Kieron Pollard hit six sixes in 10 balls to fire the Mumbai Indians to a six-wicket victory against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday.
With five overs left in the match, the game was far from over with the hosts needing 49. But Pollard used just three overs to see off the chase, smacking 41 off 10 balls to repeat the six-wicket victory they inflicted on KKR in the reverse fixture earlier in the tournament.
KKR went into this clash looking for a fourth straight victory to go to the top of the standings, but Mumbai showed that they are unstoppable when it suits them. They now have four wins and four defeats.
Having won the last four IPL titles between them, this was always going to be an intriguing clash, and opening KKR pair Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa appeared to be steering their side to a massive total with 59 runs scored off the powerplay overs.
Gambhir scored his third fifty of the season with a 45-ball 59, but wickets fell around him as KKR struggled in the middle overs. A late blitz from Andre Russell (22 off 16) and Yusuf Pathan (19 off 8) got them to 176-5.
Gambhir’s opposite number Rohit Sharma has been in some fantastic form himself and got the chase off to a flying start, as he put on a 59-run partnership with Ambati Rayudu off just 36 balls.
The loss of Rayudu saw the hosts stutter as Krunal Pandya (6) and Jos Buttler (15) fell cheaply, but Pollard made a complete mockery of the match situation with a hat-trick of sixes in the 16th over and then the 18th over, to see his side over the line in emphatic fashion. Sharma was named Man of the Match for carrying the side through with 68 not out.