Mumbai Indians (MI) pulled off their biggest heist in the history of IPL as they chased down 219 runs set by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. The ‘El Classico’ as one calls this tie – lived up to the expectations going down to the wire before Mumbai had the last laugh and returned to winning ways after a couple of defeats.
Batting first, Chennai posted 218 runs banking on brilliant knocks from Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu. The batter from Hyderabad, in particular, was at his very best making the most out of the death overs. He scored 72 runs off just 27 deliveries including four boundaries and seven sixes to propel Chennai Super Kings to a massive total.
It was expected to be a close contest considering it to be a small ground and pitch assisting the batters. Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock gave a good start adding 71 for the first wicket before a mini-collapse that brought Kieron Pollard on the ground and the rest is history. He smacked a 17-ball 50 and remained unbeaten on 87 runs to pull off a win for MI – their biggest run chase in the history of the tournament.
We lacked on the execution part – MS Dhoni
Speaking at the end of the game, MS Dhoni admitted that they lacked quality in the execution where Mumbai Indians walked away with the close contest. He also added that despite being on the top of the points table, they are taking one game at a time and are not being too complacent.
“It was a brilliant wicket. The difference was the execution. Not being too tough on bowlers, we dropped catches at crucial intervals. The bowlers would execute better and learn from this. If you look how it went. we were very off target when it came to execution. It is important to do that. The wicket was easy to hit. In a tournament like this, you will win and lose a few close games. When you are under the pump, you learn a lot. Irrespective where we are in the points table, we take one game at a time. We hardly ever focus where we are standing on the table. That has been our good point along the way,” MS Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
One of the best T20 games I have been part of – Rohit Sharma
MI skipper Rohit Sharma, who returned to winning ways after two defeats on a trot, labelled this as one of the best T20 matches he has ever witnessed. The swashbuckling opener also showered praise on Kieron Pollard for his brilliant match-winning knock.
Probably one of the T20 games that I have ever been part of. I have never seen a chase like that before. One of best innings from Polly. Brilliant to see from outside. Good pitch, smaller ground, we wanted to stay positive once we finished the 20 overs. We got a decent start and then we saw what happened. We just wanted to go there and express ourselves.
A brilliant partnership at the top, the Krunal-Pollard partnership was crucial too. When chasing a high score, you want your power-hitters to bat as many balls as possible. But we back Krunal to do the job as well. It (Delhi) suits our style of play. You want to back your bowlers to get the job done. The bowlers brought us back into the game against Rajasthan. It’s all about backing your core group of bowlers and I am sure they’ll get the job done more often,” Rohit Sharma said.
I am trying to maximise the angles – Kieron Pollard
Meanwhile, MI all-rounder Kieron Pollard was adjudged the player of the match for his all-round show. The all-rounder from the Caribbean Islands returned with two wickets before launching a carnage with the bat. He remained unbeaten on 87 runs laced with eight sixes and six boundaries. Speaking in the wake of a muscular innings, Pollard said that he is working on his batting trying to maximise more on the angles.
I want to thank god, uncle Steven, giving me the strength. They just lost Moeen, it was the best time for a seamer to come and bowl. It worked, I got two wickets and another over. They had four overs of spin to bowl on a small ground, I was trying to hit them. I had to maximise against Jadeja. Couple of sixes were always going to keep us in the game. You have to evolve, lot of practice goes into it. That has helped me.
I can’t say I’m 360, I am maximising more angles in the field. Dhawal’s decent with the bat, but I needed to bat six balls. That’s the pressure you need to take as an individual. We have done this time and time again. We got over the line today, fortunately, Faf gave me the chance. Overall, a good wicket. Two wins, hopefully that gives us the momentum,” Kieron Pollard said.