Mumbai, April 12 (IANS) A blistering fifty and a four-wicket haul by Kieron Pollard helped Mumbai Indians get past a fighting Rajasthan Royals by 27 runs in an Indian Premier League match here Wednesday.
Pollard smashed 64 off 33 balls to propel Mumbai to 196 for seven and then took three wickets in an over in Rajasthan's innings which ended at 170 all out in 19.4 overs. Fast bowlers Munaf
Patel (4/28) and Lasith Malinga (2/13) also played a key role in restricting the visitors, who at one stage looked ominous in the run-chase with Owais Shah (76) and Ajinkya Rahane (40) in the middle.
Shah looked in devastating form, slamming fives sixes and as many fours in his 42-ball blinder. And only when he was dismissed by Mailnga in the 15th over, Mumbai could breathe easy.
In fact, the Sri Lankan speedster's over became the turning point of the match as he also sent back the capable Johan Botha, leaving Rajasthan at 136 for five with another 62 needed off 30 balls.
Ashok Menaria (20) and Kevon Cooper (14) tried the improbable towards the end but Pollard's (4/44) triple strike in the 18th over sealed the win for Mumbai.
Pollard earlier struck his maiden IPL fifty and shared a 94-run stand off 52 balls with Ambati Rayudu (47 not out) to push Mumbai to a formidable score.
Pollard bludgeoned the Rajasthan bowlers all around the Wankhede Stadium, hitting six massive sixes and four boundaries.
Mumbai amassed 117 runs in the last 10 overs.
The win for the home team was their third in four matches and they sit at the top of the table with six points.
The defeat was Rajasthan's first in the tournament and they now lie at fourth place in the standings with four points.