Kieron Pollard, who played a stellar role in Mumbai Indians’ comprehensive win over Chennai Super Kings that paved the way for their entry into the final of IPL 8, says his team played near-flawless cricket.
Mumbai Indians defeated two-time winners CSK by 25 runs in the first qualifier at the Wankhede Stadium last night, with Pollard blazing his way to a 17-ball 41.
“We played one of our most perfect games, barring a couple of dropped catches which obviously needs improvement.
“Having said that, coming out and winning that and going directly into the final from where we were, I think, is a marvellous achievement for us as a team,” said the big-built West Indian allrounder whose whirlwind knock included five towering sixes.
Pollard was alluding to MI’s amazing run to the final after a very poor start when they lost four games in a row before getting their act together to notch up nine wins in the next 11 games.
MI rode on Pollard’s end-innings belligerence following his Trinidadian compatriot Lendl Simmons’ 65 at the top to rake up 187 for six, which proved too much for their rivals who folded up for 162 with an over to spare.
“187 was a good total. On this ground it was par. We had a couple of runs to play with. We knew Chennai is a good team.
They came here during the league stages and demolished us.
“They scored 190 or 200 and they smoked it in 15-16 overs. We were up for a game; we knew what was in front of us and what we needed to do and as a team… I am stressing on team as it was a team effort, we are here where we are now.”
The West Indian described veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh’s double strike to send back Suresh Raina and CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off successive balls in the 11th over as the turning point in the game.
“We wanted to start well, got a couple of wickets as well. Bhaji, of course, did not start well in the first couple of overs, but after that third over he changed the game for us. Getting those two wickets was absolutely masterly. Raina and Dhoni? They can change the game in a couple of balls,” noted Pollard.