Mumbai Indians have kept their hopes alive for playoffs © IANS (File photo)
Mumbai Indians have kept their hopes alive for playoffs © IANS (File photo)

Mumbai Indians (MI) sealed a thrilling five-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at the Wankhede Stadium. After MI put up 171, KKR were involved in a tense run-chase with momentum swinging through the course. Yusuf Pathan held his calm through the storm and went on to score an important fifty It went into the last over with 12 needed. Kieron Pollard was handed the ball and he dismissed Pathan off the first ball. It was tense finish thereafter as it boiled down to the final ball, with Piyush Chawla needing six. Chawla missed it and MI stayed alive in the IPL 2015.

Chasing 172 to win, KKR started well with Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir putting up a good stand upfront. However, they then lost wickets at regular intervals. There were quite a few cameos but they failed to find those big partnerships. The best partnership of their innings was between the openers as they put up 45. Uthappa, Gambhir and Shakib Al Hasan managed good starts but did not convert them into big scores. Thus, it was then left to Pathan to do the trick.

Pathan held his own as wickets had fallen. He picked his opportunities to score and helped maintain stability through the run-chase. With him in the middle, MI were always in danger. Suryakumar Yadav also chipped in with a quick cameo. With 42 needed off the last four overs, R Vinay Kumar was smashed around to help KKR get back in the game. MI still managed to hit back, but Pathan kept his cool. He got to his fifty with a huge six off Malinga over mid-wicket. However, KKR lost the plot there with Chawla missing six out of the seven deliveries he faced in the game. Live Blog: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2015

KKR had put MI in to bat and they found themselves in trouble as they were 79 for four in the 12th over. Sunil Narine had gotten rid of Rohit Sharma with a fantastic wrong-un that squared him up. In that situation, Hardik Pandya walked in and played a blinder. The young man had impressed during the game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), when his three sixes off Pawan Negi in the penultimate over to win MI the game. This time, he was to extend his onsaught.

KKR’s tight bowling was led by Morne Morkel and Shakib Al Hasan’s spells. Once they were done, Pandya found his chance to unleash his array of strokes. At the other end, Pollard ambled to a 37-ball 32, which was quite an uncharacteristic innings by his standards. In the 92-run stand between Pandya and Pollard, it was the youngster who dazzled. IPL 2015: Complete Coverage

The great thing about Pandya was the way he fearlessly attacked the bowling. Two shots stood out; Narine was smashed over mid-wicket and Russell was pulled thre for another. In the 17th over, he hit Umesh Yadav for four boundaries to blood some life into the MI innings. Ultimately, he remained unbeaten on 61 off only 31 balls to take MI to a good score.

Brief scores:

Mumbai Indians 171 for 4 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 32*, Hardik Pandya 61*; Shakib Al Hasan 2 for 27) vs Kolkata Knight Riders 166 for 7 in 20 overs (Gautam Gambhir 38, Yusuf Pathan 52; Kieron Pollard 1 for 6) by 5 runs.

Man of the match: Hardik Pandya

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)