Mumbai Indians (MI) finally returned to winning ways after defeating Punjab Kings (PBKS) by six wickets at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Although MI were struggling at one stage while chasing the target of 136, but few late strikes by Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard got them home.
Before the partnership of Pandya and Pollard, middle-order batsman Saurabh Tiwary played a major role and somehow laid the foundation in MI’s victory. The left-handed batter top-scored with 45 off 37 balls with the help of three fours and a couple of sixes.
During MI’s chase, Tiwary was involved in an unfortunate incident as he was hit on the box by PBKS pacer Arshdeep Singh in the 12th over. It all happened when the Jharkhand batter drove the ball straight back to the bowler, who threw it right back at the batsman in an impulse reaction.
Everything happened so quickly that Tiwary didn’t get enough time to move away as the white leather hit him on the box. Thereafter, Mumbai’s physio rushed out to check on Tiwary as he appeared to be in some discomfort.
Arshdeep immediately apologized and went to check on the batsmen. Some other PBKS players, including captain KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, were also seen around Tiwary, checking for his well being.
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Hardik and Pollard remained unbeaten on 40 and 15, respectively, to take MI over the finish line in the 19th over. Earlier, Polly also bowled well and picked up two important wickets in the form of Rahul (21) and Chris Gayle (1), as PBSK could only manage to score 135/6 in 20 overs.
After the match, MI captain Rohit Sharma heaped praises on Tiwary, Hardik and Pollard, appreciating the trio for their valuable contribution.
“The way he (Hardik) understood the situation was very crucial from a team’s perspective, it’s important for him to spend the time in the middle as he’s coming back from an injury,” said Rohit at the post-match presentation.
“Saurabh has played the perfect role today, and he’s done well to nudge around in the middle overs. He (Pollard) is one of our key players. Crucial part of MI for so many years. He will be happy with taking the ‘Man of the Match’ for his bowling performance,” added Rohit.