A captain's knock from stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard took Mumbai Indians (MI) to an unlikely win at the Wankhede Stadium in a thrilling run-chase on Wednesday against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Needing 198 to win after KL Rahul blasted his maiden IPL ton, Pollard walked in at the fall of the second wicket and was out there until the final over before being dismissed with the game nearly in the bag.
Here are the best moments from the match.
Gayle Storm sweeps Behrendorff off
After a decent start to the season, Chris Gayle had endured two low scores last week and came to Mumbai seeking some form. Gayle got off to his customary slow start but decided that he would target the Australian seamer, Jason Behrendorff, who wasn't getting much swing.
In the fifth over of the KXIP innings, Gayle Storm hit Wankhede with Behrendorff being at the receiving end of a 23-run over, 22 of which came off Gayle's bat. The West Indian clobbered the left-arm seamer over long-on and mid-wicket for sixes off successive deliveries before ending the over with a four and yet another six.
KL Rahul vs Hardik Pandya
Having made three successive half-centuries, KL Rahul was in ominous touch at Wankhede when Hardik Pandya's ordinary death bowling was thrown at him. On 69 off 54 balls, Rahul went bonkers against Pandya in the penultimate over of the King's XI innings. He smothered Pandya over extra cover for a six and followed it up another boundary through the same region.
When Pandya changed things up and bowled a short ball, Rahul, who had anticipated that, was waiting. He pulled him for a maximum, much to Mumbai Indians’ dismay. Desperate to salvage the over, Pandya looked for a yorker and ended up gifting another length ball in Rahul's zone. The Kings XI opener slammed him down the ground for a third six in the over. 25 runs came off the over as Rahul raced into the 90s.
Siddhesh Lad makes his first ball in IPL a memorable one
Siddhesh Lad might be the Mumbai Ranji Trophy skipper but having been bought in the 2015 IPL auctions, he was never given a debut until Wednesday when he replaced an injured Rohit Sharma. Incidentally, Hardik Pandya was bought in the same auction by Mumbai Indians and had gone on to play over a 50 matches for the franchise.
After five years of waiting in the wings, Lad finally had an opportunity to make a mark. He was asked to open the innings and walked in alongside Quinton de Kock for Mumbai in a chase of 198. Lad hit Ankit Rajpoot for a six on the first ball of his IPL career and followed it up with a four next ball to race to 10 in two balls on debut. Unfortunately, his knock ended on 15 when Shami cleaned him up.
Miller misses one, makes amends with two beauties
David Miller is the kind of fielder you hope to have everywhere in the field, yet on Wednesday he had no place to hide after shelling a regulation catch of Suryakumar Yadav in the fifth over. Ankit Rajpoot had invoked an edge off Suryakumar's bat and the ball flew to point where Miller mistimed his jump and shelled a sitter. The Mumbai batsmen immediately made Kings XI pay with two fours in the same over.
Miller, though, had his chance at redemption and pulled off a screamer to dismiss his countryman, Quinton de Kock. Ravichandran Ashwin enticed de Kock into a slog with a loopy off-break that the South African looked to hoist down the ground without getting to the pitch of the ball. The ball went to the left of Miller at long-off and the fielder covered good ground in running towards the ball and sliding perfectly to complete a brilliant catch.
He added another important catch in the final over when he kept his composure and held onto a catch near the ropes to send back the belligerent Kieron Pollard.
Episode 3 surrounding the zing bails
After being unmoved when Dhoni hit the stumps with a throw and when Chris Lynn chopped onto the stumps two days ago, the zing bails had made headlines this IPL season. On Wednesday, it was Hardik Pandya's turn to be at the receiving end of the generosity of the bails.
Hardus Viljoen bowled a back of a length delivery at Hardik's legs in the first ball of the 13th over and the Mumbai Indians batsman tried to glide the ball through fine-leg. He missed the attempt but the ball appeared to have deflected off something as it raced to the boundary past Rahul's outstretched arms.
Replays later revealed that the ball had actually shaved the leg-stump on its way to the boundary ropes but the bails hadn't moved.
The impromptu wink and Pollard's finish
Kieron Pollard had gone berserk at Wankhede after walking in at No 4. The stand-in skipper slammed seven sixes as he reached his half-century in the 17th over and then took on Sam Curran for 17 in an over to reduce the equation to 15 runs to win in the last over.
Ankit Rajpoot was tasked with the responsibility of containing the big West Indian and the Kings XI seamer steamed in first ball only to pull out at the last minute and wink cheekily at Pollard.
However, he got it all wrong next ball as he overstepped and bowled a full toss which Pollard dumped into the stands. The free-hit was put away for another boundary and Mumbai Indians needed just four from five balls to win. Rajpoot redeemed himself by dismissing Pollard — well caught by Miller in the deep — but it wasn't enough to salvage the game and Alzarri Joseph took the hosts home off the final ball.