Chennai: Kieron Pollard (57) smashed a superb unbeaten half-century and took a sensational catch under pressure as Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings by nine runs in a thrilling IPL match, here on Saturday.
Pollard, the Man of the Match, took the Mumbai Indians to a competitive 148 for six after the visitors elected to bat at M A Chidambaram stadium.
Chennai captain M S Dhoni almost won the match for his side with a breathtaking 51-run knock off 26 balls but his dismissal in the first ball of the 20th over scripted Mumbai's sensational win.
With 12 runs to win from the last over, Dhoni hooked Munaf Patel powerfully but ended up being caught by an air-borne Pollard at the boundary ropes. That stunning catch sealed the fate of Chennai.
The hosts managed 139 for nine as they paid price for losing wickets intermittently and not building partnerships.
It was all due to Dhoni's heroic knock, which was studded with five fours and three sixes, that Chennai could come close to the target since the hosts were reeling at 99 for six in 16 overs at one stage.
Mumbai too met with a similar fate, when they were struggling at 59 for four in the ninth over before Pollard came to the crease and the West Indian bailed his side out of troubled waters with his 38-ball knock, which was laced with nine boundaries. The burly Caribbean ended the Mumbai innings with his fifth six.
A charged up Mumbai began the defence of their total impressively as the bowlers troubled the Chennai batsmen by keeping a tight line even as fielders dropped a few chances.
Murali Vijay (5), Suresh Raina (10) and Michael Hussey (20), who was dropped twice, were all back in the pavilion by the eight over.
Such was the domination of the Mumbai bowlers ' pacers spinners alike ' that in the first 10 overs Chennai batsmen could manage just five boundaries, three of them coming off Hussey's bat.
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha then removed Bravo and S Badrinath in successive overs. The hosts needed 60 off the last six overs and Dhoni almost did it for his side with his power-hitting even as the side lost Ravindra Jadeja (16) and R Ashiwn (2) in between.
Dhoni hit Pollard for a six and two fours at the beginning of the 18th over and from nowhere, Chennai were back in the game.
Earlier, Pollard's innings was studded with nine boundaries including five sixes. Mumbai scored 52 runs in the last five overs as Pollard and Harbhajan Singh shared an unbeaten 65-run stand for the seventh wicket. Harbhajan scored a run-a-ball 21. (PTI)