IPL 2019: I wanted to finish off the game, says Kieron Pollard
Mumbai Indian's stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard on how he successfully broke down the massive 198-run chase v KXIP
Mumbai Indians stand-in-captain Kieron Pollard led from the front with a match-winning knock of 83 against Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. Pollard's 31-ball innings helped MI beat the Punjab outfit by three wickets and move into third position on the points table with eight points from six games.
Pollard, who promoted himself to No. 4 and came to the crease after Suryakumar Yadav's departure with the score reading 56-2 in the eighth over, revealed how he went about setting up the successful chase of 198. When asked if it was his best knock ever, the West Indian wasn't too sure. "You can say yes, you can say no. It's more important that we won the game. I stayed calm under pressure. I wanted to finish off the game. Keeping that calm head in the end was good. The guys rallied really well. That's why it's a team sport," said Pollard, who was dismissed off the second ball of the 19th over with four runs still needed to win, at the post-match press conference on Wednesday night.
It seemed a tough task when MI needed 104 runs off just 48 balls, but Pollard, went after KXIP skipper and ace off-spinner R Ashwin, extracting 19 runs in the 14th over. He then gave the same treatment to young left-arm pacer Sam Curran, thrashing him for 14 and 17 in the 17th and 19th overs respectively.
"When I saw we needed 104 off 48, I knew we had to break it down. We got two big overs. We had a couple of bowlers whom we had to target and we did that and got the much-needed two points chasing down 198," said Pollard, who impressively took most of the responsibility while sharing the crease with young fast bowler Alzarri Joseph (15 not out). The duo put on a 54-run seventh-wicket stand in which Pollard's share was 41 runs off just 13 balls.
In-form Pollard eyes World Cup via IPL
All-rounder Kieron Pollard, 31, is keen to make a return to the West Indies team riding on his good form in the IPL. The big-hitter last played an ODI for WI in October 2016, against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. Pollard and some other WI players had a fallout with then Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron, who blacklisted them. However, with Cameron recently being replaced by former WI team manager Ricky Skerritt, following an election, Pollard is hoping to make it to the World Cup-bound WI team. "We have a new chairman of selectors and board president, so you take it as it comes. There has been a lot of turmoil in West Indies cricket in the past. The most I can do is put runs on the board. There are people there, who have a job to select, and let's see how that goes," he said.
IPL 2019: Kieron Pollard scripts thrilling last-ball victory for Mumbai Indians