Mumbai Lose Fifth Straight Despite Pollard Blitz


Sit Last in Points Table

Mumbai Indians finished winless in their UAE leg of Pepsi IPL 2014. Chasing 173 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Rohit Sharma-led side was given a mid-innings boost thanks to a 48-ball 78 (3×4; 6×6) by Kieron Pollard. However, the SRH pacers – led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dale Steyn – ensured their side registered a 15-run win.

Earlier, MI won the toss and chose to take the field first. MI included Ben Dunk in place of Michael Hussey in their playing XI. Meanwhile, SRH persisted with the Aaron Finch-Shikhar Dhawan combination atop their batting order. And while Finch got his team off to a quick start, Dhawan (6) perished early off the bowling of Zaheer Khan with the scorecard reading 21 for one in 2.4 overs. Lokesh Rahul then joined Finch (16), and just when the duo seemed to have got a handle on the MI bowlers, the latter became Zaheer’s second victim of the night.

The dangerous David Warner walked in next for SRH. Along with Rahul, he took SRH past the 50-run mark. The duo then got their eye in and kept chipping away at the MI bowlers. They brought up the team’s 100 in the 14th over while laying a solid foundation for a late-overs onslaught. And Warner did take advantage of the situation by launching a couple of huge hits and bringing up his half-century in 41 balls. In the process, the right-hander even smashed an above-waist no-ball by Kieron Pollard straight into umpire Kumar Dharmasena; the brave umpire, however, was back on his feet in no time despite copping a hit on his left shoulder.

And while Warner (65) tormented the MI bowlers for a few more overs, he got out off the bowling of Corey Anderson in the 19th over with SRH on 149 for three. Darren Sammy (10) then replaced him and immediately made an impact by striking a first-ball six, and then, a four a couple of deliveries later. However, Anderson had the last laugh as he had the hard-hitting all-rounder caught in the deep off the last ball of the 19th over.

Rahul (46) then departed off the bowling of Laisth Malinga in the final over. After that, Naman Ojha (10*), in the company of Irfan Pathan (1*), took his team past the 170-run mark with two late fours. SRH finished at 172 for five as the last seven overs produced a whopping 83 runs.

In response, Ben Dunk opened the Mi innings with Rohit Sharma, who was cleaned up by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second over. Even Anderson (1) did not last long as he fell prey to Dale Steyn in the very next over. And while Dunk (20) got off to a decent start, he failed to make the most of it; Sammy bowled him out in the sixth over with MI struggling on 31 for three.

His dismissal brought Ambati Rayudu and Pollard together. The duo took the MI core past 50 as they tried to bring the run-chase back on track. But after 12 overs, MI were still 106 runs short of the target. That is when Pollard unleashed and took the attack to Amit Mishra, who had conceded only eight runs off his first two overs. Thanks to some big shots from the Trinidadian, the leggie went for 19 runs off his next. Pollard then meted out a similar treatment to the other SRH leg-spinner – Karn Sharma – and this time, he was joined by Rayudu as well. Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept things tight at the other end, bringing the run-chase equation to 67 off 30 balls.

And thanks to the mounting pressure, Irfan Pathan had Rayudu (35) caught in the deep while attempting a big hit. Pollard, however, continued to rally on and brought up his half-century in just 37 balls. And he continued to go after Mishra; thanks to three sixes and one four, Pollard helped plunder 27 runs off Mishra’s final over. From 58 off 24, the run-chase equation came down to 31 off 18 after that eventful over. 

Dhawan then handed the ball to Steyn, and he responded by claiming the wicket of Aditya Tare (7) and conceding only four runs off the over – the 18th of the innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar then got rid of Harbhajan Singh (1) in the next over while giving away just seven runs off it. MI needed 20 from the final over with Irfan Pathan rolling his arm. He cleaned up Pollard (78) off the very first ball and ended up conceding just four off the 20th over. With MI ending up at 157 for seven, SRH registered a 15-run win.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-0-17-2) and Steyn (4-0-20-2) were the pick of the SRH bowlers, and they were complemented Irfan Pathan (2-0-10-1), especially towards the end.


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