Mumbai Indians beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 4 wickets
Kieron Pollard played his best MI knock till date to lead his side to a four-wicket win over RCB
At M Chinnaswamy Stadium, (MI) had an upper hand in the head-to-head encounters against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Royal Challengers Bangalore must have felt confident in their fourth match of the season with the return of their skipper Virat Kohli against Mumbai Indians. Chris Gayle, who missed RCB’s last game, also returned to the playing XI. With Kohli at the top, the Jamaican forms one-half of a lethal opening combo.
After putting up only 142 for 5 against a batting-heavy MI, fortunes were unlikely to swing towards RCB. However, Samuel Badree took a hat-trick in the third over and reduced MI to 7 for 4. The top order were back in the dug out, and all RCB had to do was pick a few more wickets and seal the deal. But little did they know that Kieron Pollard would display a magnificent show of character and take MI to a 4-wicket win.
As a result, 143 was not that big a task until Badree became the seventh West Indian bowler, in the third over, to take a hat-trick.
Badree first got rid of Parthiv who tried to clear the infield but found Chris Gayle at cover. In came McClenaghan at №3 as pinch-hitter. He played a mindless shot to long-on and threw away his wicket. When Rohit was at the strike, it was quite evident that Badree would ball a wrong’ un. Badree knocked over Rohit and became only the third leg-spinner to take a hat-trick.
Badree had taken three in three — the 15th time it has happened in IPL history and first time this season. The West Indian finished with four wickets — one off his final delivery, removing in-form Nitish Rana for 11. His figures? 4–1–9–4!
MI needed another 136 off 104. At the crease were Pollard and Nitish Rana. Kohli had men around the bat to put MI in further trouble. But Pollard and Krunal Pandya picked up the pieces to shape what turned out to be a famous win. Pollard thumped three fours and five sixes to score 70 off 47 while Krunal remained unbeaten on 37 to help MI chase down the target in 18.5 overs. Together, they added 93 runs as the visitors recorded their third straight win.
In the process, Pollard became the first player to complete 7,000 runs in T20 cricket without scoring a hundred. Virat Kohli who scored a brilliant half-century on his return to the IPL 2017 was over-shadowed by Kieron Pollard’s innings.
This win is the third consecutive one for Rohit Sharma and his team and second consecutive loss for RCB. Kieron Pollard was adjudged the Man of the Match for scoring 70 runs off 47 balls.
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