Pollard's power-hitting upstages Rayudu's as MI clinch thriller
New Delhi, May 1, 2021
Kieron Pollard's power-packed 87 not out off 34 balls (6x4s, 8x6s) overshadowed Ambati Rayudu's 72 not out off 27 balls (4x4s, 7x6s) as Mumbai Indians (MI) defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by four wickets in a last-ball thriller in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Saturday night.
Both Pollard and Rayudu butchered the bowlers who struggled to get their lengths right on a batting surface.
Chasing 218, MI got off to a flying start with openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock adding 71 in 7.4 overs. But three quick wickets brought CSK back into the match.
Pollard then took charge and hammered the bowlers into submission.
He added 89 for the fourth wicket with Krunal Pandya (32 off 23 balls) and got to his fifty in just 17 balls with a couple of boundaries on successive balls off Shardul Thakur.
With 47 runs needed in the last three overs, the Pollard-led MI took 17 runs off the 18th over bowled by Thakur, 15 off the 19th over bowled by Sam Curran and 16 off the last over bowled by Lungi Ngidi to take MI over the line.
Earlier, Rayudu had helped CSK get to a massive 218/4.
Rayudu's attack left MI in a state of shock after the Rohit Sharma-led outfit seemed to have got back into the match with quick wickets.
The Andhra batsman pulverised the Mumbai franchise bowlers as they conceded 82 runs in the last five overs. Rayudu added an unbeaten 102 (off 49 balls) with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (22 not out off 22 balls).
CSK, who lost Ruturaj Gaikwad in the first over itself, were given a good start by their overseas batsmen Faf du Plessis (50 off 28 balls; 2x4s, 4x6s) and Moeen Ali (58 off 36 balls; 5x4s, 5x6s). The two added 108 runs in just over 10 overs.
Three quick wickets in 14 balls left CSK struggling at 116/4 at the end of 12 overs and in danger of getting bowled out early.
However, Rayudu had other ideas. He destroyed every bowler's figures and reputation, not sparing anyone including Jasprit Bumrah (1/56 in four overs). Dhawal Kulkarni was the other bowler to leak runs (0/48 in four overs).
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 218/4 in 20 overs (A Rayudu 72 not out, M Ali 58, F du Plessis 50, K Pollard 2/12) vs Mumbai Indians 219/6 in 2 overs (K Pollard 87 not out, Q de Kock 38, S Curran 3/34).