Mumbai: Rohit Sharma signalled his return to form and Kieron Pollard sparkled again as Mumbai Indians surged to their fourth consecutive win by outclassing Gujarat Lions by six wickets at the Wankhede stadium here on Sunday.
Young Delhi left-hander Nitesh Rana set up the chase with 53 runs in 36 balls with four boundaries and two sixes. Rohit who won the toss for the third time in a row here and his side made short work of the chase of 177, under lights with three balls remaining. The Mumbai dasher who had single digit scores in four games made unbeaten 29-ball 40 with three boundaries and one six. Pollard smashed his way to 39 in 23 balls.
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Earlier, retired New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum set the platform wit an attacking half-century and Dinesh Karthik finished in style as Gujarat Lions posted a par score of 176/4. McCullum made 64 in 44 balls with six boundaries and three cleared the fence. Karthik played a cameo of 48 in 26 balls with two fours and as many sixes.
Lions had a quiet beginning as Mitchell McClenaghan (2/24) bowled tight two overs and Harbhajan Singh (1/22) introduced in fourth over was on the money.
Fit again Malinga who replaced Tim Southee didn’t look in his elements and was hammered for 27 runs in his two overs inside powerplays. McCullum blasted him for two sixes to cap of a good powerplay 46/1. Bumrah was also expensive. McCullum and Suresh Raina forged a 80-run partnership for the second wicket after early loss of Dwayne Smith. McCullum was the aggressor as Raina struggled to find boundaries.
Spinners Harbhajan and Krunal Pandya (0/18 in three overs) were economical as Lions could never really dominate the innings. Harbhajan dismissed his bunny Raina eventually for 28 in 29 balls with just two fours. Malinga returned for second spell to dismiss dangerous McCullum with a superb yorker but the Sri Lankan tear away pacer kept leaking runs. Karthik took charge in the last four overs to finish strongly as Lions added 50 runs in the last four overs.
Mumbai Indians yorker specialists Lasith Malinga (1/51) and Jasprit Bumrah (0/45) were expensive and gave 96 runs in eight overs taking just one wicket.