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MI wins a thriller in a spectacular chase
The ” El- Classico” of IPL turns out to be the biggest thriller of all times !! It was an unbelievable game of cricket at Delhi, that can easily take the focus away momentarily from the grim realities that the nation of India is going through. What a match it was !! In a sensational chase, Mumbai needed 105 runs in the last 7 overs and most teams would have packed up and gone home. However, the MI v CSK matches are played in fantasy minds. Kieron Pollard launched a most brutal assault on the CSK bowling to play one of the most destructive innings scripted in all levels of T20 cricket.
The match was played on a batting featherbed and a very small ground with boundaries in certain corners as ridiculously small as 55 metres. Whether the time has come for ICC to regularise the boundaries of T20 cricket or not is a debate for another day but on this night, it was a game played only in dreams with 30 sixes being hammered.
CSK was asked to bat first and started by losing a prolific Gaekwad (4) cheaply to Boult. However, Faf Duplessis (50) and Moeen Ali (58) signalled the shape of things to come by smashing the MI bowling including a helpless looking Bumrah for a scintillating 2nd wicket stand of 112 in 10 overs full of spectacular strokes. Moeen’s hitting in particular looked so pure and effortless. Their stand followed a mini-collapse with three wickets going down in a blink of an eye with Pollard taking 2/12.
From 119/4 what we saw next was a blitzkrieg from Ambati Rayudu. He simply decimated the potent Mumbai bowling attack hitting sixes all over the ground, pulling and lofting some of the most established bowlers in the world. Bumrah was repeatedly sent soaring into the stands as the world’s best looked helpless on this pitch leaking 56 runs on 4 overs !! Rayudu smashed a sensational 72 off just 27 balls consisting of 7 sixes with Jadeja (22) as his support cast as CSK rattled up 102 in the last 8 overs to pile up 218. Most of us thought it was enough !!
And enough it looked to be as though D Kock (38) and Rohit (35) was making a challenging effort to extract a match out of it playing classy shots, MI reached 81/3 in 10 overs with both openers and Surya (3) dismissed before they created further damage.
However, the next 6 overs saw an absolute carnage with Krunal and Pollard in particular blowing away the CSK bowlers by plundering runs at will. No ground is too big for Pollard as he smashed 6 after 6 to deflate the hapless CSK bowlers who were looking into the orbit after delivering each ball. When finally Krunal (32 off 23 balls) was dismissed in the 17th over, Pollard was already on a roll with Hardik joining him.
Sam Curran tried to pull the game back in Chennai’s favour by picking the wickets of both Pandya brothers. He bowled the 17th over in which he just gave 2 runs and finally got the wicket of Krunal then Shardul bowled the 18th over in which Faf dropped the important catch of Pollard which later cost them the game. Curran bowled the 19th over in which he was smashed by Hardik for two sixes but ended the over by picking the wickets of Hardik and Neesham.
In the last over 16 runs were needed and Pollard had the confidence in him as he denied taking singles and doubles. Lungi bowled two leg-side full tosses under extreme tension which were easily punished by Pollard for a four and a six. Pollard finished the game for Mumbai as they finally stunned Chennai by 4 wickets in a sensational finish with the Mumbai players swarming the field after the winning hit to embrace the hero of the night, Keiron Pollard.
Pollard for awarded Player of the Match for his 87 off 34 at a strike rate of 255 which includes 6 fours and 8 sixes. It was a breathtaking chase in which 105 runs were scored in the last 7 overs as MI scripted the most unbelievable wins in the history of T20 cricket by maintaining an asking rate of 15 in the last 7 overs of the chase.
Mumbai won by 4 wkts
CSK 218/4 (20 Ovs)
Moeen Ali 58(36)
MI 219/6 (20 Ovs)
de Kock(wk) 38(28)
Sam Curran 3/34
Moeen Ali 1/1