Kieron Pollard has been a match-winner for Mumbai Indians ever since he was snapped up by the franchise back in 2010. He has been a constant presence in the side and over the years, he has bailed the team out from seemingly hopeless situations.
One such knock came in 2019 and this innings could well be hailed as one of the best while chasing down the target. Incidentally, this was the match where Pollard was also making his captaincy debut as he stood in place of the injured Rohit Sharma.
Kings XI batted first and along with Chris Gayle, KL Rahul put together a 116-run stand in only 77 balls for the first wicket. Rahul went on to score his first IPL century off just 64 balls. Punjab scored a mammoth 197 runs for the loss of four wickets in their 20 overs.
MI, in return, did not get off to a good start and they lost their first three wickets for just 62 runs. Pollard walked in at number 4 and took charge of proceedings.
Mumbai required 142 to win in 12.2 overs and the required rate was 11.5 per over. It was all Pollard from there on as over the next 71 balls, he scored at 16 runs per over. Off just 31 balls, he accumulated 83 runs on his captaincy debut in IPL’s 12th edition. His innings included 10 towering sixes – six of these blows came in the final five overs.
It needs to be mentioned here that Mumbai Indians were 140 for 6 in 15.4 overs and they needed 13 runs per over in the last 6 overs. Pollard’s presence and his belligerent hits helped Mumbai score 39 runs in the penultimate three overs and then, Alzarri Joseph hit the winning runs on the last ball of the match to take Mumbai over the line.
“I went up the order, I enjoy batting at Wankhede, I thought if we could get some sixes off Ashwin in the middle we’d be in the game. I love the ball sailing into the stands. Obviously, Rohit is captain of the team, we have a day game coming up, happy to hand over the captaincy to him,” he said after the match.