An absolute thriller of a story unfolded yesterday at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, as the Mumbai Indians, chasing 143, recovered after being 7/4, thanks to an uncharacteristic knock studded by patience and perseverance by Kieron Pollard who paced the innings perfectly.
Samuel Badree’s immaculate bowling effort, a hattrick in the power-play in only the third over of the innings rattled the Mumbai Indians who were quickly reduced to 7/4, with Rohit Sharma, the MI skipper, yet again failing miserably, out on a duck on his second ball. Had someone told Pollard a month back, when he was still gearing up for the Indian Premier League, that he would have to walk in with the MI at 7/4, he would certainly have laughed it off. It was just as unbelievable when it happened.
Kieron Pollard looked like an entirely different batsman on a track where the ball wasn’t exactly coming on to the bat. Krunal Pandya is gave Pollard much needed company and scored an extremely crucial 37 off 30 balls. Pollard, in what could be the finest innings of the gigantic batsman’s T20 Career, ended up with 70 off 47, Yes, he has pulled off heists in the past as well. But what made this innings special is the fact that apart from Virat Kohli, no other batsman looked as comfortable on the pitch as Pollard did.
Pollard had had a forgettable start to the tournament before yesterday’s game. He failed to score and against Pune in yet another thriller, Pollard failed to defend 12 off the last bowler, after having been carted for two consecutive sixes by Steven Smith. Yesterday, though, on sluggishly paced Bengaluru wicket, Pollard looked like a completely different and a matured player. His first 35 runs took 35 balls; the next 35 took just 11 balls; that’s how immaculately he paced his innings. The West Indian showed skill, power and prowess and quashed the general notion that he isn’t a sensible batsman.
Yesterday’s impeccable knock will do Pollard’s confidence a world of good and we would love to see him do this for Mumbai pretty often.