Mumbai Indians suffered a narrow seven-run defeat at the hands of Kings XI Punjab, who stayed in contention for a playoff spot with the win. Kieron Pollard, who took MI within touching distance of the challenging target of 231, said the defeat goes to prove that one can't always win.
"It shows we are humans and can't win every game. As I said we keep improving. We had sort of a dismal performance against Sunrisers (Hyderabad). We have bounced back pretty well on a good wicket. We fought," said Pollard, who scored an explosive fifty.
"We are playing against opposition, professionals in their own right. It's not always you will turn up and win a cricket game."(But) there is no need to panic. We will keep our heads high. We have qualified and the first step in every tournament is
Asked if the back-to-back losses will affect MI's morale going into the playoffs, Pollard said, "(Loss) Just shows we can make mistakes as well. We lost two games in a row. If we pick up momentum and win the next three, then you will be asking how is the championship feeling."
The Blue Brigade began the season with a defeat to Rising Pune Supergiant but strung together six consecutive wins to secure a berth in the playoffs before losing the second Maharashtra derby. MI's most dismal performance, however, came against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad who restricted them to 138 before winning by seven wickets.
Yesterday, Wriddhiman Saha slammed 93 and skipper Glenn Maxwell struck a 21-ball 47 to help Kings XI post 230. Pollard strung a 55-run partnership with Hardik Pandya after a fabulous knock by Lendl Simmons, but it wasn't enough.
"It was a great game of cricket from both sides. We call it (Wankhede track) a bowlers' graveyard. It's good we stuck to our guns. These are the games you want going into the play- off rounds. Saha batted very well, Maxi as well. They took the initiative right from the start and we knew we were in for a tough game. As I said someone has to win, someone has to lose and we were the losing side" said the 30-year-old Trinidadian.
Speaking about his knock under pressure, Pollard said, "These are the moments you practice for. This is what professional sport and cricket
"I don't know how others were feeling in the dug-out. I know when I am in the dug-out I feel the pressure. Once you are in the middle the pressure is different there is a job to do and you try to do the job to your best (ability)."