Defending champions Mumbai Indians Indians kept their Indian Premier League playoff hopes alive after defeating Kings XI Punjab by three runs in a last-over thriller at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

Jasprit Bumrah (3/15) and Kieron Pollard (50) were the top performers for Mumbai as they put on 186/8 on the board after being asked to bat first. For Punjab, Andrew Tye (4/16) returned with a four-wicket haul, while KL Rahul scored 94 off 60 balls before Bumrah derailed their chase.

Mumbai Indians moved up to fourth in the table with this win, and now have 12 points from 13 matches, along with a healthy net run-rate of +0.384. Kings XI, meanwhile, slid down one spot to sixth and now need a huge win against Chennai Super Kings in their final league match to have a chance of making the playoffs, since their net run-rate is -0.490 after four straight defeats.

Kings XI were comfortably placed at 145/1 in 16 overs when Bumrah came back to bowl his second spell. Bumrah then removed Finch and Marcus Stoinis before dismissing Rahul in the 19th over, which all but sealed the match in Mumbai’s favour.

Earlier, Pollard struck a blistering fifty to rescue defending champions Mumbai Indians from a mid-innings slump. MI got off to a flying start, reaching 57/1 after five overs but they lost three wickets in quick succession, including two off successive balls, against the bowling of Tye before Pollard (50 off 23 balls) and Krunal Pandya (32 off 23 balls) resurrected the stuttering innings.

Before this knock, Pollard had only scored a paltry 83 runs in eight matches and was dropped from the playing XI but his 65-run stand with Krunal in 36 balls steered Mumbai Indians out of trouble after they had slumped to 71/4.

After a cautious start, Krunal stuck two consecutive sixes and a four in the 12th over off Marcus Stonis, while Pollard followed it up with two sixes and as many fours in the next two overs.

However, just when they were looking good, Krunal threw his wicket away. But that did not dither Pollard who kept hitting his shots and raced to his fifty in just 22 balls studded with five fours and three sixes.

Just as the West Indian all-rounder was poised for a big score, R Ashwin (2/18) removed him in the 16th over, bringing Punjab back into the game. Hardik Pandya (9) and Ben Cutting then fell cheaply, as Mumbai ended up with 186/8.

With inputs from PTI