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IPL 2015 MI vs KKR: Mumbai Stay Alive With Last-over Thriller

By on May 15, 2015

Mumbai Indians 171 for 4 (Pandya 61*, Shakib 2-22) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 166 for 7 (Yusuf 52, Gambhir 38, Pollard 1-6) by 5 runs..

Rohit Sharma’s decision to give Kieron Pollard the final over proved a masterstroke, as the medium-pacer kept his nerve to defend 12 runs. He bowled three successive dot balls in the end with Piyush Chawla swinging aimlessly, as Mumbai Indians won by five runs at the Wankhede Stadium.

While Mumbai moved into the top four with the win, Knight Riders could have confirmed a spot in the playoffs with a victory, but they went off track in the last five overs.

Fifty was needed off the last five overs but Yusuf Pathan’s half-century had reduced it down to 12 off the final over. But he fell off the first ball to Pollard, an inspired decision of Rohit’s, and although Umesh Yadav got a boundary, Chawla hardly saw the ball properly as he kept swinging across the line.

IPL 2015 MI vs KKR: Hardik Pandya

Credits: ESPN CricInfo

All Mumbai bowlers, except Hardik Pandya, took a wicket each. Pandya had earlier played a superb innings to keep Mumbai in the game.

Mumbai’s innings derived most of its strength from the 92-run stand between Kieron Pollard and Pandya for the unbroken fifth wicket. The pair got together at the loss of Rohit Sharma in the 12th over, and accelerated with 72 runs in the last five overs.

Pandya smashed two sixes over midwicket and eight other fours in his unbeaten 31-ball 61. He not just outscored Pollard, who made 33 off 38 balls with just a four and a six, but dominated their partnership. Pandya struck Umesh Yadav for four consecutive boundaries in the 16th over before launching into Andre Russell in the 19th over for two fours and a six, reaching his first IPL fifty, off 25 balls.

Shakib Al Hasan’s two early wickets kept Mumbai from getting a brisk start. He first removed Parthiv Patel when he chipped to midwicket for Manish Pandey to take an easy catch. Pandey added to his tally after he held on to a chance offered by the other Mumbai opener, Lendl Simmons, in the fifth over. Shakib, then, took his second wicket, that of Ambati Rayudu, Russell taking a superb catch at wide long-on for two.

Rohit Sharma kept the score moving with singles and doubles, and added boundaries in the ninth over against Piyush Chawla, a cut and a sweep. But he was undone by a beauty from Sunil Narine who got the ball to curve after pitching on middle-stump. Rohit was bowled for 30 off 21 balls with five fours.

Shakib’s two for 22 aside, the Knight Riders would have been displeased by how Umesh and Russell bowled towards the end while also getting only one over out of Chawla.

Knight Riders began their chase of 172 runs with lots of boundaries but Robin Uthappa’s attempt to get cheeky resulted in him being caught at fine leg by Lasith Malinga, soon after hitting Harbhajan Singh for a six over square-leg. Manish Pandey’s poor call for a single made it 46 for two in the eventful sixth over from the offspinner.

Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan added 42 runs quickly before the Knight Riders captain was bowled by J Suchith, the next ball after being dropped on 38 by Pandya at deep mid-wicket. Yusuf kept playing the second fiddle as Shakib hammered 23 off 15 balls but he too fell in the pursuit of boundaries, caught off Vinay Kumar in the 15th over.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo‘s Bangladesh correspondent.

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