Thursday, December 14, 2017


WI batsman stars in heated IPL contest


POWER PLAY: Mumbai Indians batsman Kieron Pollard muscles the ball through the covers during his 31-ball knock of 43 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in yesterday’s Indian Premier League match in Mumbai. Mumbai Indians won by 19 runs. —Photo: courtesy BCCI

Mark Fraser

 A calculated charge from Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard and some good bowling from Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah combined to give Mumbai Indians a 19-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in a heated Indian Premier League match in Mumbai, yesterday.

Sharma, who top-scored with an unbeaten 59 off 35 balls with four sixes and three fours, and Pollard, who hit 43 off 31 balls with six fours, came together at 84 for four in the tenth over and accelerated late to add 97 in the next ten as Mumbai posted 187 for five off their 20 overs with the help of 25 extras, including 12 wides.

Singh, Malinga and Bumrah grabbed two wickets each as Bangalore were restricted to 168 for eight off 20 overs despite getting a good start from West Indies batsman Chris Gayle who slammed three sixes and three fours in a 24-ball 38.

When Mumbai batted first, they were 84 for four in the tenth over when Pollard joined Sharma in the middle. The first five overs of the partnership produced only 29 but with about six overs left, the pair gradually opened up despite a confrontation between Pollard and Mitchell Starc.

The tension had been building up since Pollard had a minor run-in with Chris Gayle, when he stood outside his crease and dared the latter to run him out. Matters got much worse in the 17th over when Starc bowled a bouncer at Pollard, who missed an attempted hook and just avoided getting hit. 

The fast bowler had a few words to say and Pollard’s response was to wave him away. More gamesmanship lay in wait as he pulled away just as Starc was about to deliver the next ball but Starc bowled anyway, following him and angling it in past the batsman.

Pollard then threw his bat at Starc. But the bowler had the satisfaction of running Pollard out, teasing the batsman to come back before swatting the bail off. 

When Bangalore batted, Gayle and Patel responded with an opening stand of 53 in five overs. Parthiv did the early running before Gayle took Pawan Suyal for four successive boundaries in the third over. Rohit turned to Harbhajan, and after a quiet opening over, the off spinner had Parthiv bowled on the slog-sweep before Gayle hit the bowler for consecutive boundaries in the same over. 

Harbhajan was given a fourth over on the trot and the first four balls went for 12. Gayle attempted a slog-sweep off the fifth, missed and was bowled for 38 off 24. 

Royal Challengers needed 72 off the last eight over with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers looking good.

However, de Villiers was bowled in the 13th over, missing after having backed too far across to Bumrah before Kohli swatted Suyal straight to long-off in the next over. Pollard then ran out Yuvraj Singh as Bangalore slipped further.

The saga between Pollard and Starc continued in the second half of the match when Starc was greeted by a bouncer from the Trini, who eventually caught him at cover in the next over off Malinga with the score on 139. Rilee Rossouw then hit 24 off 14 but Royal Challengers could not find a way back.

Summarised scores:

Mumbai Indians 187-5 (20 overs) (Rohit Sharma 59 n.o., Kieron Pollard 43, Chindhambaram Gautam 30) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 168-8 (20 overs) (Chris Gayle 38, Virat Kohli 35, Parthiv Patel 26, Rilee Rossouw 24; Jasprit Bumrah 2/22, Harbhajan Singh 2/33, Lasith Malinga 2/29)

—Mumbai won by 19 runs