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Powerful Pollard leads Mumbai to the top of IPL standings with incredible win against Hyderabad

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An incredible unbeaten 66 from just 27 balls from the irrepressible Kieron Pollard helped guide the Mumbai Indians to a 7 wicket win over the unfortunate Sunrisers Hyderabad, who looked on top for the better part of the contest. The Sunrisers made the most of winning the toss and batting first to post a competitive 178-3 on the board against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. The Mumbai Indians were 117-3 after 16 overs, needing an unlikely 62 runs from the last 4 overs for victory when Pollard took charge of proceedings, smashing 8 sixes from the next 17 balls he faced to power his side to an unlikely win.

The result takes Mumbai to the top of the IPL standings level on points with the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, but ahead of the two sides on net run rate. It also mathematically keeps the Kings XI Punjab and the Kolkata Knight Riders still in the tournament, but realistically it puts the battle down for the final play-off spot into a straight shoot out between the Sunrisers and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, with the latter's significantly higher net run rate virtually as good as a bonus point.

Parthiv Patel got off to a flier, racing to 26 from 14 balls with the help of 5 boundaries before he was dismissed by Lasith Malinga, but Shikhar Dhawan took over the task of scoring quick runs when his opening partner departed, and in the company of Hanuma Vihari kept the scoreboard moving at a brisk pace.

The Sunrisers scored 52 runs in the powerplay and a 73 run stand between Dhawan and Vihari put them in a good position towards the second half of their innings. Dhawan made a handy 59 from 41 balls before he fell to Mitchell Johnson, but Cameron White then took charge of proceedings and laced into the Mumbai bowling.

The former Australian T20 skipper smashed 43 from 23 balls to power his team to 178-3, and it could have been a lot more had it not been some exceptional bowling at the death by Lasith Malinga (who finished with 2-26), and Dhawal Kulkarni, who bowled an excellent final over.

The Mumbai Indians were very much in the contest right from the beginning of their innings, with their top three all getting starts. Dwayne Smith (21), Sachin Tendulkar (38) and Dinesh Karthik (30) all scored at better than a run a ball. Amongst them Tendulkar was forced to retire hurt due to pain in his left forearm, and will hopefully be fit for the games to follow.

After Ambati Rayudu fell for 2, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard took time to find their feet, and heading into the final timeout needing 62 to win, the match appeared to be the Sunrisers' to lose.

The decision to give the 17th over of the innings to Thisara Perera (who had a very poor day with the bat too) backfired miserably as the Sri Lankan allrounder was smashed for 29 runs in the over including 4 sixes. The carnage was carried forward into the next over, and at one stage Pollard had smashed 5 consecutive sixes from the balls he faced (across 2 overs).

The game was by then in the bag, and Mumbai cruised to victory with 3 balls to spare despite the best efforts of a tireless Dale Steyn, who steamed in for the penultimate over, conceding just 5 runs off it.

Mumbai will next take on the Rajasthan Royals right here at the Wankhede on Wednesday in a game which could decide which of those two sides goes into the Qualifier and which into the Eliminator. The Sunrisers meanwhile also have to face the Royals next, with their game being on home turf on Friday.


Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith, Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha, Dhawal Kulkarni.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Parthiv Patel (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Cameron White (c), Biplab Samantray, Darren Sammy, Karan Sharma, Thisara Perera, Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma

Mini Scorecard:

SRH 178-3 (20 overs, 8.9rpo)

S Dhawan 59 (41) L Malinga 2-26

C White 43* (23) M Johnson 1-43

MI 184-3 (19.3 overs, 9.43rpo)

K Pollard 66* (27) K Sharma 2-22

S Tendulkar 38 (31) I Sharma 1-32

MI win by 7 wickets