A late surge by Kieron Pollard proved the difference as Mumbai Indians returned to the top of the Indian Premier League table with a convincing 21-run win over Pune on Wednesday.
Pollard hit two sixes and two fours in his 29 and was ably assisted by Harbhajan Singh, as Mumbai scored 35 runs in their last two overs to set the Warriors a target of 161 on a lively wicket.
Pune’s tall legpsinner Sharma had taken advantage of the bounce in the DY Patil Stadium pitch, claiming the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Tirumalasetti Suman and conceding just seven runs in his four overs.
Suman’s 16-ball 36 had been the only knock scored at better than a run a ball as Mumbai stumbled through their innings, but Pollard’s late crack ensured that the Indians posted a total slightly above par.
That put the pressure on the home side at the DY Patil Stadium, and things became even more difficult when Jesse Ryder was out off the first ball of the innings as he slashed Harbhajan Singh straight to short third man.
Graeme Smith fell soon after, and Pune staggered to 48 for three at the halfway stage of their reply.
After Yuvraj Singh was dismissed for 20 by a scorching Lasith Malinga bouncer, Manish Pandey did his best to haul the Warriors back into contention with a 47-ball 59, but it wasn’t enough as they finished on 139 for seven.
The defeat was Pune’s seventh on the trot and left them rooted to the bottom of the table after nine matches.
Meawhile Mumbai’s win allowed them to take a two-point lead over Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings at the top of the table. Cricket365