Kieron Pollard’s blitzkrieg on Monday night may have left everyone shocked at the Wankhede Stadium. His 27-ball 66 was enough to take the game away from Sunrisers Hyderabad as Mumbai Indians registered a seven-wicket win chasing 179.
Pollard made a mockery of Hyderabad’s bowling, which has been the most impressive so far, when he smashed six sixes in seven deliveries. Pollard, who scored the second fastest fifty (in 20 balls) of IPL-VI, could have rated this knock as one of his finest, but he refused to be drawn into any such debate. He stressed on the importance of match-winning knocks over personal milestones.
“At the end of the day, I’ve played a lot of cricket. It’s hard to judge if this is one of my best knocks at this point of time. “What it was, though, a match-winning innings. That’s the most important thing. If I make 10 off two balls that helps my team win, it’s more important than personal scores and whether it’s my best or not. Winning is all that matters to me,” Pollard said in the post-match media briefing.
Down with flu
Pollard, however, played the fantastic knock despite not being fully fit. The West Indian, who missed the Pune Warriors India match on May 11 due to flu, was still snuffing when arrived for a media interaction. The big-hitting West Indian showed why he is such an asset to any team. Mumbai Indians needed 80 from 40 balls when Pollard walked in and in little time he tilted the match in Mumbai’s favour.
It was Hyderabad’s game till the 16th over where MI needed 62 runs in 24 balls. But Thisara Perera’s 17th over, in which he conceded 29 runs, crushed the visitors’ confidence. The equation was quickly down to 12 from as many balls. Pollard said he did not try to complicate things. “I guess it was plain for everyone to see.
The required rate was 13. At that point it was just a matter of trying to get in and see how deep we could take the game. It was a matter of choosing which bowler to attack and backing yourself and backing your ability,” said Pollard, who turned 26 on Sunday. “Some days you come out and hit the ball sweetly and others you can’t get it off the square. I could have gotten caught, anything could have happened, but today was just one of those days,” he added.
Dale Steyn, whose team was at the receiving end of Pollard’s brilliance, said it was a special innings. “He is known to hit the ball a long way. The T20 format is such that one over, one wicket or one innings can change the whole game. “That is exactly what happened last night. It was unfortunate that it happened against us. That’s the beauty of T20. You are never out of it. It was a special knock though,” Steyn said.