Mumbai Indians all-rounder Kieron Pollard unleashed an incredible exhibition of power-hitting on Saturday against the Chennai Super Kings in Delhi. Kieron Pollard stole the match from Chennai Super Kings’ pockets to gun down 219 from a challenging position, winning it in the final delivery. Kieron Pollard wanted to target the spinners, feeling that in a small ground, it is what kept them in the game.
Trent Boult’s strike in the first over to remove Ruturaj Gaikwad was not enough as Moeen Ali and Faf Du Plessis added 108 runs in 60 deliveries. Ali and Du Plessis perished for 58 and 50, respectively, following which Suresh Raina also walked back cheaply – all three snaffled by Pollard. Though Ravindra Jadeja and Ambati Rayudu started slowly, the duo shifted gears in no time. The pair hammered 94 runs in the last five overs, with Rayudu raising a 20-ball half-century and finished with an unbeaten 72.
Quinton De Kock and Rohit Sharma’s 71-run opening partnership came to a close in the eighth over, with the former perishing for 35. De Kock and Suryakumar Yadav departed in the next two overs as the Mumbai Indians needed a monumental effort from the middle-order to reach the target. By the time Kieron Pollard came to the crease, the required rate had reached nearly 16.
But the towering all-rounder hit a flurry of sixes to add 89 with Krunal Pandya. Hardik arrived after Krunal’s departure and hit two sixes to bring the required rate down. The final over from Lungi Ngidi saw the Mumbai Indians needing 16 to win; however, the South African could not stop the marauder from doing so as Pollard scripted a sensational win for the defending champions.
I can’t say I’m 360, but I’m maximising it: Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard thanked the almighty for watching him and giving him the strength to do some magical things for his team. The Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder targetted the spin bowlers on the small ground and wanted to hit as many sixes and mainly wanted to strike maximums against Ravindra Jadeja. Pollard conceded that bowlers bowl wide in the nets and hence, gain practice from it. The 33-year old also felt fortunate enough that Du Plessis dropped him and wished for Mumbai to win two more games to retain the momentum at the backend of the tournament.
“First of all, I want to thank the almighty for watching over me and giving me the strength. So, yeah, started to bowl. Obviously being a small ground, we thought it was the best time for the seamer to bowl. They have four overs of spin on a small ground and I looked to hit some sixes against spin. I had to maximise that over from Jadeja. That would always keep us in the game. Each and every time as an individual you have to evolve. Guys bowl wide and a lot of practice goes into it. I can’t say I’m 360, but I’m maximising it [hitting through the off side]. I was fortunate Faf gave me the chance. Good wicket, but the bowlers didn’t do well for us. It was about time the batting stood out. Two wins in the last two games hopefully gives us the momentum into the back end of the tournament,” Pollard told in the post-match presentation.