Rohit Sharma said he loved watching Kieron Pollard from the dugout as the West Indies superstar single-handedly helped the Mumbai Indians complete their most successful chase, gunning down 219 against Chennai Super Kings in Match 27 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Delhi on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma said the last-over thriller between CSK and MI was one of the best T20 matches he has been part of in his career. Mumbai Indians’ effort was the highest successful chase on Indian soil in the IPL and the second-highest ever.
When Chennai Super Kings posted 218 and there was no dew in Delhi on Saturday evening, it looked like they were heading towards their 6th successive victory. However, Rohit and Quinton de Kock gave Mumbai a good start, adding 71 runs in just 7 overs for the opening wicket. Mumbai stuttered in the middle as they lost three quick wickets, including that of Suryakumar Yadav cheaply.
Even as the asking rate looked improbable to conquer, Kidron Pollard backed himself and hit 8 sixes and 6 boundaries. Needing 16 runs in the last over, Pollard took the risks by denying singles but got the job done with a masterclass. Pollard was dropped on 68 by Faf du Plessis and the MI all-rounder made sure CSK paid the price for it.
“Probably one of the T20 games that I have ever been part of. I have never seen a chase like that before. One of the best innings from Polly (Pollard). Brilliant to see from outside. Good pitch, smaller ground, we wanted to stay positive once we finished the 20 overs,” Rohit Sharma said.
“We got a decent start and then we saw what happened. We just wanted to go there and express ourselves. A brilliant partnership at the top, the Krunal-Pollard partnership was crucial too. When chasing a high score, you want your power-hitters to bat as many balls as possible,” he added.
Kieron Pollard did the trick with the ball for Mumbai Indians, picking up the wickets of Faf du Plessis (50) and Suresh Raina (2) in the same over but usual suspects Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult had a poor day. In fact, Bumrah gave away 56 runs in 4 overs — his most expensive figures in the history of the IPL.
Nonetheless, Rohit Sharma backed his bowlers, saying it’s important to show faith in the bowling unit that has delivered more often than not for them.
“You want to back your bowlers to get the job done. The bowlers brought us back into the game against Rajasthan. It’s all about backing your core group of bowlers and I am sure they’ll get the job done more often,” he added.
Mumbai Indians retained the 4th spot on the IPL 2021 points table. They have 8 points from 7 matches, 2 less than leaders Chennai Super Kings. MI next face struggling Sunrisers Hyderabad in Delhi on Tuesday.