Images from the Indian Premier League match between Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians, in Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday.
Kieron Pollard excelled with bat and ball as Mumbai Indians got back to winning ways after three defeats, beating Punjab Kings by six wickets, in the Indian Premier League match, in Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday.
The burly West Indian first took two wickets, conceding just eight runs, and then struck an unbeaten 15 off 7 balls in partnership with Hardik Pandya (40 not out off 30) after Mumbai were reduced to 92 for 4 in the 16th over to fashion a thrilling victory.
Much credit for the victory should also go to Saurabh Tiwary, who top-scored with 45.
Earlier, Aiden Markram top-scored with 42 as Punjab Kings were restricted to 135 for 6.
The victory swelled Mumbai’s points tally to 10 from 11 games and placed them fifth in the eight-team league.
Punjab Kings, with eight points from 11 matches, occupy sixth place.
Pandya finally showed glimpses of his destructive self as he brought the defending champions back in play-off contention. He smashed two fours and a six in the penultimate over, bowled by Mohammed Shami, as Mumbai chased down the target in 19 overs.
Pollard hit a six and four off young left-armer Arshdeep Singh, taking 13 off the 18th over. That onslaught gave Hardik the liberty to go for the jugular against Shami. It only helped that his final shot, which ended as a maximum, was a regulation catch, but Deepak Hooda dropped it on the fence.
Defending the total, leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi got rid of Rohit Sharma (8) and Suryakumar Yadav (0) off successive deliveries, leaving Mumbai tottering on 16 for 2.
Tiwary and Quinton de Kock (27) took the team to 30 for 2 in the powerplay. The former eased the pressure with a boundary in the cover-point area, before picking up another four off Nathan Ellis.
Dropped by Aiden Markram on the boundary line in eighth over, Tiwary danced down the wicket and deposited Harpreet over mid-wicket for a maximum to bring up the 50.
De Kock, who was looking good, lost his bearing in the 10th over as he dragged one on to his stumps, immediately after pulling Mohammed Shami for a four as Mumbai slumped to 62 for 3.
But Tiwary and Hardik Pandya kept Mumbai in hunt though runs dried up with Arshdeep Singh taking the pace off even as Harpreet dropped the India all-rounder to add to his frustration.
Needing 52 off 36, Tiwary clobbered Bishnoi over mid-wicket but he was soon dismissed by Nathan Ellis.
Hardik then unleashed a four and six off Shami.
Needing 29 from the last three overs, Pollard blasted one across extra cover and then deposited the next one over long-off.
Hardik then exploded in the 19th over, bowled by Shami, sending a wide delivery across the boundary and then pulled one across the midwicket before heaving one over long-on to end the contest.
Earlier, Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard snapped two wickets each as Mumbai Indians produced a disciplined bowling performance to restrict Punjab Kings to a below-par 135 for 6.
Put in to bat, Punjab Kings rode on fine knocks from Aiden Markram (42 off 29) and Deepak Hooda (28), who shared a 61-run partnership to prop the team after they were reduced to 48 for 4 in 7.3 overs.
However, once the South African was back in the hut in the 16th over, Punjab failed badly, unable to sore a single boundary, managing a meagre 23 runs in the last four overs.
Pollard (2 for 8) and Bumrah (2 for 24) were the pick of Mumbai’s bowlers. They were well-supported by Krunal Pandya (1 for 24), Rahul Chahar (1 for 27) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (0 for 19).
Opening the innings, K L Rahul (21) looked in good touch as he played a perfect cover drive against Boult before showing the full face of the bat to Bumrah for an exquisite off drive.
Mandeep Singh (15) too picked up a couple of boundaries, but Krunal Pandya trapped him when he tried to sweep across the line as Punjab lost their first wicket.
With Chris Gayle coming in, skipper Rohit Sharma handed the ball to Kieron Pollard and he struck straightaway.
Looking for a big hit, Gayle holed out to Hardik Pandya at long-on.
Two balls later, Pollard bagged his 300th wicket in T20s when Rahul pulled a short of length delivery straight to Bumrah at short fine leg.
Bumrah then produced his famous dipping yorker to trap Nicholas Pooran in front of wicket as Punjab were reduced to 48 for 4 in eight over.
Markram and Hooda then kept the scoreboard ticking, picking up singles off Chahar and occasional boundaries to take Punjab to 90 for 4 in 14 overs.
The South African pounced on a wider delivery from Rahul Chahar for a boundary before producing an elegant looking shot off Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Hooda, after a sluggish start, unleashed a pull off Boult for the first six of the innings.
After the second time-out, Markram changed gears and belted Boult through extra cover and then punched one through the covers for another boundary.
He picked up another boundary off Chahar before being outfoxed by the bowler, who disturbed his off-stump.
However, Punjab couldn't get the momentum going as new-man Harpreet Brar struggled to negotiate the variations of Bumrah and Coulter-Nile in the death overs.
Hooda, in desperation, then sent one up in the air only to be caught by Pollard as Punjab Kings ended with a below-par score.