It had been an IPL season to forget for Kieron Pollard before a change in fortunes on Wednesday as Mumbai Indians edged past Kings XI Punjab by three runs to keep their playoff hopes well and truly alive.
A run of just 76 runs combined in six previous innings had seen the West Indies all-rounder dropped from the playing XI after an incredible run of 33 consecutive starts.
Hence, when Pollard was reinstated to the squad in place of JP Duminy ahead of Wednesday’s crunch clash, the pressure on the 31-year-old’s massive shoulders was humungous.
Pollard’s time of reckoning would come soon into the match as Mumbai Indians were reduced to 71-4 by the visitors in a must-win clash. Taking his time to get settled, the West Indies star finally found some form as he smashed a 22-ball 50 which helped the side post 186-8 ultimately in their 20 overs.
That’s Kieron Pollard for everyone!! Steps up just at the right time when needed! #MIvKXIP— Sameer Allana (@HitmanCricket) May 16, 2018
It turned out to be an extremely vital contribution ultimately as Jasprit Bumrah inspired Mumbai to a narrow three-run win.
Speaking at the post-match ceremony, the relief of having finally come good was evident on Pollard’s face.
“First of all I want to thank god. I’ve seen, I’ve heard – it brought out something different. Doubt was never there. Thank god for that opportunity. Most importantly, we came out and we live to fight another day. Never easy in T20 cricket – there are a lot of different things. Thanks to god for the victory. We’ll go to Delhi and see what can come of that,” the Mumbai stalwart said.
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma was all praise for the Trinidad-born man’s performance in the post-match presentation.
“Pollard has always been a match winner for us. Leaving him out was always a tough decision. We thought if JP Duminy is not getting opportunities down the order and that’s why we brought him back. He was very upset when he was left out and I was looking for that one opportunity to bring him back. He always stands up in the pressure situations,” Rohit said about Pollard.
With the West Indies man back in form, Mumbai Indians will be bullish about their chances of sealing a playoff spot.
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