Mumbai back to winning ways


Dubai: A clinical show by bowlers along with an unbeaten 40 from Hardik Pandya helped Mumbai Indians seal a six-wicket win over Punjab Kings at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Tuesday. This is Mumbai’s first win in the UAE leg of the tournament and places the defending champions at fifth place in the points table, thereby keeping their playoffs hopes alive.
Chasing 136, Mumbai was given a double jolt in the fourth over when Ravi Bishnoi took out Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav on successive deliveries. While Sharma miscued a slog-sweep to mid-on, Yadav failed to read the googly and was bowled through the gate.
Quinton de Kock and Saurabh Tiwary resurrected the chase with a stand of 45 runs for the third wicket. But Mohammed Shami broke the partnership in the tenth over as de Kock inside-edged a pull to his stumps.
Tiwary waged a lone battle for Mumbai, smashing boundaries and keeping his side in the hunt. But Tiwary perished at 45, chasing a wide yorker from Nathan Ellis and edging behind to KL Rahul, who dived forward to complete a low catch.
Hardik Pandya, dropped at seven by Harpreet Brar, smashed Mohammed Shami for a four and six over mid-wicket on consecutive deliveries in the 17th over. Kieron Pollard hit Arshdeep Singh for back-to-back boundaries in the 18th over. Pollard crunched Singh for a four-through extra cover followed by a big six over long-off.
Rohit Sharma, MI skipper, said, ‘ We do agree that we didn’t play to our potential, but it’s a long tournament and we need to stick to our plans and reading the situations is very important and we can take a lot of confidence from that. Important not to lose the guard. The way he (Hardik) understood the situation was very crucial from a team’s perspective, it’s important for him to spend the time in the middle as he’s coming back from a injury. It’s a tough call (on dropping Ishan Kishan) and he seems very confident and the reply you get from him was very boosting as well. Saurabh has played the perfect role today and he’s done well to nudge around in the middle overs. We are gonna back him (Ishan Kishan) as he’s a very important player for us. The ball was coming off when we started off and the grass is coming off the surface in the middle overs and we need to adjust to the conditions. He (Pollard) is one of our key players. Crucuial part of MI for so many years. He will be happy with taking the ‘Man of the Match’ for his bowling performance.’
KL Rahul, PBKS skipper, said, ‘ It was a great fight, but 135 was not enough on this pitch. We should have got about 170. The boys showed a lot of fight with the ball, we have done that two games in a row. The next three games will be interesting for us as the table looks interesting. It is what it is, we haven’t been able to handle the pressure. We’ll learn more if we play more together as a team. We need to be positive. We have three games, so we need to take one game at a time. We need to go out there and enjoy ourselves. All our games in the UAE have gone down to the wire, hopefully we can build on that.’
Kieron Pollard , Player of the Match, said, ‘ Very important to get my 300th wicket. I know what I can do in all the facets of the game. I will be more than happy to do what the team needs of me. You try and watch and target whom you can target and not. I enjoyed my 300th wicket which was KL and obviously it’s a landmark and very special. For me, it’s just of trying to practice and it’s all about practing and batting according to the situation. I admit that I don’t have pace, swing and seam but I can use my brain and get the job done. For us it’s very important to get these 2 points and hopefully this will be the much-needed spark in the dressing room.’