Pollard: 'It was a bowlers' graveyard'

Mumbai Indians's Kieron Pollard discusses the run-fest — 553 runs were scored in 40 overs — at the Wankhede, in which Kings XI Punjab prevailed to stay alive in the tournament.

Kieron Pollard struck a 24-ball 50 in Mumbai Indians's chase of 231.   -  AFP

Predicting the outcome of the Mumbai Indians’ last home match against Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday would have been a long shot, especially on the basis of the 10-9 head-to-head score in favour of the former. As it transpired, the Mohali-based team held its nerves to win the match.

In hindsight, after being witness to a thrilling chase, the discerning spectator may not find fault with Rohit Sharma’s decision to field first. Maxwell’s team actually seized the opportunity with both hands to put up a massive score on the board.

Kieron Pollard, who kept his team in the hunt, said: "At the end, we did not (win). It was a great game of cricket. It (pitch) was a bowlers’ graveyard. We stuck to our guns. These sort of games, you want going into the play-offs. (Wriddhiman) Saha batted pretty well. Maxi as well. (Martin) Guptill, on his part, took the initiative right from the start. Someone has to win and someone has to lose, and we were on the losing side."

Pollard admitted it was probably the best pitch rolled out for batting by the Wankhede ground staff.

"I think so, a very good wicket. As you can see, plenty of runs scored. In Twenty20, when a side scores 230, more often you don’t give yourself a chance. It was very good on our part to get as close as possible."

The Trinidadian, one of the big buys in the early years of the league, made light of the loss (MI's second in a row).

"It just proves we are humans; we can’t win each and every game. We keep improving. We had a dismal performance against the Sunrisers (Hyderabad), but we bounced back very well here. We fought. At the end of the day we play against oppositions and against cricketers who are professionals in their own right. It is not always you turn up and win a cricket game. There is no need to panic. In life, there is always someone else who is suffering than you. Keep our head high. We have qualified. First step in every tournament is qualifying. It just shows we can make mistakes. We lost two games in a row. We pick the momentum. We win the next three and we can actually hold the championship."

When asked if MI felt tense, Pollard said: "These are the moments you practice for. This is what professional sport and cricket is all about. For us, once you are in the middle, the pressure is not as hard as actually watching it. For me, I was in the middle and it was pretty easy. I don’t know how the other guys were feeling in the pavilion or in the dug-out. Once you are in the middle, the pressure is different. You are trying to do the job to the best of the ability."

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