Pollard trumps Badree

Pollard trumps Badree

Mumbai Indians, on the back of a fighting partnership between Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya, overcame a top order collapse to prevail over the Royal Challengers Bangalore by four wickets in their Indian Premier League tie here at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Friday. 

Even as his team-mates struggled against a quality bowling show from the Mumbai attack, skipper Virat Kohli, returning from a shoulder injury, batted with class and responsibility to slam a valuable 62 (47b, 5x4, 2x6) to take RCB to a respectable 142 for five in their 20 overs.

Samuel Badree, making his debut for the Challengers, bagged a hat-trick – the first of the season -- to leave Mumbai reeling at 33 for five after eight overs.

With their backs to the wall, Mumbai needed one strong partnership to claw their way back into the game and it arrived through Pollard (70, 47b, 3x4, 5x6) and Krunal (37 n.o., 30b, 3x4, 1x6). The duo staged a remarkable recovery and forged an alliance of 93 runs from 57 balls as the visitors crossed the line in 18.5 overs.

Badree’s impeccable performance of 4-1-9-4 notwithstanding, RCB crashed to their third defeat of the season.

It looked like RCB would run through the Mumbai batting following Badree’s magical spell. After Stuart Binny dismissed Jos Buttler in the second over of the innings, Badree scalped Parthiv Patel in the second ball of the third over. The southpaw tried an inside out stroke but failed to connect well and was caught at short covers by Chris Gayle.

Mumbai’s plan to send Mitchell McClenaghan ahead of skipper Rohit Sharma backfired as Badree had him caught at long-on to set up a hat-trick ball. The leg-spinner then sent a googly that went through the bat and pad of Rohit to complete a fine hat-trick.

Badree was not done yet and the Trinidadian removed the dangerous Nitish Rana, who perished caught at backward square-leg following a cut close to the body.

With the score at 48/5 after 10 overs, RCB had laid a perfect foundation for a possible win. But Pollard had other plans. The burly all-rounder curbed his natural attacking style of play and showed great calm under pressure. Once he got his eyes in, Pollard took on the RCB bowlers. While he played sensibly to the pacers the right-handed batsman punished the spinners.

With 52 required from the last five overs, Pollard cut loose, slamming two successive sixes of Pawan Negi to bring up his fifty as Mumbai collected 19 runs from the over. The visitors took 10 runs of the next over from S Arvind to inch closer to the target.

Pollard then struck his fifth six of the match to Chahal before falling to the very next ball. But the 29-year-old had done the job for his team and the Pandya brothers completed the formalities.

Earlier, Kohli, despite a lengthy layoff from the game, never looked rusty and was at his trademark best. However, lack of valuable contributions from other batsmen did RCB in.

Gayle’s (22) subdued run continued while AB de Villiers (19) failed to make use of a reprieve.
With their middle order once again struggling to give an attacking finish, RCB had to settle for an average score.
DH News Service

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