Kieron Pollard’s blistering 83 off 31 guided Mumbai Indians (MI) to register a nail-biting final ball win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Wednesday, April 10 at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. 

Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to field first. Asked to bat, Kings XI Punjab got off to a flying start with their in-form openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle. Both the openers added 116 runs in 12.5 overs before Gayle’s dismissal. However, a blitzy century of KL Rahul powered Punjab to 197 on board.

Chasing 198, Mumbai lost their first wicket for 28. But a stable as well as quickfire 83-ball 31 knock from stand-in captain Kieron Pollard gave Mumbai their another victory in the final ball of the match.

Here are the three talking points from the game:

The opening partnership between KL Rahul and Chris Gayle

Put into bat, Punjab started in a great way. Though Mumbai restricted them in the first four overs as Punjab managed to put up 20 runs. But they were unable to stop both the in-form openers from then onwards. Chris Gayle took on Behrendorff for three sixes and a boundary in the fifth over and managed to put up 50 runs within the powerplay.

After that, both the batsmen started punishing every bowler. KL Rahul hit Alzarri Joseph for a maximum and a boundary back to back in the seventh over while Gayle hit Hardik Pandya a six and two back to back boundaries. They didn’t leave a single bowler to punish and added 116 runs in 12.5 overs prior to Chris Gayle’s dismissal for 63 off 36, including three boundaries and seven sixes.

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Later, KL Rahul scored a blistering 64-ball 100 and remained unbeaten. He became the third Indian player to score a century in both IPL and T20s after Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina.

Rather slow middle-order

After getting a stormy start of the innings and scored more than 100 runs in the first 11 overs, Punjab were hoping for a huge total for their opponent Mumbai Indians to chase. But Chris Gayle’s dismissal showed the batting dismal with in-form Mayank Agarwal’s absence.

Apart from Rahul who reached the triple figure and Gayle who reached the double-figure, no other batsmen were able to score a double-digit. They scored only 30 runs in the middle overs from 12-17 and lost three wickets in the likes of Chris Gayle, in-form David Miller and Karun Nair. This sudden collapse in the batting line up didn’t allow them to cross 2000-run mark in the 20 overs. 

turned out as a moment in which Punjab will avoid repeating in the future. This was the reason why KXIP failed to cross the 200-run mark. If they could do it, they might have won the game.

Kieron Pollard’s match-winning knock

Kieron Pollard is one of the trump cards of Mumbai Indians squad. He has the ability to turn the table single-handedly. Once again, he showcased his talent and won the game for Mumbai.

After getting a good start and KL Rahul’s century led Punjab to 197. Chasing their highest ever IPL score at home, Mumbai lost Siddhesh Lad within the powerplay. With the regular captain, Rohit Sharma’s absence, Mumbai’s batting line up was a bit weak than the other games.

However, Suryakumar Yadav’s dismissal in the 8th over brought Kieron Pollard on the field. He then steadied the ship with Ishan Kishan and added 30-run where Ishan made only 7. Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya both failed to capitalize with the bat and at one point he was running out of the partners from the non-strikers’ end.

Pollard took on every bowler for boundaries and maximums at regular intervals. He smashed a stormy 83 off 31 deliveries which included three fours and ten huge sixes. His heroics saved Mumbai from the loss and they registered their fourth wins out of six games by 3 wickets.

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