Pollard brings back Mumbai to winning ways
Durban: Keiron Pollard produced a scintillating 72 off 30 balls as Mumbai Indians defeated an improved Guyana by 31 runs to keep their semifinal hopes alive in the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament.
Pushed up the order, Pollard hammered Guyana bowlers for nine sixes and a boundary to pile up a mammoth 85 runs off the last five overs and muscle Mumbai to 184 for four at the Kingsmead here after they were down at 99 for three at one stage.
Pollard`s task was made easy by the 82-run opening stand between Sachin Tendulkar (48 off 39) and Shikhar Dhawan (39 off 37).
Although Tendulkar was not at his elegant best, he and Dhawan ensured that Mumbai were off to a decent start but their innings, which was crawling along at one stage, got fillip only after Pollard`s entry in the late overs.
Towards the end, JP Duminy also came up with a vital six-ball 14-run contribution to help his side`s cause.
For Guyana, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo was the pick of the bowlers, picking up three wickets for 34 runs.
Chasing the challenging target, a star-less Guyana struggled from the onset and could only manage 153 for six in their 20 overs.
With the convincing win in their must-win Group B match, Mumbai has imbibed some life back in their Champions League campaign, which was devastated by defeats in the opening two matches against Highveld Lions and South Australia Redbacks.
Guyana, on the other hand, faces the ignominy of early exit with two defeats from as many outings.
Guyana`s had a horrible start to their run chase as they lost Sewnarine Chattergoon early when he gave a simple catching practice to Duminy at first slip off Lasith Malinga.
Struggling to find the fence, Tim Dowlin was the next to depart after giving a skier to Saurabh Tiwary off Dwayne Bravo.
Even though Guyana`s captain and most-experienced batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan produced some resistance with a 38-ball 46, the West Indian outfit was never in the reckoning.
And once Sarwan fell to Harbhajan Singh in the 15th over caught by Malinga, victory was just a formality for Mumbai.
Narsingh Deonarine (27) and Christopher Barnwell (25) also chipped with useful contribution for Guyana.
Bravo and Harbhajan scalped two wickets apiece for Mumbai, giving away 18 and 32 runs respectively.
Earlier, opting to bat, Tendulkar and Shikhar Dhwan went about their business out with a purpose from the word go.