Prime News, National Sport, Cricket, Mumbai, April 11:- Keiron Pollard poured cold water on KL Rahul’s maiden hundred with a whirlwind knock as Mumbai Indians scripted a last-ball three-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab in a thrilling Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here on Wednesday.
World Cup hopeful Rahul slammed an unbeaten 100 off 64 balls (6×4; 6×6) along with Chris Gayle’s 63 off 36 balls to help Punjab post a challenging 197/4 after Pollard — captaining the team in the absence of Rohit Sharma who is injured — asked them bat first.
Chasing 198 for a win, Mumbai were stuttering at 56/2 when Pollard (83 off 31 balls) pushed himself up at No 4 and took the game away from Punjab by hitting 10 sixes and three fours.
With 15 needed in the last over, Pollard dismissed after smashing a six off a no ball and a four by Ankit Rajpoot.
But Alzarri Joseph (15 not out) kept his cool to take his team over the line with two needed from the last ball. Mumbai posted 198/7.
Mumbai were 56/2 when Pollard came to the crease. The veteran West Indies all-rounder then joined hands with Ishan Kishan (7) and Hardik Pandya 19) to stitch together 32 and 41 run stands for the fourth and fifth wickets respectively to then associate with Joseph for a seventh wicket 54-run partnership.
Earlier, Rahul and with Gayle combined for a 116-run opening wicket partnership to give the visitors a blistering start. While Rahul hit six fours and six sixes, Gayle bludgeoned seven maximums and three fours.
Gayle was dismissed in the 13th over after which Kings XI slowed down a bit. But Rahul ensured they get to a above par score by smashing Hardik Pandya 6-4-6-6 in the first four deliveries of the 19th over and then hitting Jasprit Bumrah for a four and six in the final over, as 38 runs came in the last two.
Rajasthan Royals will take on Chennai Super Kings in Jaipur. The match will start at 8 pm today (April 11). (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)