Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard give Mumbai Indians finishing power

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Pollard Hardik Pandya

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma praised the impact of allrounders Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard with the bat after his team’s 48-run win over the Kings XI Punjab on Thursday.

Sharma, who himself moved past 5000 Indian Premier League runs in the fixture scoring 70 to lay a platform for the big finish, said that the Mumbai Indians are a different team when Hardik and Pollard are in good touch.

Hardik and Pollard brutalise Kings XI

Kings XI won the toss and opted to field first, striking early to remove Quinton de Kock, however, Rohit consolidated before an incredible onslaught saw the Indians nearly double their score in the last five overs.

Hardik and Pollard put on an unbeaten 67-run stand after coming together in the 17th over.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Rohit said: “Was a great win. 

“We didn’t start really well, but we knew, the kind of attack Punjab has, we wanted to capitalise on that towards the back end. Hardik and Pollard back themselves to get those runs in the end. 

“They have done that on many occasions. It is nice to have them in form. Overall very happy with the batting performances.”

Rohit pleased with the bowling unit

Even with a stiff target on the board, the Indians were braced for a full-blooded chase from the Kings XI, but their bowlers would secure a comfortable win led by a miserly Jasprit Bumrah who returned figures of 2 for 18. The eight wickets they took were shared among the five bowlers.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy with the ball,” Rohit added. 

“We knew taking early wickets was crucial. We did that. The captain looks good when the bowlers execute plans well.”

‘What ifs’ for Kings XI

Opposing skipper KL Rahul rued the expensive end to their bowling effort, which he believes cost them the opportunity to be competitive in the match.

 “I won’t say it is frustrating but obviously it is disappointing,” Rahul said. 

“We could have easily been three wins out of four. This game, we didn’t bowl well at the back end. 

“Got to learn from the mistakes and come back stronger. Another bowling option would be nice. An allrounder would be great. But we will sit with the coaches and decide whether we need to play an extra bowler or the same team.”

Both sides are in action again on Sunday 4 October in an IPL double-header. The Mumbai Indians face the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the afternoon while the evening match-up is between the Kings XI and Chennai Super Kings.

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