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Pollard’s Mumbai upstage Narine’s Knight Riders

Monday, April 10, 2017
Kolkata Knight Riders bowler Sunil Narine celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians batsman Rohit Sharma during their Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match in Mumbai, India, yesterday. Knight Riders fell to a four-wicket defeat. MUMBAI

Hardik Pandya blazed an unbeaten 29 off just 11 balls to get Mumbai to 180-6 for a four-wicket victory, after Knight Riders had posted 178-7.

With Mumbai needing 60 off the last four overs, Knight Riders looked to have match in the bag, particularly as they also took the key wicket of Kieron Pollard (17).

But Nitish Rana cashed in on a flurry of full tosses from Trent Boult and Ankit Rajpoot (3-37), smashing 50 off 29 balls before he fell with 19 still required off nine deliveries.

Pandya kept his composure in Boult’s last over, helped by poor Knight Riders fielding and a dropped catch to give Mumbai its first victory in the tournament after lost the team’s opener against Rising Pune Supergiant.

“Winning the game was important, we’re known for this and we keep people on their toes,” said Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma, who fell to a dubious lbw decision for just 2.

Manish Pandey’s brilliant unbeaten 81 off 47 balls had helped Knight Riders to a solid total. Pandey hammered New Zealand’s Mitchell McCleneghan for 23 runs in the last over of the innings—which featured two sixes and two fours.

“We panicked a little in the end with the misfield and the dropped catch,” Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir said. “There was a bit of dew on the ground that didn’t make it easy for spinners either, but we needed to hold our nerves in the end.”

At Hyderabad, 18-year-old Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was the architect of Sunrisers’ nine-wicket win, claiming 3-19 off his faster leg breaks and googlies.

Rashid tore the heart out of Lions’ batting when he had the experienced Brendon McCullum, captain Suresh Raina and Aaron Finch all trapped lbw in his first three overs after Sunrisers’ captain David Warner won the toss and opted to field.

“He’s (Rashid Khan) a superstar in the making, and adds great dynamics to our team,” Warner said.

Rashid’s figure could have been even more impressive, had Raina not been dropped by Warner in the first slip.

Later, television replays suggested that Dwayne Smith, on nine runs at the time, had got a faint edge off a Rashid delivery but was adjudged not out by the on-field umpire.

Smith went on to top-score with 37 and shared a 56-run fifth wicket stand with Dinesh Karthik (30), but Rashid’s early damage restricted Lions to just 135-7.

Lions, who also lost their first match by 10 wickets against Kolkata Knight Riders, yet again struggled for wickets as the Australian pair of Warner (76 not out) and Moises Henriques (52 not out) helped the defending champions race to 140-1 in 15.3 overs.

Warner faced 45 balls, hitting six fours and finished off the run-chase with his fourth six.

Henriques’ second successive half-century included six fours and came off 39 balls as the batsmen added 108 runs against Lions’ six-man all-Indian bowling attack.

Today, Kings XI Punjab will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at Indore. (AP)


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