Kieron Pollard’s Mumbai Indians had to deal with the brilliance of Ben Stokes as he mustered a century to take the Rajasthan Royals home in a steep chase of 196. Hardik Pandya’s quick-fire fifty in the death overs of the Rajasthan Royals proved futile as Ben Stokes batted in a league of his own. Kieron Pollard had nothing to say apart from lauding Stokes’ superlative knock.
Despite losing Quinton De Kock in the first over, Mumbai Indians motored along nicely as Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav brought up a half-century stand. Shreyas Gopal and Kartik Tyagi fought back with the wickets of Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, and Kieron Pollard. Nevertheless, Hardik Pandya punished Ankit Rajpoot and Kartik Tyagi to muster 60 off 21 balls, including seven sixes.
Ben Stokes and Robin Uthappa found themselves under pressure from the word go against a world-class bowling attack. James Pattinson struck twice to dismiss Uthappa and skipper Steve Smith to pile up the pressure. Nevertheless, Ben Stokes was in no mood to fail tonight as he combined with Sanju Samson to take the game away from the Mumbai Indians. Stokes reached his second IPL hundred with a six, finishing unbeaten at 107 while Samson ended not out at 54.
“Our bowlers tried but it wasn’t meant to be today” : Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard credited Hardik Pandya for bringing them back into the game; however, agreed that Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson were too good. The towering all-rounder observed that the wicket kept getting good for batting, playing to the Royals’ strengths. Nevertheless, Pollard was optimistic with three games to go and was disappointed that things didn’t go according to Mumbai Indians’ way.
“I thought Hardik brought us straight back into the game, but well played to Stokes and well played to Samson. The wicket ended up being a good wicket with a little bit of dew. It played into their strengths. But having said that, well played to the opposition. It really doesn’t do much to the campaign, we still have three games to do. We just have to come out with good cricket. Our bowlers tried but it wasn’t meant to be today. [Hardik] keeps showing time and time again, doesn’t matter the position of the team. Tough luck an innings like that he ends up on the losing side,” Kieron Pollard told in the post-match presentation.