We played flawless game: Pollard
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 here.
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 on Wednesday, 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 <g data-gr-id="31">big-built</g> West Indian all-rounder 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 <g data-gr-id="25">ground</g> 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 <g data-gr-id="76">team</g> as it was a team effort, we are here where we are now.”
Two balls from Harbhajan changed the game: Fleming
CSK’ head coach Stephen Fleming says Harbhajan Singh’s two wickets off successive balls tilted the scales in favour of Mumbai Indians.
Fleming said the target of 188 looked achievable till Harbhajan got the two big wickets of Suresh Raina and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “We were going okay (during the run-chase), but the game changed with those two balls from Harbhajan. Things become difficult if you lose wickets in clumps during a big run chase. We did that on <g data-gr-id="95">Wednesday ?</g> losing two big players, key players - Raina and Dhoni. So that was the turning point and yes, 20 (odd) runs was the right differential between the teams on Wednesday,” Fleming said. Harbhajan first sent back the well-set Raina for 25 by deceiving the left-hander and accepting an easy return catch and then brought the capacity crowd on its feet by trapping Dhoni leg before off the next ball to finish with superb figures of 2 for 26.