Bengaluru: Mumbai Indians relied on a late assault from Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets in their crucial IPL match and keep their hopes of a play-offs berth alive here today.
Chasing 152 for a win, Pollard and Buttler smashed unbeaten cameos of 35 and 29 respectively to share 55 runs from just 3.3 overs for the unbroken fifth wicket to take Mumbai home with eight balls to spare at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Pollard smashed three fours and two sixes in his 19-ball unbeaten innings while Buttler hit one four and three sixes in his 11-ball unconquered knock as the duo struck a flurry of fours and sixes towards the end to take Mumbai home.
Ambati Rayudu contributed a 47-ball 44 to keep Mumbai in the chase early on after captain Rohit Sharma (25) and Parthiv Patel (1) were out.
Bangalore kept themselves into the match with some brilliant fielding as Stuart Binny and AB de Villiers took a stunning catch each but in the end the score they defended was found to be too small.
Buttler hit the winning runs, a six, as Mumbai reached 153 for four in 18.4 overs to notch up their sixth win in 11 matches and jump to the fourth spot in the league table with 12 points.
Bangalore, on the other hand, slumped to their sixth loss in 10 matches as they remained at sixth spot with eight points. They will now need to win all their remaining matches to have a chance of making it to the play-offs stage.
Mumbai suffered an early jolt with Parthiv getting out in the second over with Sreenath Aravind inducing a thick edge from the batsman's bat for Shane Watson to take a regulation catch at first slip.
Mumbai had captain Rohit Sharma at the other end and along with Rayudu steadied the innings with sensible batting.
The visiting side were 39 for one at the end of powerplay overs and were cruising along before Rohit was dismissed at a crucial time. The Mumbai captain did not play his pull shot properly off Varun Aaron and de Villiers had an easy catch at the long-on.
Rohit's dismissal somewhat changed the scenario as the asking has reached near 10 an over by then. Binny then took a stunning catch near the boundary ropes to dismiss debutant Nitish Rana (9) of the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal to leave Mumbai at 79 for 3 in the 13th over.
Mumbai needed 54 runs from the last five overs and they suffered another jolt as well-set batsman Rayudu was dismissed in 16th over due with Villiers coming up with an exceptional catch as he plucked the ball inches above the ground with a forward lunging dive.
Pollard and Buttler, however, kept their cool as they took 18 and 16 runs in the next two overs with a flurry of fours and sixes off Shane Watson and Chris Jordan to ease off the pressure.
Mumbai needed just 10 runs from the final 12 balls and Buttler ended the match early by hitting a six in the fourth ball of the penultimate to take Mumbai home.
Earlier, Lokesh Rahul struck a superb unbeaten half century as Bangalore made a late recovery after a struggling start to post a decent 151 for four.
The Bangalore top order batsmen, except for Rahul (68 not out), failed to click after being put into bat but a late flurry of lusty blows from the wicketkeeper batsman saw the home side reach to a fighting total.
Rahul, who came in when Bangalore were in a precarious 17 for two in the fourth over, struck three fours and four sixes in his 53-ball unbeaten innings.
He shared 43 runs with AB de Villiers (24) for the third wicket and another 53 with Sachin Baby (25 not out) for the unbroken fifth wicket as the home side went past 150-run mark on account of the late recovery.
Bangalore were 60 for 2 at the halfway stage but added 91 runs from the next 10 overs. Sachin gave an able support to Rahul towards the close of the innings with a quickfire knock of 13-ball 25 not out which had two fours and two sixes.
The cause of the home side was helped by the 23 runs Kieron Pollard leaked in the 18th over with Sachin Baby hitting two sixes and a four while Rahul also his share of a maximum hit.
For Mumbai, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee and Krunal Pandya took a wicket each.
Bangalore captain Virat Kohli (7), who has been in red hot form, met with a rare failure of the season. He struck a six in the fifth ball of the match bowled by Southee but was dismissed in the second over by Mitchell McClenaghan.
Kohli poked at a shortish delivery which was angling away, trying to guide it to third man, but only to find Harbhajan Singh taking an easy catch.
Two overs later, Chris Gayle (5) perished as he tried to smash a back of a length delivery on the off bowled by Southee with Rohit Sharma taking a well-judged catch.
AB de Villiers (24) and Shane Watson (15) got the starts but could not convert on them.