Pollard nukes Hyderabad into submission

The West Indians' 27-ball 66 takes Mumbai to the top of the IPL tally.

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Heavy hitting.MUMBAI:
Kieron Pollard's remorseless hitting inflicted a crush injury upon the clueless Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, as Mumbai Indians set an almost-assured foot in the last-four of this season's IPL skirmish following an improbable seven-wicket win.

Pollard bludgeoned eight sixes in a surreal, unbeaten 27-ball 66 to pull his team out of the pits in the nick of time. Mumbai looked out for the count when they needed 62 off the last four overs, and that's when the carnage began. Thisara Perera went for 29, including four sixes, in the 17th, and then Amit Mishra was pasted for 21, with three more sailing over the ropes.

The end came expectedly on the back of two more maximums off Perera, as Mumbai romped home with three balls to spare and kept their winning home record intact. They also soared to the top of the points table with this victory, and gave Kolkata Knight Riders another mathematical possibility to hang their hopes on.

Slow start

This outcome seemed rather impossible when Sachin Tendulkar (38) went off the field with a hurting palm after he had added 68 with Dinesh Karthik (30) . Karthik and Ambatti Rayudu were soon out to Kedar Sharma and Mumbai faced an uphill task, until Pollard made it all too easy with his massive strikes.

Sunrisers had earlier set a stiff target, thanks to contributions from Shikhar Dhawan (59) and skipper Cameron White (43*). Parthiv Patel got them rolling with four boundaries in Mitchell Johnson’s first over to set the tone.

By the time the left-hander was out for a 14-ball 26, caught off the bowling off : Lasith Malinga, the visitors were well on their way to their best Powerplay score this season - 52/1 – following Cameron White’s decision to bat.

Dhawan shines

Dhawan then stepped into Parthiv’s shoes. The mustachioed batsman picked sixes off Johnson and Pragyan Ojha, leading a 73-run alliance with Hanuma Vihari (41), who was content with rotating the strike and picking the odd boundary.

The Delhiite reached his half-century in 36 balls before a Johnson slower delivery sent him packing, and cleared the way for skipper Cameron White to impart the forceful push. The Aussie southpaw pulled and lofted the expensive Dhaval Kulkarni to the fence, and launched Ojha back over his head.

White was dropped by Ambati Rayudu in the deep, and he went on to send two more balls soaring over the fence. Although Malinga returned to bowl a tight 19th over, White managed to heft the last delivery of the session – bowled by Kulkarni – across the rope for another maximum, runs that turned out to be inconsequential in the face of Pollard's detonation. 

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