Abu Dhabi: Mumbai Indians spinner Rahul Chahar, who scalped two wickets against Kings XI Punjab, said the pitch was helping spinners which built his confidence in the game.
Chahar finished with 2-26 in his four overs as Mumbai defeated Punjab by 48 runs in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
“There was help for the spinners in the pitch and I was gaining confidence from it. My plan was to add pressure on them by giving less run and then attack for wickets. I was trying for the wickets,” Chahar said in the post-match conference.
A late onslaught by Hardik Pandya (30*) and Kieron Pollard (47*) powered Mumbai Indians to post a mammoth total of 191 runs.
“We have a lot of faith in big-hitting skills of Pollard and Hardik. Pollard almost took us to the victory in the last game against RCB. They are in good form and they can finish games in any situation,” the spinner said.
Apart from Chahar, James Pattinson and Jasprit Bumrah picked two wickets each while Trent Boult and Krunal Pandya scalped one.
Chasing 192 runs, KXIP got off to a good start. However, Bumrah castled in-form Mayank Agarwal (25) in the fifth over. Minutes later, Krunal Pandya bowled Karun Nair for a duck.
Nicholas Pooran then joined skipper KL Rahul and the duo stitched a 21 run stand. Rahul’s sluggish innings came to an end in the ninth over which reduced Punjab for 60/3.
Pooran played brilliantly and tried to revive KXIP’s hope in the chase through his power-hitting before getting out in the 14th over. He scored 44 runs off 27 balls which included two glorious sixes.
Pooran’s wicket triggered a middle-order collapse as Glenn Maxwell and Jimmy Neesham departed in quick succession. KXIP kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were soon found reeling at 124/8. In the end, Punjab fell 49 runs short of the target.