How many times has the legendary all-rounder saved the Mumbai Indians from a disastrous situation? Isn’t the figure enormous? Other than the recent instance in which Pollard proved to be the “one man army” for the Mumbai Indians, we will highlight five such instances in this article. Let’s go over those spectacular knocks again.
1. 60* (32) vs Chennai Super Kings, 2013 Final
Kieron Pollard’s knock was instrumental in Mumbai Indians becoming Indian Premier League champions for the first time. After electing to bat first, Mumbai Indians began their innings poorly, losing four quick wickets, leaving them reeling at 52 for 4 in 9.3 overs when Pollard joined Ambati Rayudu in the middle.
They both rescued the Mumbai Indians from difficult situations at the time, and they did it again that night in the crucial final. Pollard was the aggressor, shooting freely whenever he got the chance, and Rayudu provided excellent support. When Rayudu was out in the 16th over, the Mumbai Indians were at 100 and needed a strong finish to post a defendable total. Pollard, aided by the tail enders, went bonkers and smashed the CSK bowlers, particularly Dwayne Bravo, for 13 runs in the final over, hitting two consecutive sixes in the final two balls of the innings. His unbeaten 60-ball knock included seven fours and three sixes. His heroics propelled Mumbai Indians to 148 from a dire situation, and the Mumbai Indians bowlers successfully defended the total, allowing Mumbai Indians to win their first title by a margin of 23 runs.
2. 41* (25) vs Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2019 Final
This knock is one of the many sweet chapters in Kieron Pollard’s love affair with the Chennai Super Kings. This may appear to be just another good T20 knock, but it was a priceless one in the context of the match and the situation in which the big man played it.
After winning the toss in the final of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians elected to bat first. Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma got them off to a good start, and they were 45 for no loss after 4.4 overs. However, following De kock’s dismissal, their batting lineup crumbled, and they soon found themselves in big trouble. They lost four more wickets at regular intervals and were bowled out for 101 in 14.4 overs.
The scoring rate was decreasing as the pressure of the final grew on their batsmen. Kieron Pollard, their best player, was on hand to handle the pressure. He shared a crucial 39-run partnership with Hardik Pandya for the sixth wicket, and his contribution was 23 off 12 balls. He hit two consecutive fours against Dwayne Bravo in the final two balls of the innings, allowing the Mumbai Indians to post a manageable total of 149.
Mumbai Indians made history by defending this total and becoming the first IPL team to win the trophy four times in a row. Because they won by one run, this knock of 41* off 25 balls is significant in the rich history of the most successful IPL franchise.
3. 51*(17) vs Kolkata Knight Riders, 2016
Kieron Pollard delivered one of the most dominant knocks in the Indian Premier League. The 24th match of the IPL 2016 saw KKR post a respectable total of 174 after being asked to bat first.
In response, Mumbai Indians lost their first wicket, Parthiv Patel, in the seventh ball of the innings. Following that, Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma combined for 59 runs in 34 balls for the second wicket. However, after Rayudu was caught by Shakib in the seventh over, Mumbai Indians lost two more wickets in quick succession, to Krunal Pandya and Jos Buttler, with 106/4 at the end of the 13th over. With the Mumbai Indians needing 69 runs in the final seven overs, Kieron Pollard joined skipper Rohit Sharma in the middle. The unique aspect of this knock was that he did not attempt to take the game deep as he usually does. He mercilessly hammered the KKR bowlers and quickly dispatched the Mumbai Indians. His unbeaten 51 off 17 balls included two fours and six massive sixes. It hit KKR like a hurricane, literally blowing them away, and Mumbai Indians chased the target with two overs to spare.
4. 83 (31) vs Kings XI Punjab, 2019
During the 24th match of the Indian Premier League 2019, KXIP posted a very healthy total of 197 after being asked to bat first, thanks to a century by KL Rahul and a knock of 63 by Chris Gayle.
In Rohit Sharma’s absence, Mumbai began the chase slowly, losing their top three in 9 overs for a total of 62. Kieron Pollard, who was leading the Mumbai Indians that day, put on a quick 32-run partnership with the young Ishan Kishan, with the latter contributing only 7 runs. Mumbai Indians were in a pickle after being put in at 94 for 4 and needing 104 runs in the final eight overs with only Hardik and Krunal Pandya as specialist batsmen.
Kieron Pollard did what he is known for in such a tragic situation: he counterattacked. He targeted R Ashwin and Sam Curran in particular, smashing 10 sixes en route to his 83. After the Pandya brothers were dismissed, he and Alzarri Joseph took Mumbai Indians close to the total, leaving them needing 15 runs in the final over with four wickets in hand. Pollard hit a six on the first “no ball” delivery and a four on the free hit delivery. Despite being out in the next delivery, he nearly completed the game for the Mumbai Indians. Alzarri Joseph and Rahul Chahar comfortably scored the remaining four runs. What a fantastic knock!
5. 70 (47) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2017
The 12th match of the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League pitted Mumbai Indians against the Virat Kohli-led RCB in their own backyard. After being asked to bat first, RCB managed a modest total of 142 for the loss of 5 wickets, thanks to Kohli’s knock of 62 off 47 balls.
In response, the Mumbai Indians got off to a terrible start as Samuel Badree destroyed their top order with four wickets in his first four overs. At one point, Mumbai were reeling at 33 for 5 after 8 overs when Krunal Pandya joined Kieron Pollard in the middle. The spinners had some help because the wicket was slow and the ball was keeping a little low.
As you can imagine, scoring 110 runs in the remaining 12 overs with Hardik Pandya as the only specialist batsman to come next was a difficult task. Pollard kept his cool in such a tense situation, and he was well supported by Krunal. He was aware of the track’s requirements and batted accordingly. He filled in the gaps with good deliveries, rotated the strike, and capitalised on the loose deliveries. He eventually got set and played shots all over the park, especially against Yuzi Chahal and Pawan Negi. On his way to 70 off 47 balls, he hit three fours and five huge sixes.
Although he was out in the 18th over, he had already contributed to Mumbai Indians’ victory, as they needed only 17 runs from 15 balls at the time, which Hardik and Krunal easily achieved.