Kieron Pollard played a sensational innings of 87 not out off only 34 balls as Mumbai Indians (MI) chased down a mammoth 219-run target against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Delhi off the last ball of the match.
Pollard hammered eight sixes and six fours during his stupendous innings as MI got home by four wickets to record their tallest successful chase in IPL history. The MI all-rounder’s effort outshone a brilliant knock of 72 not out off only 27 balls by Ambati Rayudu earlier in the match as CSK posted what seemed like a match-winning total.
At 81 for 3, MI seemed to have lost their way in the chase. But Pollard kept their hopes alive, clobbering Ravindra Jadeja for three sixes in the 13th over. More sixes followed in the next over; Pollard clubbed a slower ball from Lungi Ngidi over square leg and a full ball over long-on. MI, though, still needed 89 to win off the last six overs.
Nevertheless, Pollard kept finding the boundaries as Shardul Thakur bowled 'hit-me' length balls. After cracking a six over long-off, Pollard carved a four through extra cover. Two more boundaries followed in the over as Pollard reached 53 off just 17 balls - the fastest fifty of the season.
However, the left-hander could not ride on his luck and fell to Sam Curran for 32, trapped in front with a brilliantly executed yorker. Apart from taking the wicket, Curran conceded only two in the over as MI went into the last three, needing 48.
An unfazed Pollard clobbered Thakur for a six down the ground and dispatched the next ball for four to the right of long-off. CSK had a chance to dismiss Pollard and potentially win the game, but Faf du Plessis, of all fielders, dropped the big West Indian at long-on. And the team paid dearly for that.
The equation came down to 31 off 12 when Hardik Pandya whacked Curran for consecutive sixes, the first was muscled over long-off, while the second was creamed over square leg. Curran had his revenge, though, as the younger Pandya holed out to long-off, Du Plessis holding on to the catch this time. Jimmy Neesham lasted one ball - caught at deep fine-leg, and it came down to 16 off the last over, with Pollard on strike.
Kieron Pollard rode some more luck, jamming the second ball, a yorker from Ngidi, between his legs and the ball raced away to the vacant fine-leg region for four. The next ball was a high full-toss on leg stump, and Pollard helped himself to a pull for another four.
Under pressure, Ngidi bowled another full-toss, and this time Pollard whacked the bowler over backward square leg for a maximum. With two needed off the last ball, Pollard guided a yorker towards wide long-on and scampered back for the second to pull off an incredible chase for MI.
That marked MI’s first-ever 200-plus chase in the competition and the second-highest by any team in IPL history.
Earlier, MI had got off to a confident start in their tough chase of 219, easing their way to 58 for no loss at the end of the powerplay overs.
MI openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock attacked CSK pacer Deepak Chahar in the third over, taking 15 off him. Sharma found a four with an edge past slip and followed that up with another boundary, smartly guiding one past third man. De Kock finished the over by walking across and helping the ball over the wicketkeeper's head for a maximum.
The last over of the field restrictions went for 14 as MI built up a decent run-rate. Rohit Sharma began by lofting Lungi Ngidi for a six over mid-on, while De Kock found a boundary by picking the gap between the bowler and mid-on.
The opening partnership ended sooner than MI would have wanted to, though. With the MI score on 71, Shardul Thakur struck in his first over when Rohit Sharma (35) holed out to sweeper cover.
The defending champions were dealt with another blow when Suryakumar Yadav (3) nicked one from Ravindra Jadeja. CSK had three wickets in as many overs when De Kock (38) chipped a simple catch to Moeen Ali off a leading edge. However, CSK couldn’t get past Pollard as MI pulled off a win for the ages.
Ambati Rayudu blitz takes CSK to 218 for 4
Earlier in the game, a sensational display of clean hitting by Ambati Rayudu (72 not out off 27 balls) lifted CSK to 218 for 4 after they were went sent into bat first by MI. Rayudu slammed seven sixes and four fours in his blistering knock as CSK overcame a mid-innings collapse, where they had lost three wickets for only four runs.
The first of Rayudu’s seven sixes came in the 15th over when he dispatched a short ball from Rahul Chahar over square leg. Two more followed off consecutive deliveries in the next over by Dhawal Kulkarni. One was launched over cow corner, while the other was clobbered straight over the bowler’s head.
Jasprit Bumrah was brought back into the attack in the hope of stemming the run flow. Instead, the premier bowler was slammed over extra cover for a six off a no-ball by Rayudu. The free hit delivery was a yorker but found the edge of the bat and raced away to the fence. 21 runs came off the Bumrah over, the 17th of the CSK innings.
Rayudu raced away to his half-century off 20 balls, taking a special liking for Trent Boult. After pulling a short ball over square leg for a maximum, Rayudu creamed the next one over wide long-off to race to his fifty.
The last ball of the over was again sent over the ropes, carved over cover-point, as Rayudu gave the CSK innings some serious momentum. The Boult over went for 20, and CSK were six short of 200 with 12 balls to go. Bumrah bowled a decent 19th over, conceding just ten but still finished with his most expensive figures in an IPL innings - 1 for 56.
Dhaval Kulkarni was given the responsibility of bowling the last over in which Rayudu helped himself to another six, whacking a full toss over square leg. The CSK batsman was dropped at sweeper cover off the last delivery, and the ball crossed the ropes for a four, summing up MI’s dismal day on the field.
Earlier in their innings, CSK lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (4) in the first over of the day when he spooned a simple catch off Trent Boult to point off a leading edge. Moeen Ali (58 off 36) and Faf du Plessis (50 off 28) then combined to feature in a whirlwind second-wicket stand of 108 to lift CSK.
Both batsmen found the boundaries with ease. After Du Plessis lofted Kulkarni for a six over mid-off, Ali picked Boult off his hips and deposited him over the square leg fence. MI had no answer to Ali and Du Plessis’ assault as CSK raced to 95 after ten overs.
The 11th over bowled by Bumrah saw Du Plessis crashing the bowler for two sixes and a four.
There was some respite, finally, for Bumrah and MI when Ali was caught behind off a short ball in the same over. Kieron Pollard then sent back Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina (2) off consecutive balls.
The relief for MI was short-lived, though, as Rayudu’s blinder put CSK in a commanding position.
IPL 2021: MI vs CSK - Man of the Match
Ambati Rayudu played a stupendous knock of 72 not out off 27 balls for CSK. Following a mini-collapse, Rayudu lifted the team with some amazing hitting and gave them some much-needed momentum.
Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali both scored brisk half-centuries for CSK after the early loss of Ruturaj Gaikwad. While Faf Du Plessis scored 50 off only 28 balls, Ali also claimed the wicket of Quinton de Kock after smashing 58 off 36.
For MI, Kieron Pollard dismissed Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis in one over and then played a stupendous knock with the bat, remaining unbeaten on 87 off 34 balls to guide MI to a famous win.
Thanks to his fabulous all-round effort that floored CSK in a high-scoring thriller, Kieron Pollard was unsurprisingly declared the Man of the Match.