Pollard single-handedly defeats CSK

It was CSK vs. MI as two of the most successful teams in the IPL go head to head. MI won the toss for this one and elected to bowl first. They made two changes to their lineup, with Jimmy Neesham and Dhawal Kulkarni coming into the squad in place of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jayant Yadav. CSK, on the other hand, were unchanged.

Middle Order uplifts CSK. 

It wasn’t the start that CSK would have hoped for, Boult struck early for the MI dismissing the inform Ruturaj Gaikwad for just 4 runs. Boult got some swing here and Ruturaj only managed a leading edge which was taken by Hardik Pandya at backward point. Mooen Ali came into the middle after the first wicket. Faf Du Plessis continued the rebuild along with Mooen Ali. Ali looked in good touch and played some positive cricket. After the end of the powerplay, CSK was 49 for a loss of 1 wicket.

Both the batsmen continued to build on the start that they got. Both the batsmen looked in sublime touch getting boundaries at regular intervals. Mooen Ali completed his fifty in the 10th over. Moeen and Du Plessis stunned the MI camp with a flurry of sixes before Bumrah ends their stand. Bhumra bowled a short ball at Moeen and in his attempt to guide it down the third man, he edges it to the keeper. Both the batsmen added 108 for the second wicket.

Du Plessis completed his half-century next in just 27 balls. However, he didn’t last long as he was dismissed on the very next ball he faced by Pollard. Pollard made it two in two as he dismissed Raina on the next ball. A slow cutter outside the off and Raina wanted to smash this one into the orbit but the man at deep square leg takes the catch. Jadeja and Rayudu were left to rebuild the innings now.

 Jadeja and Rayudu took their time to settle down in the middle before breaking the shackles. It started with a six of Rahul Chahar in the 15th over. At the end of 15 overs, CSK were 136 for a loss of 4 wickets. The 16th and the 17th over went for plenty as Rayudu shredded MI with his belligerent hitting. After taking down Kulkarni with two consecutive sixes, Rayudu also targeted Bumrah to smash him for a six and a four.

Rayudu went on to complete his half-century in just 20 balls. Rayudu smashed Boult for two sixes and a four in the 18th over. With two overs left CSK was 194 for a loss of 4 wickets. Rayudu went on to finish the innings with a six and a four to take the CSK to a total of 218 at the end of 20 overs. Rayudu finished with a score of 72 off just 27 balls.

Strong opening stand from MI.

Both the opening batsmen started strong for the MI, gathering boundaries from the get go. Rohit  and De Kock gave MI a great start in the powerplay. MI had already scored 58 runs in the powerplay and will look to keep the momentum going in the middle overs.

The opening stand was finally broken in the eight over as Rohit miscues a shot against Shardul and Ruturaj at sweeper cover takes the catch. It was two wickets in two overs as Jadeja picks the big wicket of Suryakumar Yadav. Ali now joined the part taking the wicket of Quinton de Kock in the very next over. MI top order collapsed spectacularly despite the great start. Three wickets in 13 balls have forced the MI crisis man Pollard to walk out to the middle. After the end of 12 overs, MI was 94 for a loss of 3 wickets.

In the 13th over MS Dhoni took a gamble of sending Jadeja against Pollard. The risk backfired as Pollard smashed Jadeja for three sixes in the over. This over allowed Pollard to settle in the middle.

Pollard completed his fifty in just 17 balls. He absolutely mauled CSK tonight and single-handedly pulled MI back into the contest. Pollard registers the fastest fifty of the season on the back of those truckloads of sixes. And now MI needed 66 from the final five overs.

With no bowler working against Pollard, MSD brings Sam Curran back into the attack. Curran got the yorker spot on against Pollard to begin the over and then bowled one well wide to deny him proper connection. And the third ball to Krunal is another well-executed yorker. Krunal is trapped plumb in front and has to walk back. An excellent over from Curran meant MI now needed 48 from the last three overs.

The Massive moment and possibly the game-changing moment in the match came in the 18th over as Faf du Plessis drops Pollard. It wasn’t even tough by any stretch. Pollard, who had just hit a six and a four off the last two balls, mistimed a pull and Faf comfortably got under that. He should have taken it but has spilled it.

Curran was welcomed back by Hardik with a consecutive sixes. Curran struck back with two wickets from the last three balls of the over. With 16 required from the last over, this match was going to go till the last ball. Pollard smashes Ngidi for two-four and a six to take MI to a last-ball victory. It was possibly the best match in IPL this season.

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