Pollard leads Mumbai to 2013 IPL title
KOLKATA, India – West Indies big-hitter Kieron Pollard smashed an invaluable unbeaten half-century to help propel Mumbai Indians to a 23-run win over Dwayne Bravo’s Chennai Super Kings and to the capture of the Indian Premier League title here Sunday.
Playing in the final at Eden Gardens, the right-hander unveiled a spectacular 60 from 32 balls to dig Mumbai out of a hole at 52 for four in the tenth over and steer them to an acceptable 148 for nine off their allotted 20.
In reply, Chennai never recovered after slumping to 39 for six in the seventh over and could only reach 125 for nine, despite captain MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 63 off 45 balls.
The title was Mumbai’s first in the six-year history of the multi-million dollar Twenty20 tournament and avenged their loss to Chennai in the 2010 final.
Pollard, who will now join the West Indies squad in the United Kingdom for the ICC Champions Trophy, was named Man-of-the-Match.
Mumbai started badly, losing Barbados and West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith to the fourth ball of the game for four, lbw to new ball bowler Mohit Sharma.
South African seamer Albie Morkel, who claimed two for 12 from three overs, then produced a top spell to rock Mumbai.
Arriving in the tenth over, Pollard immediately set about the CSK bowling, punching South African medium pacer Chris Morris down the ground for four off the first ball he faced.
Overall, he counted seven fours and three sixes – two of these coming off the last two deliveries of the final over bowled by Bravo, who finished with four for 42 from four overs.
Pollard put on 48 for the fifth wicket with Ambati Rayudu (37) before single-handedly guiding Mumbai in the latter stages of the innings.
In reply, Chennai were rattled by the new ball pair of Mitchell Johnson (2-19) and Lasith Malinga (2-22), crashing to three runs for three wickets in the second over of the innings.
Bravo, who hit 15 from 16 balls, tried to revive the innings in a 32-run, fourth wicket stand with Murali Vijay who got 18.
However, when the West Indies one-day captain clipped seamer Rishi Dhawan to mid on to provide Johnson with a tame catch, the innings collapsed again.
Dhoni cracked three fours and five sixes in his 43-ball knock but his heroics came much too late to save CSK from a second successive loss in an IPL final.