Mumbai, Apr 11: Kieron Pollard (33-ball 64, 4/44) dazzled with a fine all-round performance to power Mumbai Indians to a 27-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in Game 12 of IPL 5 at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday night.
[Scorecard: IPL 5: Game 12: Mumbai Indians Vs Rajasthan Royals]
Faced with a big target of 198 in 20 overs, Rajasthan were bowled out for 170 in 19.4 overs. With this win, Mumbai Indians have gone to the top of the table with six points from four games. This was the first loss for Rajasthan in three games. They had won two out of two at home in Jaipur. Rajasthan dropped to fourth on the table from top.
Munaf Patel also shone with the ball taking four wickets for 28 runs in 3.4 overs. He is now the leading wicket-taker and holder of the Purple Cap.
Owais Shah threatened to spoil Pollard"s party with an equally belligerent knock. His 42-ball 76 with five fours and five sixes kept Rajasthan in the hunt till the 14th over but his dismissal was the end of their hopes of completing a hat-trick of wins.
Rajasthan needed 64 off 36 balls when Harbhajan threw the ball to his pace spearhead Malinga and the Sri Lanka dealt two blows in one over to turn the match in Mumbai"s favour.
Malinga clean bowled Shah and later added Johan Botha"s wicket in the same over. Malinga ended with 2/13 in 4 overs. This was the turning point of the match. If England right-hander Shah had stayed till the end, it could have been Rajasthan's game.
Pollard had three wickets in the 18th over as Rajasthan kept losing wickets with the required run rate going out of reach. Pollard finished with 4/44 in four overs. It was a night to remember for Pollard and he won the Man-of-the-match award.
Earlier, it was Munaf who put Rajasthan in early strife by taking two wickets in two balls. He got rid of the captain Rahul Dravid and wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami off the third and fourth deliveries of the second over. Shah walked in to face the hat-trick ball and denied Munaf three in three.
Mumbai Indians Innings Report
It was Kieron Pollard show at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday night. The tall West Indies batsman smashed a 33-ball 64 (6x4, 4x6) to power Mumbai Indians to a commanding 197/6 in 20 overs against Rajasthan Royals.
The Game 12 of IPL 5 saw Pollard bring out his usual belligerence when at the crease. Rajasthan"s bowlers, Johan Botha in particular, were in the firing line of the tall Trinidadian. Mumbai's score today is the highest so far in IPL 5. Mumbai batsmen hit 12 sixes and 14 fours in 20 overs.
Pollard hit two sixes and two fours in Botha"s first over. The South African gave away 22 runs in those six balls. Rajasthan finally dismissed Pollard in the 17th over when he was caught by Ajinkya Rahane at long-on off Ankeet Chavan. Pollard"s strike rate was an amazing 193.93.
In the company of Pollard, Ambati Rayudu also blossomed. He also got into six-hitting mode after seeing his partner smash the bowlers. Rayudu remained unbeaten on a 32-ball 47. In the final overs, captain Harbhajan made an undefeated 6-ball 18 with two sixes.
At 41, Australian left-arm wrist spinner Brad Hogg made his IPL debut. He took 2/31 in 4 overs
Rahul Dravid"s decision to bowl first might not have yielded the desire results for them. But we have to wait and see till the visiting batsmen complete their innings.
Rajasthan Royals' captain Rahul Dravid won the toss and opted to field first against Mumbai Indians in Game 12 of IPL 5 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday night.
Sachin Tendulkar misses third game in a row. He is nursing a finger injury which he sustained during the opening game against Chennai Super Kings on April 4.
Rajasthan have won both their matches so far. They had played those games at home in Jaipur. Mumbai have two wins in three matches. They lost to Pune Warriors here.
Mumbai went in with same side while Rajasthan brought in Australian left-arm spinner Brad Hogg for Brad Hodge.
Rajasthan are currently on top of the table with four points. Today will be their big test as they will be playing away from the comforts of home conditions.
Ajinkya Rahane, who has done well with Rajasthan, is a former Mumbai Indians boy. It will be interesting how the crowd react to him. He will be hoping to do well at his home ground, where he plays domestic cricket with Mumbai team.
Mumbai Indians: Harbhajan Singh (captain), Ambati Rayudu, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Richard Levi, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel, Rohit Sharma, T Suman.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Singh, Ankeet Chavan, Ashok Meneria, Sidharth Trivedi, Shreevats Goswami (wicketkeeper), Brad Hogg, Johan Botha, Kevon Cooper, Owais Shah.
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
Third Umpire: Subrat Das (India)
Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (India)