Kieron Pollard made his first match in two weeks count, spanking his first half-century of the season as Mumbai Indians improved their playoff chances with a narrow three-run victory over Chris Gayle’s Kings XI Punjab Wednesday.
Recalled after being dropped for poor form which had yielded a mere 76 runs in his six previous innings, Pollard top-scored with exactly 50 as Mumbai, sent in at the Wankhede Stadium, gathered 183 for five from their 20 overs.
Pollard’s West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago teammate, Evin Lewis, fell cheaply for nine in the fourth over with the score on 37, bowled by Australian seamer Andrew Tye (4-16), as the hosts slipped to 71 for four in the ninth over.
However, Pollard joined forces in a 65-run fifth wicket stand with Krunal Pandya, who made 32, to reinvigorate the innings.
The right-handed Pollard struck five fours and three sixes in an up tempo 23-ball innings while Pandya’s knock was more measured, requiring the same number of deliveries and including a four and a pair of sixes.
Pollard was severe on seamer Ankit Rajpoot, blasting him for 18 runs off the 14th over of the innings. He then took 17 runs from the following over sent down by Aussie Marcus Stoinis.
He was eventually sixth out in the 16th over, drilling off-spinner Ravi Ashwin (2-18) into the lap of long off.
The half-century, however, was only Pollard’s fourth in 28 innings dating back to last season.
In reply, Kings XI were held to 183 for five from their 20 overs despite opener Lokesh Rahul’s 94 and 46 from Australian Adam Finch.
Gayle punched two fours and a six in scoring 18 from 11 balls but perished in the fourth over, miscuing a hook at left-arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan and falling to a catch in the deep.
Kings XI required 17 from the last over but fell short, leaving themselves sixth in the eight-team table on 12 points while Mumbai assumed fourth spot with 12 points.