Pollard’s Brutal Hitting Seals Thrilling Chase for MI Against CSK
Between CSK and MI there were 32 sixes, 16 on each side, with Pollard hitting 8 and Rayudu smashing 7.
Kieron Pollard was in full flow with the bat for the Mumbai Indians as they won by 4 wickets against Chennai Super Kings in a nail-biting contest that was decided off the final delivery. Pollard smashed 8 sixes during his 34-ball stay remaining unbeaten on 87 as the defending champions moved to fourth on the points table and stopped CSK from winning a sixth consecutive game.
Before Pollard however, it was Ambati Rayudu who played a special innings of 72 off 27 deliveries, hitting 7 sixes.
Asked to bat first, Chennai with an in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis were hoping for another solid start. Gaikwad began with a crisp drive for four through the covers before Trent Boult had him caught at backward point by Hardik Pandya in the first over.
Moeen Ali joined Faf and the duo proceeded to steady the ship and make good use of the fielding restrictions as well as Mumbai rotated the bowlers in the hunt for a second quick wicket.
Moeen played the more aggressive role in the partnership as he drove in past the bowler on both sides of the wicket and through the covers with authority, along with pulling with power to thwart the Mumbai bowlers.
Debutant Jimmy Neesham bowled a couple of expensive overs after the powerplay as CSK continued to march on with Faf starting to play his shots as well, after going through a subdued early phase.
Moeen got to his half century in the 10th over before Jasprit Bumrah returned to the attack to dismiss him for 58, caught behind by Quinton de Kock.
Faf and Moeen put on a 108-run partnership setting the platform for a good finish. The South African completed his fifty soon after Moeen’s dismissal. However, he could not kick on after that as Kieron Pollard had him caught at short fine while attempting a scoop shot for 50.
Pollard struck again off the next ball as Suresh Raina was caught for 8 in the deep while looking for a big hit over cow corner. CSK went from 112/1 to 116/4 by the end of the 12th over.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ambati Rayudu had to be watchful for a couple of overs with the left hander surviving a close LBW appeal against Pollard too.
While Jadeja played himself in, Rayudu smashed three monster sixes to push CSK over 150 with 4 overs to go in the innings.
The duo then cashed in on a Bumrah over scoring 21 runs off it, as Rayudu went through the gears, nearing his half century as well.
The right hander then smashed Boult for two sixes and a four, racing away to a 20-ball half century in the 18th over. Off the next over, Bumrah finished his spell, conceding 56 in his 4 overs as CSK crossed the 200-run mark.
Jadeja remained unbeaten on 22 while Rayudu scored 72 off 27 hitting 7 sixes and 4 fours as CSK posted 218/4.
Rohit Sharma and de Kock were well aware of the task on hand and went about their work in the powerplay along expected lines – the captain taking his time while the southpaw pounced on every boundary opportunity.
While de Kock was the more fluent of the two, Rohit was starting to find his groove as he picked off Sam Curran for a couple of boundaries. The openers took MI to 58 in 6 overs and continued in their merry ways till 71 when Rohit was caught at sweeper cover off Shardul Thakur for 35.
Six runs later, Suryakumar Yadav was caught behind by MS Dhoni off Jadeja for 3 before Moeen Ali accounted for de Kock, caught and bowled for 38.
Jadeja and Moeen briefly stifled the new batters Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard midway through the innings.
However, Pollard broke the shackles against Jadeja, hitting him for three sixes and then two more against Lungi Ngidi to wrest away the momentum from CSK. In the final six overs MI needed 89 with Hardik Pandya still to bat and Pollard going great guns.
Pollard’s brutal hitting continued on cue and Thakur was the next in line, going for 18 runs as the veteran brought up a 17-ball half century, the fastest of the season of the so far in the 15th over of the innings. Krunal Pandya meanwhile had the best seat in the house for one of the best counter-attacking displays in the IPL.
Eager to get into the act too, Krunal made light work of a Ngidi over, taking 16 off it before being trapped LBW by an inch perfect yorker from Sam Curran for 32. Curran bowled a two-run over to make it tighter.
Pollard then took the attack to Thakur again as Hardik handed over strike and was also afforded a life when Faf dropped, a sitter by his high standards.
Hardik’s stay in the middle was short as he blasted 16 off 7 before Faf held on to one off Curran, keeping the contest in the balance. Curran finished the over with the wicket of Jimmy Neesham, who was caught by Thakur for a first ball duck on debut for MI – leaving Pollard to get 16 in the final over.
Ngidi started the final over with a couple of sharp yorkers but lost his nerve as Pollard took charge and hit two boundaries and a six towards square leg before stealing two, powering Mumbai to a thrilling 4-wicket win in Delhi.
Between the two teams there were 32 sixes, 16 on each side, with Pollard hitting 8 and Rayudu smashing 7.
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