Pollard the calm amid Badree storm
After Friday, this much is certain: there is something about Royal Challengers Bangalore's attack that fires Kieron Pollard. Over the years, there has been plenty of needle when the two sides have met. Pollard has been involved in a number of them, most notably when he threw his bat in anger at Mitchell Starc and put a tape around his mouth in protest after being warned for on-field chatter.
The situation he walked in to bat this time - Mumbai were tottering at 7 for 4 in the third over chasing 143 on a dry surface - demanded patience and calm. He exhibited plenty of it during the course of a match-winning half-century that helped Mumbai record their third successive win.
Pollard had faced 40 balls or more just once previously in the IPL, eliciting debates over whether he was batting too low to make an impact. He started slowly, but trusted himself against the escalated asking rate which neared ten an over at the halfway mark. Support from Krunal Pandya gave him more cushion. How he lined himself up against the spinners and brought out the big hits on demand defined his knock.
The wow moment
Mumbai needed 52 off five overs. In T20s, this isn't a stiff equation. But this was a surface where the ball was gripping. The ball was stopping on the batsmen, so hitting through the line wasn't a prudent option. Pollard rose above those challenges as the game neared the end. He trusted his bottom-hand play and muscle to use the short boundaries as an ally. After flat-batting a six off Pawan Negi, he muscled another one off the next delivery. The only difference though was his adjustment. The ball was dipping on him, he was beaten in flight but he adjusted well and used his reach to loft it cleanly. That second six, which was his fourth overall, helped him raise a half-century. By the end of the over, Mumbai were within 33 runs off a win that didn't look likely earlier.
- Pollard scores at 11.16 in the last five overs when chasing in the IPL. Only Chris Gayle, David Miller and AB de Villiers score at a higher rate (100+ balls).
- Friday was only the second time Pollard, who first featured in the IPL in 2010, has batted over 40 deliveries in an IPL innings
What they said
"These are situations where champions are made and where you want to come out on top. I backed myself. I also thank my wife for keeping me sane over the last two months."
Kieron Pollard on what went through his mind with Mumbai on 7 for 4
"Outstanding batting from Kieron Pollard, a great example of why this guy needs to be batting higher up the order."
Michael Clarke on Twitter
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo