that sees them drop to second place in the table behind the Chennai Super Kings, albeit on net run-rate only.
Facing 169 in a must-win situation to salvage their season, Mumbai again made changes to their batting order, with Ben Dunk (5) and Chidhambaram Gautam opening the innings.
While it didn’t work for the former, the latter provided a solid start with 33 runs off 29 balls, hitting two fours. He wasn’t impeded by the loss of a second wicket at the other end as Ambati Rayudu (8) also fell cheaply.
But Gautam then added 47 runs for the third wicket with skipper Rohit Sharma as they went about rebuilding the chase. The scoring rate stayed true as the 50-run mark came up in the seventh over.
Gautam then fell against the run of play, trapped LBW by Rishi Dhawan (2-23), but Sharma carried on and added another 53 runs for the fourth wicket with New Zealand all-rounder Anderson.
Their 50-run partnership came up in 34 balls and set the stage for their successful chase as the 100-run mark came up in the 13th over. Sharma scored 39 runs off 34 balls, with four fours and two sixes, while Anderson hit 35 runs off 25 balls, hitting three fours and two sixes.
But they fell in succession in the 16th and 17th overs, leaving plenty for Kieron Pollard to do.
And the big-hitting West Indies all-rounder, who just hit form in the last game, didn’t disappoint as he smacked an unbeaten 28 off 12 balls, with two fours and two sixes, to take Mumbai home.
Aditya Tare helped him with 16 not out off 6 balls, with one four and one six, as Sandeep Sharma (2-29) and Lakshmipathy Balaji (1-38) were the other wicket-takers for Punjab.
Earlier, Kings XI won the toss and elected to bat first. Virender Sehwag (1) and Cheteshwar Pujara (19) failed to provide optimum momentum at the start as both were back in the dug-out by the fourth over.
It was almost left to Glenn Maxwell once again, but he had a new partner-in-crime in Saha, who scored a seventh T20 half-century, his second in the IPL coming six years to the day after his first.
They added 69 runs for the third wicket as the 50-run mark came up in the eighth over. They could have brought up the three-figure-mark as well in the 13th over, but Maxwell fell shortly before. He was again on the money scoring a whirlwind 45 runs off 27 balls, with five fours and two sixes.
Saha brought up his half-century off 43 balls, with four fours and three sixes, scoring 59 unbeaten runs in all as he shepherded the score past 150 in the 19th over, and taking Kings XI to a par score.
Harbhajan Singh (2-34), Lasith Malinga (1-25) and Anderson (1-17) were the wicket-takers.
© Cricket World 2014