Kieron Pollard-led Mumbai Indians became the first team to qualify for IPL 2020 playoffs by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets in Abu Dhabi. It was the fifth victory for Mumbai Indians as they bounced back from an eight-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals at the same venue. Pollard lauded the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav for shaping their victory.
Kieron Pollard won the toss and chose to field as Devdutt Padikkal and Josh Philippe got the Royal Challengers Bangalore off to a flyer. Despite adding 71 for the opening wicket and Padikkal striking 74 off 44 deliveries, the Royal Challengers finished with 164 only. The likes of Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers could not do much while Gurkeerat Singh’s late flourish proved invaluable.
Quinton De Kock and Ishan Kishan added 37 for the opening wicket in 5.3 overs following which it was all Suryakumar Yadav. The likes of Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, and Hardik Pandya provided tiny contributions; however, it was Yadav, who stole the show. In 43 balls, the right-handed batsman remained unbeaten at 79 with ten fours and three sixes. The 30-year old also hit the winning runs to take the defending champions to the playoffs.
“I took a punt and bowled at AB” : Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard began by stating that he took a gamble by bowling to AB De Villiers that paid off amazingly well. Kieron Pollard was all praises for Jasprit Bumrah for his economical and wicket-taking spell and Suryakumar Yadav for moving on from strength to strength. The towering all-rounder empathised with Yadav, having not received a call-up to the national team despite his impressive run with the bat. The 33-year old concluded by claiming that there are debates around his batting position; however, they have to do what is best for the team.
“I am big on match-ups in a way. I also watch a lot of cricket. I took a punt and bowled at AB. I could have waited for the last over but if someone has to go for runs I thought I’d take it. Bumrah continues to keep standing up throughout the tournament. But again we have been playing total team cricket. Somebody is always there to pick up the slack. Imagine someone batting at that strike rate after two early wickets. Deep down inside he must be very very disappointed to not have donned the blue for India. He just keeps getting better. Again as an individual if you keep staying consistent, you will be rewarded. Nothing happens before its time. There is discussion around my batting position, I would love to be up there, taking the runs and hitting the runs, but we have to do what is the best for the team,” Pollard told in the post-match presentation.