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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Pollard's blitz takes the match away from CSK

IPL is entertaining – matches go down the wire – last ball finish need not be a six or four !  .. .. and yesterday Mumbai Indians played the last ball better to win over Chennai super Kings.  Not often, a 50 off 28; 58 off 36; 72 off a mere 27 get overshadowed – and people do not even talk about – 38 off 25; 35 off 24 & 32 0ff 23 but speak about only one man’s innings !! – 87 off 34 with 6 fours and 8 sixers ! the teams he has played for is a very big list – and perhaps he would have had dozen passport books to record his travels to so many places !!


Do you know or remember that Tamil Nadu played in Ranji finals held in Apr 1973  and lost by 123 runs .. .. the TN team read :  PK Belliappa (keeper), R Mirza, MK Dalvi, Abdul Jabbar, P Mukund, AG Satwender Singh, LJ Edmonds, Srinivasan Venkatraghavan (Capt), R Prabhakar, B Kalyanasundaram & VV Kumar.   The highest score was Ashok Mankad’s 38 !. 

The famed batting line up of Bombay was :  Sunil Gavaskar, Ramnath Parkar, Ajit Wadekar, Ashok Mankad, Sudhir Naik, Dilip Sardesai, Eknath Solkar,  &  AD Naik, RD Tandon, PK Shivalkar & SK Hazare (keeper).  Venkat’s 5 for 60 and VV Kumar’s 5 for 48 contained Mumbai to 151 but TN scored only 80. Padmakar Shivalkar had figures of – 17.5-10-16-8.   In the 2nd   Kalyanasundaram (4); P Mukund (2), Venkat (3) and Kumar 1 bowled Bombay out for 113.  Needing 185, TN folded for 61 with Eknath Solkar taking 5/23 and Shivalkar 5/18.  Leftarm spinner Padmakar Shivalkar took 589 Ranji wickets but never played for India [and we always think that every player from Bombay rose to play for India even if they were not great performers !]

Yesterday clearly belonged to towering Kieron Adrian Pollard  who generally comes when 20 odd balls are left and scores 3 or 4 sixers  !  

At the time of IPL auction in Jan 2010, Pollard was not known to many – he had a batting average of 11.30 from 15 ODIs and 17.20 from 10 T20Is  BUT  became the joint-biggest buy - Mumbai Indians weren't paying $750,000 (plus an undisclosed amount to break a tie with three other franchises) for Pollard's international record; they were shelling out all that money for the fearsome hitting power he had shown in domestic T20 action - most notably while smashing 54 off 18 balls for T&T against New South Wales during the 2009 Champions League T20. 

A decade later, Kieron Pollard is overall the 6th batter to get past 200 sixes in the IPL. Chris Gayle leads the list by a big margin as he has hit 351 sixes, 114 more than 2nd-placed AB de Villiers. Rohit Sharma is third on the list followed by MS Dhoni. Pollard went level with Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli after finishing the Mumbai Indians innings on Saturday with 201 sixes – he added 8 more yesterday.  Last year he created history becoming  the first fielder to take 300 catches in T20 cricket history.

Mumbai Indians allrounder Hardik Pandya on Saturday announced that his entire family, including brother Krunal Pandya, will donate 200 oxygen concentrators to help the rural areas of the country fight the raging Covid-19 pandemic. Talking ahead of his team's match against the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, Hardik said his family had been looking for ways to help those in need.

Ruturaj Gaikwad started this season with scores of 5, 5 and 10, but even with Robin Uthappa available in the squad, Dhoni stuck with Gaikwad - which he didn't do last season.  Against MI he started with a flourish but was out of the 4th ball – then came a good partnership between Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali and at 11.6 Suresh Raina too got out with score at 116/4. , when Gaikwad started similarly poorly.  Ambati Rayudu played a lusty knock   blazing 72 not out off 27 balls.  Rayudu smashed seven sixes and four fours to propel the Super Kings to 218 for 4.  Jadeja crawled a run a ball 22 but the duo added 102 in 48 balls.  In all, the Super Kings hit 16 sixes - the most by any team against Mumbai. Jasprit Bumrah went for 56 from his four overs, his most expensive spell in T20 cricket.  Pollard was also the most successful bowler for Mumbai, registering figures of 2-0-12-2.


Rohit Sharma and De kock started well - Shardul Thakur broke the stand in the eighth over when Sharma holed out to deep extra cover for 35. In the next over, MS Dhoni latched onto Yadav's inside edge off Jadeja. When Ali had de Kock caught and bowled for 38, Mumbai had slipped from 71 for no loss to 81 for 3 in the space of 13 balls.

Chasing 219, Pollard smashed an unbeaten 87 off just 34 balls, studded with eight sixes and six fours, to take the Mumbai Indians to an improbable win against the Chennai Super Kings.  When  Pollard came out to bat, the task was  daunting. Mumbai had lost three quick wickets and needed 132 runs from 62 balls.  MI need 16 off the last over, to be bowled by Ngidi.  

Statistically, 138 runs were scored by MI in the last 10 overs – astonishing pace.   Lungi Ngidi was hit for 62 – more than the 58 by Mohit Sharma vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2015, and Sam Curran earlier this season against KKR.

After 10 overs – MI were  81/3 and needed  138 runs from 60balls;  11th over by Ravi Jadeja only 3 runs came ; 12th over  Shardul Thakur 10; 13th Jadeja hit for 20 – 105 runs from 42 balls !; 14th Ngidi – 15 runs; 15th Shardul Thakur taken for 23 runs-  66 off 30; 16th Ngidi – 16 runs; 17th brilliant over by Sam Curran – just 2 runs and a wicket – 48 from 18 balls; 18th over Thakur 17 – 31 from 12; 19th over 15 runs – 2 wickets leaving 16 to be scored off the last over.   Last over of Lungi Ngidi -   0-4-4-0-6-2

.. .. and this tall powerful hitter Kieron Pollard changed the result almost single-handedly.

Great match it was !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd May 2021.

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