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MI slump to fifth loss

- Pollard’s 78 off 48 balls in vain; Bhuvneshwar MoM
Kieron Pollard, on Wednesday

Dubai: Mumbai Indians (MI) will leave the UAE without a single victory in the first leg of the IPL VII, as the defending champions slumped to their fifth straight defeat here on Wednesday. They lost against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 15 runs.

Powered by David Warner’s fighting 65-run knock and his stellar 111-run partnership with Lokesh Rahul (46), Hyderabad overcame a shaky start to score a competitive 172 for five after being invited to bat.

After losing three quick wickets, Mumbai fought through big-hitting Kieron Pollard (78) and Ambati Rayudu (35 off 27) but all they could manage was 157/7 in the end. The defeat means that Mumbai Indians now need to win most of the nine matches in the Indian leg, to make it to the knockout stage of the tournament.

Pollard prevented it from becoming a one-sided match with his scintillating 48-ball knock, embellished with six sixes and three fours.

Irfan Pathan bowled Pollard in the first ball of the final over, in which Mumbai needed 20 runs. It was Pollard, who had brought Mumbai this far and his wicket at the crucial juncture dashed hopes of the defending champions.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar also played a stellar role in Hyderabad’s win, as he gave away just 17 runs in his four overs and also took two wickets.

Led by a ferocious Dale Steyn, the SRH attack rocked the Mumbai top order by taking three quick wickets. Bhuvneshwar was incredible in his two-over spell as he conceded just three runs and also got the rival skipper Rohit Sharma (1).

An intimidating Steyn had Corey Anderson caught on a well-directed bouncer. Darren Sammy joined the party by castling opener Ben Dunk (20), reducing Mumbai to 31 for 3 inside powerplay overs.

Pollard and Rayudu brought some respectability to the Mumbai’s chase with their fighting knocks. The tall West Indian hit spinner Amit Mishra for two sixes and a four in the 13th over and dispatched Karan Sharma for a huge hit in the next over to raise hopes of a turnaround.

With 32 runs coming in those two overs, the fight was on. Mumbai now required 74 runs off 36 balls. Dhawan brought Bhuvneshwar back into the attack and the pacer continued with his good form, conceding just six runs from his third over.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma was fined after the team maintained a slow over rate. Since it was his first offence of the season, Rohit was fined $20,000 under the IPL’s code of conduct relating to minimum over rate offences. (agencies)