When Chennai Super Kings scored 218 runs in their match against Mumbai Indias, they would have felt reassured about an easy win given their players’ form in the ongoing in this year’s IPL. However, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was left heartbroken at the end of the match when Kieron Pollard managed to steal the required two runs off the last ball to secure a stunning four-wicket win. The outcome of the match would have been entirely different had Faf du Plessis managed to hold on to Pollard’s catch in the 18th over, when Mumbai Indians still needed more than 30 runs in a little more than two overs.
Shardul Thakur, who otherwise turned out to pretty expensive on Saturday evening, was bowling the 18th over when Pollard hit his second last delivery towards the deep. The ball went straight to Faf du Plessis, who had managed to position himself well for the catch but appeared to lose his balance and ended up dropping what looked like an easy catch.
This gave Pollard the much-needed life as he went on to guide his team to a splendid win. Had the South African held on to the catch off Thakur’s bowling, this would have put paid to Mumbai Indians’ hopes for a win since Sam Curran had dismissed Hardik Pandya and Jimmy Neesham in the 19th over. When Hardik tried to hit Curran for a third xi in the 19th over, Sam Curran for a huge six in the 19th over, du Plessis came to redeem himself and caught him at the boundary.
But, with Pollard still unbeaten at the crease, Mumbai Indians pulled off a sensational win against Chennai Super Kings. Reacting to the outcome of the match, Dhoni said, “I think it was a brilliant wicket and I feel the difference between the two sides was the execution – how off we were. Without being too tough for the bowlers, catches do help. I felt we dropped catches at the crucial point.”
As Dhoni rightly said that Saturday’s defeat may not hurt his team much given that they continue to occupy the top position in the points table, but not being able to defend 218 in a T20 match would have been hugely disappointing for the men in yellow.
Pollard was declared Man Of The Match for his superb knock of 87 Not Out made in just 34 balls. This included eight huge sixes and six boundaries.