Mumbai: Wriddhiman Saha starred with the ball while Mohit Sharma bowled an excellent last over as Kings's XI Punjab edged Mumbai Indians by 7 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in Thursday night.
Had Mumbai chased down the target of 231, it would have been a new record for the highest successful chase in the cash-rich league, but it wasn't meant to be.
Chasing the mammoth target, Mumbai openers Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons got off to the perfect start as they hit boundaries for fun. The duo took apart the Punjab bowlers as they reached the 50-run mark in just the fifth over of the innings.
While Simmons was batting on 44, Mohit Sharma dropped a sitter to give a second life to Simmons. The West Indian made the most of it and slammed two sixes in the same over to bring up his half-century.
Parthiv Patel hit three boundaries in a row but Mohit Sharma exacted his revenge by dismissing the southpaw for 38 runs. Lendl Simmons too didn't last long after that as he was sent back by Maxwell for 59. Martin Guptill picked up the catch of the season contender when the Kiwi flew in the air and took a one-hand catch at the boundary ropes.
Rohit Sharma and Nitish Rana fell in quick succession as Mumbai were in a spot of bother at 121/4.
Hardik was finally dismissed by Sandeep for 30, but Pollard kept Mumbai in the hunt by hitting boundaries at win. Karn Sharma too joined the party and came up with a sensational 6-ball 19 to help Mumbai close in on to the designated target.
Sandeep Sharma then bowled an excellent last over as he gave away just 7 runs off it. Mumbai needed 16 runs off the final six deliveries — with Pollard and Harbhajan Singh at the crease and this is how the last over was bowled by Mohit Sharma.
1st Ball: Mohit bowls a length ball outside the off-stump and Pollard hit it down the ground to take 2 runs. But replays showed that Pollard didn't touch the line while turning back for the double so only one run counted. Mumbai need 15 off 5.
2nd Ball: Mohit bowls a slower delivery and Pollard hits a huge six on the leg-side. Mumbai need 9 off 4 now.
3rd Ball: Mohit bowls a low full-toss and Pollard hits it down the ground but refuses to take a single. Mumbai need 9 off 3 now.
4th Ball: Mohit bowls a low dipping yorker and Pollard cannot get underneath it. Another dot ball. Mumbai need 9 off 2 now.
5th Ball: Mohit bowls a low dipping yorker outside the off-stump and Pollard fails to hit it again. Mumbai need 9 off 1 now.
6th Ball: Mohit bowls another cracking yorker and Pollard can only hit it for a single. Mumbai win by 7 runs.
Earlier, Wriddhiman Saha's excellent effort of an unbeaten 93 propelled Kings XI Punjab to 230/3 in their designated 20 overs.
Put in to bat, Kings XI were off to a flying start with the new opening duo of Martin Guptill (36 from 18 balls) and Saha putting on 68 runs before being separated by leg-spinner Karn Sharma.
Saha, who was promoted to open the innings after South African Hashim Amla left to join his national side for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy, complimented the New Zealand big hitter well as the Punjab side raced to 50 off just 24 balls.
Guptill started the innings slamming medium pacer Hardik Pandya for two fours in the very first over and then dispatching Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga for a flat six as the Kiwi right-hander looked set for a big innings.
He then fetched two boundaries off Karn's first over before attempting another slog off the leggie, which got the elevation but failed to go the distance as Hardik latched on to a superb catch to bring the smiles back to the Mumbai crowd.
Saha too joined the party, fending the ball to the boundary thrice in the second over from pacer Mitchell McClenaghan before sending Malinga to the leather hunt twice.
Joined by captain Glenn Maxwell (47 off 21), the second wicket partnership flourished to 63 in no time as the Australian meted out special treatment to Karn and veteran offie Harbhajan Singh, clobbering the spinners for five sixes in consecutive overs.
Comfortably placed at 131/2, the stage was set for another Aussie Shaun Marsh (25 off 16) to press the accelerator from the first ball.
Marsh got down to business immediately, clobbering Harbhajan and McClenaghan for two sixes to add 52 runs for the third wicket with Saha, who by now had reached his half century off 31 balls.
In the same over from the Kiwi, Marsh perished in his attempt to clear the boundary when he mistimed one from McClenaghan only for stumper Parthiv Patel to take a clean catch in the point region, as Punjab lost their third wicket at 183.
Mumbai managed to pull back things for a while but could not stop the visitors cross the 200-run mark as the left-right combo of all-rounder Axar Patel (19 not out of 13) and Saha added an unbeaten 47 for the fourth wicket to guide the team to their third highest IPL total.
((With Ians Inputs))