CSK and MI: Irrespective of the fact that today’s match had to produce a winner if someone really was victorious today that was cricket. A thriller of the highest order unfolded at Feroz Shah Kotla as Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians came face to face. However, it was a Pollard special that saw Mumbai Indians coming home in the last ball of the game.
Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to bowl first. The decision backfired for the defending champions as Chennai produced a superb display after coming an early cropper. Trent Boult removed Ruturaj Gaikwad early, validating Rohit Sharma’s decision to bowl, only to discern the fact that it was just the onset of a storm that would take them some inhuman efforts to contain.
Moeen Ali and Faf Du Plessis started brewing a tempest so destructive that it flew Chennai to a mind-blowing 112 before Moeen Ali fell victim to Jasprit Bumrah’s pace. The wicket of Ali led to an unexpected landslide that saw Du Plessis and Suresh Raina departing in quick succession.
This introduced two new batsmen to the crease that featured the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Ambati Rayudu. Jadeja played an uncharacteristically tardy knock that saw him amassing 22 runs from 22 balls wherein Rayudu blasted a blitzkrieg that saw him blowing a hole in Mumbai India’s refrigerator in the dugout. Rayudu powered a 27-ball-72 that propelled Chennai to a monumental 218 for the loss of 4 wickets. It was Kieron Pollard who pumped up an excellent performance with the cherry in his hand as he leaked only 12 runs from his 2 overs and claimed 2 wickets.
Chasing such a monumental total, De Kock and Sharma helped Mumbai kick off to a blinder as the duo added 71 runs from the first 7 overs. Much to their dismay, Moeen Ali, Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja removed the top three to leave Mumbai staring at an imminent cataclysm. With Kieron Pollard in and being laced with Krunal Pandya, the duo started with the initial overhaul.
After a period of intimidating reticence, Pollard called his partner to arms and the destruction that was laid by the West Indian was unrivalled. The duo added 90 runs in a span of just 7 overs, stoking the hopes of the defending champions.
The elder Pandya couldn’t cope with the pressure anymore and departed for a breezy 32 that paved the way for his younger brother, Hardik to arrive at the crease. Hardik smashed two astronomical strikes that gave the perfect company to a destructive Pollard who was at his scintillating best on the night as he scripted the fastest half-century of the IPL 2021. Pandya departed with eight balls to spare where there was still a mammoth task to be completed. James Neesham couldn’t really add anything and made the task even more difficult.
Kulkarni was at the non-striker’s end while it was Pollard who was shouldered with the onus of taking Mumbai home. With eight needed off 2 balls, the big man clobbered Lungi Ngidi for a titanic clout down the leg side which was followed by a frenetic swing of the bat that helped him to garner the much-needed two runs off the last ball to script a remarkable victory.
Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu transcended the batting standards of the night to an extra-terrestrial level
In the midst of such a crackling thriller that saw both the sides posting some impeccable batting display, thanks to de Kock, Moeen Ali, Du Plessis and Sharma who were absolutely phenomenal with the bat, the two batters who embezzled the limelight were none other than two veteran war-horses, Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu.
While Rayudu hammered four boundaries and seven sixes en route to his unbeaten 72, Pollard upped the contest by scoring a tempestuous 87 from only 34 deliveries that saw him clubbing 6 fours and 8 sixes. This knock from him was even better because of the immense pressure that he had to tote on his robust shoulders of carrying them home.
IPL 2021: CSK and MI – Who won the Man of the Match?
Kieron Pollard was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his defining performance with both the ball and the bat. He chipped in with the cherry in stunning fashion as he got rid of a set Du Plessis and a dangerous Raina for cheap while his willow bred a storm so devastating for the Kings that the Yellow Army will take a while to rally themselves back to the fore.
That ecstatic swivel of Pollard’s bat against Ngidi that closed down the deal to just 2 off the last ball was a basic run-down of the ilk of onslaught that was imposed by the Caribbean.