Pinch-hitter Hardik Pandya played responsible yet aggressive cricket on Sunday as Mumbai Indians clinched the nail-biting clash against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Pandya’s 11-ball 29 runs assured Mumbai register their first victory in the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League.
He hit two sky-scrapping sixes and three boundaries to entertain the Wankhede spectators.
Chasing a competitive target of 179 runs, Mumbai started well, though their openers Parthiv Patel and Jos Butler faltered midway.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Patel scored 30 runs, while Buttler lost his wicket for 28 runs.
Nitish Rana, then, laid a strong foundation for the struggling Mumbai side. He stood tall in front of the wicket, scoring a 50-run knock with the help of three sixes and five boundaries.
The bowling unit of KKR was commendable as they kept constant pressure on Mumbai throughout the game.
Pacer Ankit Rajpoot took three wickets to lead their bowling attack. Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Chris Woakes supported Rajpoot after dismissing Patel, Rohit Sharma (2) and Kieron Pollard (17) respectively.
Earlier, a praiseworthy knock of 81 runs (not out) by Manish Pandey propelled KKR to a comfortable total in the end of their innings.
The 27-year-old batsman from Nianital, Pandey was a sheer delight to watch as he hit five sixes and five boundaries in his illustrious innings.
Opener Chris Lynn, who scored an enormous knock of 93 runs (not out) in the last match against Gujarat Lions, managed to contribute just 32 runs on Sunday.
No other Kolkata batsmen managed to make an impression with the willow.
For Mumbai, spinner Krunal Pandya led the charge of their bowling unit as he claimed three big wickets in shape of Gautam Gambhir (19), Robin Uthappa (4) and Yusuf Pathan (6).
Experienced fast bowler Lasith Malinga notched two wickets, while Jasprit Bumrah took the scalp of opener Lynn to join the celebration.