Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard smashed half centuries to lead the Mumbai Indians to a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League on Monday.
Rayudu hit 81 and Pollard 52 both players remained unbeaten.
Pollard smashed Gayle for a six and two fours to seal the match for Mumbai and keep their chances of qualifying for the playoffs alive.
Pollard and Rayudu hit nine runs in the penultimate over off Zaheer, leaving Mumbai to score 14 in last over.
The nightmare of not getting good starts haunted MI yet again when they lost three early wickets by the fourth over.
MI started poorly losing Sachin Tendulkar for a first— ball duck. Zaheer Khan, who seems to be peaking at the right time for RCB, had the batsman caught by Virat Kohli at short cover point.
The visitors then lost Herchelle Gibbs for two after KP Appanna fired in a superb throw at the bowler’s end where Tiwary did the rest.
MI were in trouble with the scorecard reading seven for two at the end of the second over.
Mumbai wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik showed early signs of aggression as he carted Zaheer over backward square leg for a boundary and then worked him between the midwicket and mid on for another four.
Rohit Sharma’s dismissal only made things worse for MI.
After the end of seventh over, Mumbai needed 132 runs off 78 balls at 10.15 per over.
Pollard and Rayudu targeted left—arm spinner Appanna in the eleventh over by clobbering him for 19 runs.
Pollard thrashed Appanna for two consecutive sixes, taking Mumbai to 75 for five at the end of the over.
The start of match was delayed by 50 minutes due to rain and later at about 8 pm, play was stopped again for nearly seven minutes as one of the flood lights stopped working.
Rayudu then upped the ante by clobbering a six and a four off Gayle.
Rayudu got to his fifty with a cracking straight drive, keeping the Mumbai Indians in the hunt, before Pollard joined him in the onslaught.
Rayudu and Pollard provided the impetus in the 17th over, first smacking Zaheer for a six and then driving one back past the bowler for a four.
Zaheer conceded 16 runs in his third over, leaving Mumbai Indians to score 41 runs off 18 balls.
Rayudu took R Vinay Kumar to the cleaners, bludgeoning him for 16 runs, before Pollard finished the show in style.
Batting first, Bangalore lost Chris Gayle (6) and Virat Kohli (3) early but hit back through Tillakaratne Dilshan’s 47 in 50 balls and contributions of 21 from Saurabh Tiwary and 14 from AB de Villiers.
A maiden half-century for Mayank Agarwal, who struck an excellent 64 in 30 balls, including six fours and four sixes, carried Bangalore to a competitive score.