Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals, IPL, Mumbai April 11, 2012

Pollard power too much for Rajasthan

30

Mumbai Indians 197 for 6 (Pollard 64, Rayudu 47*) beat Rajasthan Royals 170 (Shah 76, Rahane 40, Munaf 4-28) by 27 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The scoreboard might not tell you that but Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals gave IPL 2012 its first close high-scoring game as Wankhede Stadium cheered. The 27-run margin did not do justice to Rajasthan Royals for the way they went after an asking-rate of nearly ten an over against a quality bowling attack. This after Kieron Pollard had muscled his way to his highest IPL score and propelled Mumbai Indians to the highest total of this IPL season so far.

Pollard's all-round performance, 64 off 33 deliveries and 4 for 44, left in the shade a dazzling innings of 76 off 42 from Owais Shah, which had rudely threatened to gatecrash what had shaped up to be Pollard's night. Till the end of the 14th over, as Shah kept peppering the on-side rope with boundaries, Royals had an almost even chance. But in a game where no bowler apart from him went for less than seven an over, Lasith Malinga uprooted Shah's off stump with a yorker off the first ball of the 15th.

While Munaf Patel and Pollard ended with four wickets each, it was Malinga's over that turned the game in Mumbai Indians' favour. While Malinga stood out with figures of 4-0-13-2 in a match where 367 runs were scored, it was Pollard who towered above everyone with his all-round performance.

Pollard's assault with the bat helped Mumbai Indians pull away from Rajasthan Royals after the visitors had clawed back with Brad Hogg's two wickets in four balls. Pollard's power also left an important innings from Ambati Rayudu in the shade.

Pollard came in after Hogg, on IPL debut, had dismissed Rohit Sharma and Richard Levi with fizzing left-arm legbreaks. By the time he was dismissed, Pollard had carted Royals' attack with 64, and Mumbai Indians had rocketed from 68 to 164 in the space of 52 balls.

Pollard had no role to play in his first boundary, Hogg's googly beating the batsman on the forward push and going between the wicketkeeper and first slip. It was Rayudu who took on Hogg in the 11th over, slog-sweeping for six over midwicket.

Kevon Cooper's meeting with his Trinidad & Tobago team-mate was much awaited, but Pollard lofted his first ball from his fellow allrounder for six over long-on. Still, Royals had somehow managed to keep the expected torrent of runs down and Mumbai Indians were going around eight an over after 13.

Johan Botha came on in the 14th, and Pollard dispatched his first four balls for boundaries. Botha dragged the first delivery short, tossed the second one up and went wide of Pollard with the third. It made scarce difference to Pollard as he swung all three deliveries between deep midwicket and long-on. His power showed off the fourth ball as even a leading edge beat the sweeper to the deep extra cover rope.

Twenty-three runs came off that Botha over, and the pressure on Royals had increased significantly. Pollard threatened to do an encore of the Botha over in the 17th against Ankeet Chavan, hitting his first delivery so hard that it deflected off the non-striker's stumps to the straight boundary even as umpire Aleem Dar barely got out of the way. The next two balls also disappeared for boundaries but Pollard found long-on off the last ball.

Harbhajan Singh ensured Mumbai Indians did not falter after Pollard's departure and left Royals with a mountain to climb. Munaf removed Rahul Dravid and Shreevats Goswami off consecutive deliveries in the second over to make the ascent appear steeper.

Shah and Ajinkya Rahane, though, almost did a Pollard-and-Rayudu with an 82-run stand off 57. Rahane signalled the start of the fightback with a chipped four over mid-off and a six over deep midwicket in Munaf's next over.

Shah put up a display of sustained calculated hitting, moving around in his crease and using the angle of the deliveries into him to swing for boundaries on the on side. Rahane's fall off Pollard in the 12th over hardly mattered to Shah. Thirty-five runs came off the next two overs, bowled by Harbhajan and Pollard, the latter pulled and slogged for consecutive boundaries.

The equation came down to 64 needed off 36. Harbhajan had saved two overs of Malinga for the death. He was forced to bring him on slightly earlier, but Malinga delivered immediately, Shah backing away too far outside leg to a yorker, which was right on off stump.

Botha followed in the same over, and though Cooper and Ashok Menaria tried, Pollard struck thrice in the 18th over to ensure the night would be only his.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 12, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    malinga makes the different...it should be RR game bt Malinga ddestroy all! MI should drop franklin

  • on April 12, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    IPL is a tourney where a 44/4(mostly tail enders) in 4 overs can win you a Man of the Match. just LOL. It was Malinga and Munaf who won them the game. If you call Pollards batting supperb, then what do you call Shah's inning? Pollard's an awsome fielder and that's all he is. Way too over-rated.

  • on April 12, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    well watching match in stadium was so boring......u cant get all round view like TV... and never comes to know if he has it 4 or 6 until u see it on site screens.... yesterday MI played well but OVAIS SHAH is like one time customer....nothing much to praise about him.. yes WATSON will make difference for sure.. RR never looked like they are going to cross MI total......

  • shrastogi on April 12, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    It was exciting high scoring game. RR were kept in hunt till the 15th over by Malinga. I thought they were a batsman short. They are playing too many bowling allorunders. For a team for which good bowling result is important RR conceded a bit too many and that was reflected in Rahul Dravid's body language at the end of MI innings. And that is the precise reason he went away so early. 10 an over from beginning is difficult but not an impossible target. You just hope that you would have a good over or two like the last over MI had against DC. I thought MI paced their innings very well.

  • Ibanezfan on April 12, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    Finally an exciting game! :) Mumbai better ensure Malinga doesn't get injured at all. Despite all the heroics by Pollard, Malinga is the difference between Mumbai winning and losing. He conceded only 13 runs! When Owais Shah was batting, you could see the Mumbai team was nervous as hell. The man of the match was taken for 44 runs in his 4 overs! I'm surprised so many Mumbai fans are so wishful as to believe MI destroyed RR. If you saw the game, you'd know RR chased brilliantly. I don't think they were a batsman short. Dravid should have played a hand too. I'm sure he will as the tournament progresses, gritty as he is. This Rajasthan team's a good fighting unit. Once Watson joins, and Botha finds his rhythm, Rajasthan will be one formidable team. Add Tait into the mix for the odd game and this team can do some serious damage. I'd love a Pune v Rajasthan final, i.e., Dada v Dravid. The two men who turned Indian cricket around :)

  • on April 12, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Sachin to Dravid : Sachin: You cant be me without my secret. Dravid: What Secret ?????? Sachin: Bhajji is the secret of MI(my) energy. Bhajji rocks ....

  • class9ryan on April 12, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    MALINGA is only d bowler who loves Indian Subcontinent becoz d fact on bouncy tracks he's really struggled 2 get d bowl up 2 d batsman nor he could utiize he's yorker.....

  • PhaniBhaskar24 on April 12, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Really a good match. But i feel like harbhajan singh has given up trying to get back into the indian team. His body language seems like that

  • on April 12, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    @ K.a.l.i.n.g.a_D_w.a.r.r.i.o.R - U r right i posted 5-6 comments in many RR and their players fan pages .

  • on April 12, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    Although everyone in the match played well.. including players from both teams.. but i feel Malinga's over was the turning point..

  • on April 12, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    malinga makes the different...it should be RR game bt Malinga ddestroy all! MI should drop franklin

  • on April 12, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    IPL is a tourney where a 44/4(mostly tail enders) in 4 overs can win you a Man of the Match. just LOL. It was Malinga and Munaf who won them the game. If you call Pollards batting supperb, then what do you call Shah's inning? Pollard's an awsome fielder and that's all he is. Way too over-rated.

  • on April 12, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    well watching match in stadium was so boring......u cant get all round view like TV... and never comes to know if he has it 4 or 6 until u see it on site screens.... yesterday MI played well but OVAIS SHAH is like one time customer....nothing much to praise about him.. yes WATSON will make difference for sure.. RR never looked like they are going to cross MI total......

  • shrastogi on April 12, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    It was exciting high scoring game. RR were kept in hunt till the 15th over by Malinga. I thought they were a batsman short. They are playing too many bowling allorunders. For a team for which good bowling result is important RR conceded a bit too many and that was reflected in Rahul Dravid's body language at the end of MI innings. And that is the precise reason he went away so early. 10 an over from beginning is difficult but not an impossible target. You just hope that you would have a good over or two like the last over MI had against DC. I thought MI paced their innings very well.

  • Ibanezfan on April 12, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    Finally an exciting game! :) Mumbai better ensure Malinga doesn't get injured at all. Despite all the heroics by Pollard, Malinga is the difference between Mumbai winning and losing. He conceded only 13 runs! When Owais Shah was batting, you could see the Mumbai team was nervous as hell. The man of the match was taken for 44 runs in his 4 overs! I'm surprised so many Mumbai fans are so wishful as to believe MI destroyed RR. If you saw the game, you'd know RR chased brilliantly. I don't think they were a batsman short. Dravid should have played a hand too. I'm sure he will as the tournament progresses, gritty as he is. This Rajasthan team's a good fighting unit. Once Watson joins, and Botha finds his rhythm, Rajasthan will be one formidable team. Add Tait into the mix for the odd game and this team can do some serious damage. I'd love a Pune v Rajasthan final, i.e., Dada v Dravid. The two men who turned Indian cricket around :)

  • on April 12, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Sachin to Dravid : Sachin: You cant be me without my secret. Dravid: What Secret ?????? Sachin: Bhajji is the secret of MI(my) energy. Bhajji rocks ....

  • class9ryan on April 12, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    MALINGA is only d bowler who loves Indian Subcontinent becoz d fact on bouncy tracks he's really struggled 2 get d bowl up 2 d batsman nor he could utiize he's yorker.....

  • PhaniBhaskar24 on April 12, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Really a good match. But i feel like harbhajan singh has given up trying to get back into the indian team. His body language seems like that

  • on April 12, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    @ K.a.l.i.n.g.a_D_w.a.r.r.i.o.R - U r right i posted 5-6 comments in many RR and their players fan pages .

  • on April 12, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    Although everyone in the match played well.. including players from both teams.. but i feel Malinga's over was the turning point..

  • on April 12, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    @ Buddhima Prabath , there were 4 palyers , O.Shah, K.Cooper,J.Botha,B.Hogg. i agreee urs second statement . D.Chandimal should be taken in RR squad and J.Botha should not

  • Dravid_the_awesome on April 12, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Only a fool can say Dravid is selfish. The only mistake made by Royals was dropping Hodge. It was clear in the match dat after the dismissal of Shah thr was a clr lack of specialist batsmen. Result would hav been different if Hodge was there. Next time Royals wont make the same mistake against Mumbai.. Get ready for the thunder Mumbai

  • TheMysteryMan on April 12, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    @Buddhima Prabath What are you on about. They played 4 foreign players. Owais Shah, Botha, Hogg and Cooper. Or did you forget Shah is England player even though he is ethnic Indian. Batting is not really an issue for them. Their top order is in tremendous form. Its the bowling.

  • eagleonmove on April 12, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    Well played Royals.. Bhajji must have not slept whole night imagining if Shah could have carried on till end.. No Big Guns for RR but still paisa Vasool team.. RR is gonna give all the Big Player teams a real tough time. MI must be relieved that Lasith n Pollard had done it on time.. Dravid should have not dropped Hodge and it might have been a diff. result for his team. Hope he rectify his mistakes of dropping Hodge and also counting much on bowlers rather then the batsmen in his team. It was a good match to watch Pollard (Excellent Batting), Lasith, Rayadu n Shah (Hats Off to him) made it a lovely game. That's was real T20 beauty.

  • on April 12, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    Amazing change in MALINGA WB series he was looking like average bowler and now in IPL he is back PAISA BOLTA HAI...

  • Fawmy on April 12, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Pollard is the man who brings MI to home, but there was chance to RR to win the game. Their top order failed to so. All the best for the next games

  • GaneMuthu on April 12, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    @Bismoy... Mind ur words!!! U are not supposed to comment on the legend like this!! If u are a true cricket fanatic then U wouldn't have commented like this..

  • SouthPaw on April 12, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Harbhahan Singh - 4 overs 0/43 !! And he is supposed to be a bowler. Think he should just accept that he is gone!

  • on April 12, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    any team can play 4 foreign players,,, but yesterday played only 3 players...they had to give chance to chandmal..

  • satanswish on April 12, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    When its Pollard's day, the opposition simply gets brutally destroyed.

  • on April 12, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    Alongwith Pollard, Rayudu & Munaf Patel did a brilliant stuff. Mumbai Indians is in a full-swing. Hope they win their maiden IPL Title this year.

  • bismoy on April 12, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    selfish dravid scoring 4 runs in 4 balls while chasing 197.Thanks to dhoni he din't included the test player in 2011 wc side else india would not qualify forget winning.

  • on April 12, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    pollard needs to bat at number 4.

  • ruhkungkuhtungkung on April 12, 2012, 0:49 GMT

    if Windians could make top dollars playing for WI I'm sure they would, but these guys are coming from no money to getting a chance to earn some serious coin; if it were you, what would you do? Rock on Polly, you're still my favourite in the world right now

  • ramps_wi on April 11, 2012, 23:14 GMT

    Go polly, WI surely needed an innings like that in the test match....hope to see u in a test someday

  • passionate_cricket_follower on April 11, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    i strong feel that pollard should play tests for WI instead of showing his heroics at IPL!

  • on April 11, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    What a bowler Malinga is!!! With Dale Steyn, he's really the best in the business today! SRT has done a great job in building a strong team for MI. If Steyn was part of this team, it would be virtually unbeatable!

  • on April 11, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    sachin shoud come back in next match with delhi dare devils match. pollard played well

  • nickydude on April 11, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    Pollard's talent was never in doubt, atleast for me. The only thing missing was absolute mess of how to utilise him. If the captain shows confidence in him, he will prosper like anything, yes, there will be the occasional failure, but what he does is, rattle the opposition, precisely, like today. He will bloom more under Bhajji than Sachin.

  • K.a.l.i.n.g.a_D_w.a.r.r.i.o.R on April 11, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    Why Brad Hodge has dropped ??? Dravid what have you done man :(

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  • K.a.l.i.n.g.a_D_w.a.r.r.i.o.R on April 11, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    Why Brad Hodge has dropped ??? Dravid what have you done man :(

  • nickydude on April 11, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    Pollard's talent was never in doubt, atleast for me. The only thing missing was absolute mess of how to utilise him. If the captain shows confidence in him, he will prosper like anything, yes, there will be the occasional failure, but what he does is, rattle the opposition, precisely, like today. He will bloom more under Bhajji than Sachin.

  • on April 11, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    sachin shoud come back in next match with delhi dare devils match. pollard played well

  • on April 11, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    What a bowler Malinga is!!! With Dale Steyn, he's really the best in the business today! SRT has done a great job in building a strong team for MI. If Steyn was part of this team, it would be virtually unbeatable!

  • passionate_cricket_follower on April 11, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    i strong feel that pollard should play tests for WI instead of showing his heroics at IPL!

  • ramps_wi on April 11, 2012, 23:14 GMT

    Go polly, WI surely needed an innings like that in the test match....hope to see u in a test someday

  • ruhkungkuhtungkung on April 12, 2012, 0:49 GMT

    if Windians could make top dollars playing for WI I'm sure they would, but these guys are coming from no money to getting a chance to earn some serious coin; if it were you, what would you do? Rock on Polly, you're still my favourite in the world right now

  • on April 12, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    pollard needs to bat at number 4.

  • bismoy on April 12, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    selfish dravid scoring 4 runs in 4 balls while chasing 197.Thanks to dhoni he din't included the test player in 2011 wc side else india would not qualify forget winning.

  • on April 12, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    Alongwith Pollard, Rayudu & Munaf Patel did a brilliant stuff. Mumbai Indians is in a full-swing. Hope they win their maiden IPL Title this year.