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12-Apr-2012 02:05:00 GMT
Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2012, Mumbai

All-round Pollard Sinks Rajasthan

Mumbai: Twenty20 is about nerve and guts as much as about luck and fine margins. Things were running smoothly for Team Jaipur with two back-to-back wins, until Mumbai just about managed to upset their applecart with a 27-run defeat on Wednesday. Against Kieron Pollard's stunning all-round show, Rajasthan showed both nerve and guts, but ran out of luck.

Chasing 198 to win, the visitors needed someone to bat with flair. Rajasthan banked on Ajinkya Rahane (40 off 31 balls) and Owais Shah (76 off 42 balls) to pull off a stunning heist against the home team. The duo showed the aggression needed for a steep run-chase while adding 82 runs for the third wicket in quick time.

Pollard got rid of Rahane, but Shah gave Mumbai bowlers the stick, threatening to complete an extraordinary victory. After two back-to-back expensive overs of 16 and 19 runs, it took a Lasith Malinga special in the 15th over to eliminate the ominous Shah and Johan Botha to tilt the tide in Mumbai's favour.

Despite Shah's memorable fight back, the night belonged to Kieron Pollard. The Mumbai all-rounder got the home team out of jail after Brad Hogg pegged them back with two big wickets of Rohit Sharma and Richard Levi. From 68 for 3 in 8.2 overs, Mumbai sailed to 197 for 6 after Pollard's tornado innings of 64.

The tall West Indian played some numbing shots. With Ambati Rayudu, who scored an unbeaten 47, Pollard meted out some brutal treatment to the Jaipur bowlers. Pollard's popularity will go up several notches after Wednesday, as the talismanic all-rounder returned figures of 4-0-44-4 to cap a fine all-round show. He was expensive but took wickets when it counted.

Rajasthan suffered because Kevon Cooper, their best bowler in the first two games, was taken to task by Mumbai. He had meager returns of one for 43 in his four overs. Cooper had to hand over the Purple Cap to Munaf Patel who had a brilliant day with figures of 3.4-0-28-4.

Mumbai are right on top now with six points while Rajasthan dropped to fourth on the table.

Brief scores
Mumbai Indians
197 for 6 (Pollard 64, Rayudu 47*)
Rajasthan Royals 170 (Shah 76, Rahane 40, Munaf 4-28)
Result Mumbai Indians won by 27 runs
MOM Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians)
Points Mumbai Indians 2, Rajasthan Royals 0

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