The fielders in the IPL, particularly of late, have been stretching the limits with outrageous catches, and on Tuesday, Pollard submitted his claim for the ‘catch of the season’ contender. The Trinidadian took an outrageous one-handed grab at long-on and backed it up with an even better celebration.
There are some players you just cannot keep out of the game and Kieron Pollard is certainly one of them. In Mumbai Indians’ last game versus the Sunrisers, he finished the innings off with both bat and ball and it was only a week ago that he almost helped Mumbai pull off the biggest heist in recent memory, versus RCB. The commentators, today, were left disappointed after the big man did not come out to bat, but Pollard, anyway, made sure that he made his presence felt - through a mind-numbing effort in the outfield.
Despite Rajasthan needing just under a 100 in 7 overs, Jos Buttler looking in ominous form meant that they fancied their chances. The craftsman from England was batting impeccably on 70* off 43 and it looked like Mumbai needed a moment of magic, something special, to stop the RR talisman. And, as he’s done for the past decade or so for the Blues, it was Pollard who put his hand up and delivered the killer blow.
On the third ball of the 14th over, Buttler, keen to reduce the required run rate, whacked a James Pattinson full ball towards long-on. The elevation was not great, but, nevertheless, at one stage, the ball looked like it would comfortably clear the fielder in the deep. But that’s where Pollard decided to make a divine intervention. Standing a foot-and-a-half inside the boundary ropes, the big man, with the ball threatening to go over his head, first made a perfectly timed jump to stop the ball from flying over him.
At this moment, 99.999% of the fielders in the world would have settled for just saving the six, but not Pollard. After jumping, tapping and stopping the ball from going for a six, the big man, astonishingly, somehow managed to catch it as it was making its way to the floor, by sticking his hand out despite being completely off-balance. The commentators and the entire Mumbai dug-out were in disbelief looking at Pollard’s efforts, and so was Buttler, who could not believe his luck.
And to add insult to injury, the big man waved his old Somerset teammate, Buttler, goodbye to let him know that he’d won the battle on the day. What. A. Champion.