Mumbai: Mumbai Indians (MI) reclaimed the top spot in the points table after thumping a hapless Pune Warriors (PW) by 21 runs in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at Dr D Y Patil Sports Academy here on Wednesday.
Mumbai Indians posted a challenging 160 for seven after being invited to bat as T. Suman blazed his way to a 16-ball 36 and Pollard played a useful 29-run cameo towards the end to help the side recover from a sluggish start.
Backed by some disciplined bowling and inspiring fielding, Mumbai then restricted the Warriors to 139 for seven to record their seventh win in nine matches.
The Warriors slumped to seventh defeat in a row and they need a miracle of sorts to make the play-offs. Their last win had come on 13 April at this ground when they had defeated Kochi Tuskers Kerala by four wickets.
Lasith Malinga (3/25) was the most successful bowler for Mumbai while Harbhajan Singh (1/17), Munaf Patel (1/30) and Kieron Pollard (1/36) all took one wicket apeice.
Warriors were never in the chase after losing Jesse Ryder off the very first ball of the innings from Harbhajan Singh, though Manish Pandey (59) fought a losing battle from one end.
Pandey, who knock came off 47 balls, and Robin Uthappa (34 unbeaten off 26) were the only batsmen who resisted the formidable Mumbai attack but their effort could only reduce the defeat margin.
Pune skipper Yuvraj Singh (20) sizzled for a while, hitting two sixes and a four during his short stay at the crease, but was undone by a brilliant bouncer by Malinga and an equally good catch by Munaf in the third-man region.
Earlier, Mumbai had managed just 65 runs for two wickets after 10 overs but found an unlikely hero in Suman, who hit three sixes and as many fours to lead the fightback.
Pollard played a useful cameo (29 off 21), with two fours and as many sixes to help Mumbai go past the 150-run mark.
Pune bowlers had done an exceptional job early on and leg-spinner Rahul Sharma returned incredible figures of 4-0-7-2 but the good work was undone when Suman and Pollard had their way.
Yuvraj accounted for Mumbai’s most productive duo of skipper Sachin Tendulkar (24) and Ambati Rayudu (27).
As in earlier games, the opening partnership did not yield too many runs for Mumbai as the new partner for skipper Tendulkar, Australian youngster Aiden Blizzard (6) perished in the third over to leave them at 18 for one.