Pollock shines as Mumbai causes upset
Mumbai Indians won their second straight match with a comprehensive 29-run win over the high-flying Delhi Daredevils at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
The win followed their triumph over the Kolkata Knight Riders while it was the Delhi side second defeat in six games.
Chasing 163 for a win, the Delhi team's innings began on a disastrous note with the in-form Gautam Gambhir (1) and Shikar Dhawan (1) returning to the pavillion early and reducing their side to four for two by the third over.
Captain Virender Sehwag (40) and South African AB de Villiers (21) tried to steady the ship but the latter was quite unfortunate to be run out in the non-striker's end just as he was starting to look good.
Sehwag put on a further 45-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Shoaib Malik (24) but his dismissal was callous and came in at a crucial time.
The Delhi captain's 20-ball knock consisted of three boundaries and an equal number of hits over it but he wasn't his usual belligerent self.
Daredevils were eventually dismissed for 133 with seven balls to spare as wickets kept falling at regular intervals.
Captain Shaun Pollock impressed with the ball with enviable figures of two for 16 off his four overs while Ashish Nehra took three for 26.
Earlier, the Mumbai Indians batting failed to prosper yet again and the home team were restricted to 162 for eight.
Put in to bat by Delhi captain Sehwag, the home team - with only one victory in their first five matches - sparkled sporadically but with no batsman willing to bat till the end, finished up with a less-than-competitive score.
Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya (34), newcomer Yogesh Takawale (14), Dominic Thornely (30) and Robin Uthappa (22), in the top order, got starts but failed to make them count as Delhi Daredevils struck at regular intervals to stop their progress.
After a opening stand of 46 between their new pair of wicketkeeper Takawale and veteran Jayasuriya, who looked in supreme touch and struck one six and six fours in his 16-ball knock, the innings went into a decline before being propped up by Thornely and Uthappa.
The third wicket pair added 52 runs in 36 balls but once this stand between Thornely and Uthappa was broken, there was a steep slide.
From 102 for two, the home team slid to 112 for six and despite the best efforts of captain Shaun Pollock, who top-scored with 33 in 15 balls, with 3 sixes and 2 fours and was leading the team again after Sachin Tendulkar was declared unfit, the final tally did not assume a menacing proportion.
The start was brisk with Jayasuriya being the aggressor in the opening stand with league debutant Takawale.
The former Lanka skipper first turned his attention on Mohammad Asif and slammed him for two successive fours in his opening over to give the innings a kick-start.
The first two overs yielded 26 runs but Glenn McGrath, as is his wont, tied down the batsmen, especially Takawale, with rising balls that rose up to the rib cage.
After five overs, it was 35 for no loss and Takawale grew a bit in confidence after inside edging McGrath for his first boundary and then cover-driving him for another.
When V Yo Mahesh came into the attack in place of the expensive Asif, Jayasuriya flicked the Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy bowler for a six and then hit him for a four to long leg before taking a single.
His partner Takawale, however, gave a leading edge to the first ball he faced from the medium pacer for third man Pradeep Sangwan to hold an easy catch.
Yo Mahesh struck another blow in his opening over as he clean bowled the dangerous-looking Jayasuriya when he went for a wild heave off the bowler and Mumbai Indians slipped from 46 for no loss to 50 for two in three balls.
Uthappa, showing aggressive intent after a period of calm, and Thornely forged a stand of 52 in 43 balls before departing in close succession.
Uthappa again perished to his pet shot in this format, the scoop, off Sangwan, the left arm seam bowler, and was later followed into the dressing room by Thornely who was bowled to leave Mumbai Indians struggling at 109 for four in the 14th over.
Dwayne Bravo and Abhishek Nayar flopped and it was left to Pollock, who struck Asif for three sixes in the 19th over, to take the score past the 150-mark and provide his team with a fighting chance for a victory.
Yo Mahesh emerged Daredevils' most successful bowler with a haul of 3 for 33.