Mumbai Indians 191 for 4 (Rohit 70, Pollard 47*, Hardik 30*, Cottrell 1-20) beat Kings XI Punjab 143 for 8 (Pooran 44, Bumrah 2-18, Chahar 2-26) by 48 runs
After Rohit Sharma made his second half-century in his last three innings in IPL 2020, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya went on a boundary-hitting spree to launch the Mumbai Indians to 191 for 4, which proved to be more than enough in the end. For the second game in a row, Pollard helped Mumbai ransack 89 off the last five overs, his unbeaten 47 off 20 balls exposing a Kings XI Punjab attack that lacked a death bowler. They had seemingly managed their bowlers so poorly that offspinner K Gowtham, picked ahead of legspinner M Ashwin, bowled the final over in the first innings, leaking four sixes to Pollard and Pandya.
In pursuit of 192, the Kings XI lost Mayank Agarwal in the powerplay and captain KL Rahul laboured to 17 off 19 balls before legspinner Rahul Chahar knocked him over. Nicholas Pooran briefly matched his West Indies captain and mentor Pollard's ball-striking with 44 off 27 balls, but it wasn't enough to prick the ballooning asking rate. Chahar kept dangling legbreaks away from Glenn Maxwell's reach, and ultimately had him holing out for a painfully slow 11 off 18 balls. Jasprit Bumrah and James Pattinson then closed out a 48-run victory, putting Mumbai on top of the points table.
After giving up as many as 30 runs to Rahul Tewatia in a frenzied finish on Sunday, Sheldon Cottrell started with a wicket-maiden on Thursday and conceded 20 in his next three. The left-arm seamer angled a length ball into Quinton de Kock and then got it to curve away to castle the batsman for a duck in the first over. Soon after, Suryakumar Yadav was run out for 10 off seven balls.
Ishan Kishan, who had cracked 99 forcing a Super Over against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, struggled against Cottrell, Mohammed Shami and legspinner Ravi Bishnoi, who kept sliding the ball across the left-hander with his googlies. Cottrell finished his quota of four overs by the 13th over; Mumbai were 83 for 2.
The storm after the calm
Looking to hit his way out of trouble, Kishan ventured a slog-sweep against Gowtham, but couldn't clear the longer leg-side boundary, falling for 28 off 32 balls. Pollard, though, shook up things by planting his front leg and smoking Bishnoi over his head for six. Sharma, quiet until then, slammed 4, 4, 6, 6 against Jimmy Neesham. The New Zealand allrounder ditched his into-the-pitch legcutters for attempted yorkers, but kept erring with his lengths. The first four, a ramp that was precisely placed to the right of long leg, brought up his fifty off 40 balls. The pick of that boundary sequence was the final six that was clattered over extra-cover just after the man from that boundary had been whisked off to long-off.
It needed a relay catch at the boundary from Maxwell and Neesham to remove Rohit for 70 off 45 balls. He was on 43 off 37 balls at one point, but accelerated before Pollard and Hardik took over.
Hardik, playing as a specialist batsman as Mumbai have opted against rushing him back into bowling after his back surgery last year, also laid into Neesham, taking 17 off five balls from him. Kings XI, seemingly having miscalculated, asked Gowtham to bowl the last over and Pollard duly finished the innings with a hat-trick of mighty sixes.
Kings XI fade away
Agarwal gave Kings XI a jump-start in the chase, attacking the short balls from Trent Boult and James Pattinson, moving to 25 off 15 balls. After Jasprit Bumrah darted in two more short balls, he seamed a full ball in and burst through the defences of Agarwal. In the next over, Karun Nair, who came in at No.3, dragged Krunal Pandya back onto the stumps. Rahul, who could neither find the boundary nor the gaps, was dismissed by Chahar in the ninth over as the required rate shot past 11.
Pooran was particularly strong off the back foot, pulling Chahar and Bumrah for six and four. Twenty-one of his 44 runs came in front of square on the leg side. His bright innings, though, was cut short when Pattinson pushed a full ball away from his reach and had him edging behind.
Chahar, meanwhile, took a leaf out of Yuzvendra Chahal's playbook, lobbing slow legbreaks wide of off stump to frustrate Maxwell. Maxwell eventually played a desperate slog-sweep and picked out deep midwicket. Gowtham struck two fours and a six, but the boundaries he had given up earlier in the evening had a greater impact on the result.