Ambati Rayudu has played crucial cameos under pressure for Mumbai Indians in the past and the match against Delhi Daredevils was another example. He mixed caution with aggression in his 40-ball 49 that helped Mumbai earn their fifth win of the season, and said his experience and growth as a batsman had helped him analyse the match situation much better than before.
"It is not all about hitting fours and sixes, you have to play according to the situation. I think once you are a seasoned cricketer you know how to handle situations and I am happy I could do that," Rayudu told iplt20.com. "It gives me immense happiness to come out on top. I have played quite a few innings for Mumbai like that. It is just trying to be there till the end, being calm and playing to our strengths.
"Pressure brings the best out of me. I stay a lot calmer when I have a target in mind and I know how to pace an innings. I am happy that I could do it today."
The match was precariously placed when Rayudu went to bat, with Mumbai 40 for 4 in the sixth over. He was involved in two consecutive fifty-plus partnerships with Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard, which set up Mumbai's five-wicket win.
"When it came down to getting ten runs per over, all we had to do was hit one boundary an over and get singles off the remaining balls. It is exactly what we were doing till the 19th over. We wanted to leave around six or seven runs for the last over, but we left eight and at that time it was all about one boundary."
Pollard also played a significant role in the run chase with 26 off 14 balls, which included three sixes. His form has been promising this season - 259 runs at an average of 37.00 and a strike-rate of 167.09.
"You just back yourself, your strengths and ability. In the last couple of games, this is the role I have been given," Pollard said. "For me, it's about seeing the ball and trying to hit it."
After a disastrous start to their season - losing their first four matches - Mumbai have got their campaign back on track with five wins in their last six games. "We haven't done much differently since the start, we have been training hard," Pollard said. "It wasn't the ideal start for us but I think the win against Sunrisers Hyderabad helped. After we got that win, the time off before the other games was really good for us. We relaxed, did fun stuff and took our mind off from cricket. We knew what we were up against coming back into the tournament. So we are now starting to reap the benefits.
"The talent was always there. It was just a matter of getting the combination and our mindset right. We are in a happy space now. We took a little time to adjust and I'm sure we can do a good job in the coming games."