MUMBAI: Kieron Pollard’s sensational 83-run knock put KL Rahul’s maiden Indian Premier League hundred in the shade as Mumbai Indians pulled off a thrilling last-ball three-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab last night.
Rahul and Chris Gayle, who struck a 36-ball 63, powered Kings XI Punjab to an imposing 197 for four after being asked to bat.
Stand-in captain Pollard single handedly brought his side back in the game with his 31-ball knock punishing the Punjab bowlers with 10 sixes and three fours.
The burly West Indian was dismissed in the second ball of the last over with four needed for victory from final five balls.
Alzarri Joseph (15 not out), who added a crucial 54 runs in 23 balls with Pollard for the seventh wicket, and Rahul Chahar (1) managed to hold their nerves to take side past the finish line.
The victory was the third in a row for Mumbai and took their tally to eight from six games while Punjab suffered their third defeat in seven games.
Pollard’s pyrotechnics stole the thunder from Punjab openers Rahul who had carried his bat through with an unbeaten 100 in 64 balls with the help of six fours and as many sixes and his opening partner Chris Gayle who smashed 63 in 36 balls with seven sixes and three fours.
Mumbai were without captain Rohit Sharma, who was rested as a precautionary measure due tomuscle spasm in his right leg.
BRIEF SCORES: Mumbai Indians 198 for 7 (Pollard 83, Shami 3-21) beat Kings XI Punjab 197 for 4 (Rahul 100*, Gayle 63, Hardik 2-57) by three wickets.
TODAY’S FIXTURE: Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings (Jaipur, 5.30pm)