Twitter Reactions: Kieron Pollard's blitzkrieg halts CSK's winning spree in a last-ball thriller at Delhi

Kieron Pollard's unbeaten 34-ball 87, featuring eight maximums and six fours led Mumbai Indians to achieve the second-highest chase in the history of the IPL.

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Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

In a six-hitting carnival, Kieron Pollard‘s unbeaten 34-ball 87, featuring eight maximums and six fours led Mumbai Indians to achieve the second-highest chase in the history of the IPL. In a game that recorded 437 runs, 30 sixes and as many fours, the result came out only on the last ball as Pollard stole a double to secure a six-wicket win for his side.

Winning the toss, Rohit Sharma inserted his opponents to bat, hinting at how the track at the venue has become better with the game’s progress. The start for the Indians with the ball was ideal, although things escalated quickly after the Ruturaj Gaikwad’s exit. 

Jasprit Bumrah was demolished, Trent Boult belted, and Rahul Chahar mishandled. Such was the audacity of CSK’s batters, who set up a mammoth 218/4 on the back of brisk fifties from Moeen Ali, Faf du Plessis, before a berserk assault from Ambati Rayudu. 

Moeen, du Plessis maraud MI

Trent Boult provided his team a dream start by inducing a leading edge of the in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad’s bat that nicely carried to Hardik Pandya at point. Jolted in the first over, CSK hardly let it impact them, with both Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali sending the opponent bowlers for a leather hunt. 

Du Plessis attacked Dhawal Kulkarni, while Ali picked Boult, both picking a six and four off consecutive overs to make an instant recovery in the powerplay. Rahul Chahar did sneak a quiet over, although the marauding mood that the duo was in, he was smacked for two maximums in 9th over, laying the platform for a threatening acceleration. 

CSK went nuts, piling 51 runs in overs 9-11 before Jasprit Bumrah removed Ali, who tried to run a delivery that was too close to his body to third-man, but only managed edging it de Kock behind. His 36-ball 58 included five sixes and as many fours and such was his might that arguably the two best bowlers of the world – Boult and Bumrah – looked net bowlers momentarily.

Pollard dents, Rayudu rolls 

Ali was helped in no small cause by du Plessis, who was equally destructive, if not more, during his 28-ball 50 that included two fours and four maximums. Notching up his fourth consecutive half-century, this time off 27 balls, he seemed set to blaze forward after the end of a despoiling 108-run stand-off 61 deliveries, but Kieron Pollard’s off cutters unsettled CSK within a blink of an eye. 

He got du Plessis caught by Bumrah at fine leg, while Suresh Raina was undone on the immediately following delivery as he deposited another slower one to deep midwicket. Mumbai pulled things back magnificently until Rayudu teed off uncontrollably. His ruthless assault crushed MI into pieces as CSK placed 136/4 in the 15th over got 82 off the last five overs, which included a 17-run over of Bumrah and a 20-run over against Boult (1/42).

Unable to find his mojo, Ravindra Jadeja ensured to give strike to Rayudu, who reached fifty off merely 20 balls before finishing unbeaten on 72 off 27, including seven maximums across the park and four fours. 

Similar fortunes for Mumbai after a rapid start

Out to chase a target they never successfully reached in their history; Mumbai Indians were given the perfect start with both Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock making merry in the middle. Rohit slammed consecutive fours off Sam Curran and the duo picking 14 off Ngidi’s opening over, which was the powerplay’s last, meant MI escaped the period of field restriction unscathed. The 71-run opening stand was broken when Shardul Thakur struck as Rohit holed out to Gaikwad at cover to end his 24-ball 35. 

Both the teams had similar fortunes in the middle overs: losing quick wickets after a brilliant start, letting the opposition pull things back before launching a brutal assault. After Rohit’s end, MI was dented by two more strikes as Suryakumar Yadav nicked Jadeja behind, while de Kock (38 off 28) spooned a return catch to Moeen Ali.

Pollard storms in

Having lost three wickets in 13 balls, MI desperately needed what Rayudu did for his team and Pollard volunteered. He might not have arrived thus far in the tournament, but he arrived with a big bang. Much like Jadeja, Krunal Pandya alongside Pollard was unable to make much by himself and he decided to do the right thing: give the in-form batsman strike.

Pollard’s mood was clear early in the innings when he sent Jadeja thrice out of the park in the 13th over that produced 20 runs. In a six-hitting exhibition that followed, Mumbai scored 39 in the next two to pick 59 in the three-over period running from 13-16. 

End of the drama

Sam Curran’s devastating yorker pinned Krunal Pandya lbw in a 2-run 17th over but 17 off next brought down the equation to 31 needed off last two. Nerves were evident went du Plessis dropped Pollard at long-on in the same over. Bowling the penultimate over, Curran was sent for two sixes by Hardik Pandya but both bowler and fielder redeemed with du Plessis holding the ball at long-off. Needing 16 off the last after Neesham departed on the last ball of the previous over, Pollard provided a magnificent finish, taking his team across the line in one of the most frenzied ball-hitting exhibitions.  

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