Kieron Pollard reveals what went wrong with Mumbai Indians in the game against KXIP

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IPL 2019 | It was important to stay calm and win, says Kieron Pollard

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SportsCafe Desk

04/11/2019

Kieron Pollard, the Mumbai Indians stand in skipper was delighted that the tailenders stayed calm and hit the winning runs. The all-rounder, who had smashed 83 off 31, was dismissed when his team was four runs short of the target, but Alzarri Joseph and Rahul Chahar ensured victory for their team.

The Mumbai Indians were chasing a huge target of 198 against Kings XI Punjab, and that too, in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma. The three-time champions did not get the best of starts as they were reeling at 65 for three at the end of 10 overs. Keiron Pollard, the stand-in captain had promoted himself up the order and was whacking the ball all around, but none of the batsmen were able to support him.

MIwere standing at 144 for six in 16 overs, but the stand-in skipper was already on fire by then, having scored 42 off 18 balls. However, there was a daunting task ahead, as 54 runs were required in four overs with all the batsmen back to the dressing room. The skipper unleashed his fury on the Punjab bowlers before he was dismissed for just four runs short of the target, at a score of 83 in 31 balls, with ten towering sixes. There was eerie silence amongst the 30,000 odd crowd at the Wankhede, but Alzarri Joseph, the hero with the ball in the previous match, and Rahul Chahar, ensured that MI emerged victorious in the final over thriller.

“For me, it was more important that we won the game and I was able to stay calm under pressure. Obviously, I did not finish off the game which I actually wanted to do but that is why it is a team sport and the guys really rallied on. I think Alzarri (Joseph) kept a calm head at the backend as well. He got a couple of overs in the game coming on after that splendid spell (in Hyderabad) and then keeping that calm head in the end. I think that was good that is why it is a team sport,” said Pollard, at the post-match press conference, reported Cricbuzz.

The wicket at Wankhede was once again a flat track, and the MI bowlers did well to restrict KXIP at 159-4 at the end of 18 overs. Hardik Pandya was handed over the ball in the 19th over but KL Rahul, who ended up with a century, launched an all-out attack as 25 runs came off the over. which changed the complexion of the match as the Kings almost scored 200 runs. But the skipper was not very harsh on the bowlers and was delighted to have won the match.

“We thought we would restrict them to 180 but in the last two or three overs, we were not able to execute according to the plan. The good thing is we knew what we had to go out and chase,” he said.

The all-rounder had scored 133 runs in nine matches last season as MI had ended up fifth on the points table, failing to qualify for the playoffs. The skipper made a statement to all the critics who had written him off after one dismal season.

“2018 is gone, obviously,  when you are losing, people tend to have all sort of opinions. People who have not played the game and people who have even played the game, and struggled as well, tend to have opinions. You cannot stop people from judge (judging). I am a cricketer, 31 years of age, and I have a lot of cricket left in me. I have people close to me who back me and that's more important,” the Trinidad and Tobago stated.

Kieron Pollard smacked 83 runs off 31 balls to single-handedly take Mumbai Indians home in Wednesday’s match against Kings XI Punjab. This has enabled him to make a case for himself and has made others to sit up and take notice of his blistering form. Post his terrific innings, and given the changes in the President of Cricket West Indies (CWI), the all-rounder is hopeful of making a cut in the 15 man World Cup squad.

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