Skipper Rohit Sharma laid the foundation with a stylish half-century as Mumbai Indians romped home against Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets in an Indian Premier League encounter.
Chasing a target of 171, Rohit set the pace with yet another attractive knock of 62 off 44 balls, it was Kieron Pollard, who finished with a flourish hammering an unbeaten 39 off 19 balls as the home team notched up their second win in 18 overs. Jos Buttler with 28 off 14 balls also did his bit.
The giant Caribbean hit four boundaries and three sixes. This was MI’s second win in five matches. RCB have now lost two out of three matches.
It was in the 17th over bowled by Kane Richardson that saw Pollard hit two huge sixes — one down the ground and another hook shot behind square to swing it decisively in Mumbai Indians’ favour.
In the next over, Pollard hit another six off Shane Watson as the required number of runs came in single digits. He then finished the match with two successive boundaries.
Rohit was at his elegant best during the chase as he played an effortless frontfoot pull-shot off Varun Aaron to dispatch him into the stands. His second six was a Nataraja Shot where he whipped one behind backward square leg off medium pacer Harshal Patel.
While Ambati Rayudu played the second fiddle chipping away with singles and occasional boundaries, Rohit seemed to caress the ball to the boundary.
Rayudu got out just when he was getting into the groove with a couple boundaries off Harshal. He tried an ambitious slog sweep off left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah to be caught at deep mid-wicket boundary by Kane Richardson.
Rohit-Rayudu duo added 76 in 9.1 overs for the second wicket.
Rayudu’s departure brought Jos Buttler who started by guiding Abdullah to the third man boundary.
A pulled boundary off Stuart Binny followed by a single brought up his second half-century in this edition of IPL.
Bustling with confidence, Rohit sent Abdullah into the cow corner stands followed by a thumping boundary wide of long-on. But his indiscretion cost him as he tried to hit a second six off Abdullah only to be holed out long-off.
Rohit’s 62 off 44 balls had four boundaries and three sixes.
With Mumbai Indians in a tricky position at 109 for 3, RCB skipper Virat Kohli brought back Aaron with relatively new pair of Pollard and Buttler at the crease.
In the 15th ver bowled by Watson, Pollard played a pull and a hook to get a couple of boundaries while Buttler square cut the bowler. In the next over Buttler got two successive sixes before he was caught at short third-man trying a third six. But Pollard was there till the end to take his team home without much fuss.
Feature image source: IPL