Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Kings XI bowl; Mumbai bring back Pollard in must-win game

Kings XI bowl; Mumbai bring back Pollard in must-win game

Mumbai Indians will host Kings XI Punjab in the 50th match of IPL 2018 on May 16. Both teams face a must-win scenario and that, in turn, could see the victor take a significant advantage in improving their qualification chances for the play-offs.

Having lost 5 of their last 6 matches, KXIP have no one else to blame.

Earlier a spectacular return to form for Kieron Pollard helped the home team recover from the loss of two wickets in the final over of the powerplay.

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Pollard, who hit five fours and three sixes, then offered a simple catch at long on off captain Ravichandran Ashwin's bowling as Mumbai could score only 35 runs in the last five overs.

The win took pushed Mumbai Indians up to fourth position with 12 points from 13 matches, level on points with Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals, but ahead on run-rate. He ensured Mumbai had enough to defend and gave them just enough room for error. Because there has been little else to bank upon; Mayank Agarwal has averaged 12 in 11innings, Aaron Finch has scraped 84 runs in seven, Karun Nair has not converted his numerous starts. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik and left arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan will have to bowl cleverly to stop the rampaging K L Rahul and Chris Gayle from scoring big runs. Suryakumar Yadav started well for MI today. It is the important match for Mumbai Indians as it decides them to enter into the playoff. Krunal Pandya also provided a helping hand with a 23-ball 32. MI's attempt to attack him in his first spell backfired as they were reduced from 37 for no loss to 59 for 3.

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Who would have thought that Kings XI Punjab would struggle to make it to the playoffs after such an impressive start?

One change for Mumbai Indians: Kieron Pollard comes in, JP Duminy misses out. He finished with figures of 3-15 from his allotted overs, and rightfully earned player of the match, subsequently thrusting Mumbai into the top four for the first time in the tournament. In the previous game, Punjab's team had bowled out on just 88 runs in front of Virat Kohli Led Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Punjab will be bitterly disappointed with the effort, especially after a 111-run stand between KL Rahul (94) and Aaron Finch (46) had set the game up for them, but it was once again the reliance on the top order which came back to haunt them.

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However, there is no official statement from the management, and it is believed that they might not take such drastic decision for the last two matches.

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