Rayudu, Pollard fashion sensational win for Mumbai Indians (Lead)

May 15th, 2012 - 12:00 am ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Bangalore, May 14 (IANS) An unbeaten 122-run sixth-wicket partnership in 65 balls between Ambati Rayudu (81) and Kieron Pollard (52) helped Mumbai Indians beat hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here late Monday night.

Chasing a target of 172 in a delayed match due to rain earlier, Mumbai managed 173 for five with two balls to spare and avenged their defeat by Royal Challengers back home by nine wickets.

The unlikely win kept Mumbai Indians’ hopes for a berth in play-offs alive with 18 points from 14 matches. They are tied on 18 points with table toppers Delhi Daredevils, who have played a match less, but the GMR-owned franchise stayed ahead on the basis of better run rate.

Though Mumbai too had a disastrous start like the hosts, losing the top three batsmen - including maestro Sachin Tendulkar for duck, Herschelle Gibbs (2) and in-form Rohit Sharma (5) for just 19 runs in the first four overs of the power play. But Man-of-the-Match Rayudu and Pollard snatched the game away with a steady innings in middle orders and hammered a weak bowling attack in slog overs.

Rayudu took time to settle after walking into the middle in eighth over and finished off the game with a four to remain 81 not out from 54 balls, including four sixes and six fours. The tall Pollard joined the party after his West Indian team mate Dwayne Smith left for six in ninth over for a cameo knock of 52 in 31 balls that included three huge sixes and five fours.

With the dramatic victory, Mumbai Indian maintained their all-win record against Royal Challangers in Bangalore.

For Royal Challangers, seamers Zaheer Khan, Vinay Kumar and Harshal Patel and offie Muthaiah Muralitharan shared one wicket each, while Herschelle Gibbs was run out by Saurabh Tiwary from a long throw by K.P. Apanna.

Earlier, Royal Challengers managed to reach 171 for six wickets in 20 overs, thanks to a rearguard assault by in-form Mayank Agarwal, who accelerated the score in the last two overs, hitting 35 runs in nine balls, including 24 in the last over of Munaf Patel, and remained 64 not out in 30 balls, with four sixes and six fours.

Put to bat first, the home team had a disastrous start losing their explosive batter Chris Gayle in the third over for a paltry six runs of eight balls, followed by a tragic run-out of stand-in skipper Virat Kohli same over for three when he skidded on the pitch and could not return to the bowling crease as striker Dilshan Tillakartne did not step out.

Though as other opener Dilshan remained at the crease on one side till 17th over for 47 in 50 balls with one six and four fours, Agarwal and Zaheer Khan (14) put up 36-run partnership for seventh wicket, even as Tiwary (21) and AB de Villiers (14) contributed valuable runs.

With seven wins and six defeats from 14 games, Royal Challengers remains at fifth position behind Chennai Super Kings.

As two-time runners-up, if Royal Challangers have to sneak into play-offs this time, it has to win the remaining two away games back-to-back against Deccan Chargers and Delhi Daredevils later this week.

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