Mumbai Are The True Super Kings As Pollard Defies Critics To Take Indians To A 23 Run Win And The Team apos;s First Title
Mumbai are the true super kings as Pollard defies critics to take Indians to a 23 run win and the team's first title
By [/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Baldurjo+Bhose Baldurjo Bhose]
Published: 00:53 BST, 27 May 2013 | Updated: 00:53 BST, 27 May 2013
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Criticised for his inability to play a matchwinning knock in trying circumstances, Kieron Pollard chose the perfect occasion - the IPL final on Sunday - to erase all doubts anyone had about his ability to single-handedly turn a crunch match on its head and win the maiden IPL title for Mumbai Indians.
And for once it wasn't all about slam-bang batting as Pollard read the pitch to perfection and understood the need to grind and hit the boundaries, helping Mumbai Indians beat the Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs in a pretty one-sided final at the Eden Gardens.
Considering his past record, an unbeaten 60 off just 32 balls would generally not generate much appreciation.
Mumbai Indians celebrate their win in the IPL 6 final in Kolkata
Chennai Super Kings Captain M S Dhoni anticipates a shot during his unbeaten 63 innings
Chennai Super Kings bowler Dwayne Bravo is greeted by teammates after dismissing Mumbai Indian batsman M Johnson as part of the four wickets he took during the match
But on Sunday he came to the rescue of the Mumbai Indians, who have time and again flattered to deceive in the knockout stages of the IPL.
It would have been poetic justice if team owner Nita Ambani could run onto the pitch - an act that is synonymous with most of Mumbai's wins - but she wasn't present.
Sachin Tendulkar definitely was.
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Having waited to lay his hands on the coveted trophy for five years, his dream was finally accomplished.
Soon after the win, he said that it was his last IPL as a player. Despite losing partners at regular intervals, Pollard played maturely to ensure Mumbai put up a fighting total, 148/9 in 20 overs.
Chasing 149 for victory, Chennai got off to a disastrous start as Lasith Malinga decided it was time to compensate for the 18-run last over he bowled against Rajasthan Royals on Friday.
He removed Michael Hussey (1) - highest scorer in this edition with 733 - with the fourth ball of the innings and then sent Suresh Raina (0) back to the dug-out off the fifth.
Chennai just couldn't recover.
Although skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (63 not out) did try to do a Pollard, he didn't get the support from the other end. CSK finished on 125/9.
The icing on the cake was the way 66,000 Kolkata fans cheered for Mumbai Indians players, justifying why Rahul Dravid says that the Eden crowd is one of the most knowledgeable ones in India.
Any other stadium would have hardly had filled seats, especially with KKR not being part of the contest and the spot-fixing scandal getting murkier by the day, but this after all is the City of Joy.
Earlier, Mumbai won the toss and decided to bat.
But Mumbai were dealt an early blow as Mohit Sharma caught inform Dwayne Smith (4) plumb in front of the wicket off the fourth ball of the match.
Mumbai lost another couple of wickets - Aditya Tare (0), gaestebuch.homann.net skipper Rohit Sharma (2) -before Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu stemmed the fall of wickets.
But before they could do much damage, Chris Morris rattled Karthik's (21) stumps.
Rayudu carried on in the company of Pollard and all looked good till the second strategic break at the end of the 15th over.
But Dwayne Bravo yorked Rayudu (37), off the first ball after the break. Harbhajan joined Pollard and hit three crisp boundaries before Bravo sent Harbhajan (14) packing.
From there on, it all depended on how Pollard would wield the willow and he did a good enough job, finishing the innings with two might sixes off Bravo.
Spot-fixing can't keep fans away from the action
All those who thought the image of the Indian Premier League can be tarnished by the fixing controversy needed to be at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
The craze of the fans justified the BCCI officials' faith in the common man.
Even though home team Kolkata Knight Riders wasn't part of the final of the sixth edition of the IPL, the stadium was packed to the rafters by 7pm - an hour before the scheduled start.
And as soon as the DJ played 'Let's party all night' from Race 2, the crowd of over 61,000 went berserk.
In fact, such was the demand for tickets that CAB officials rued the fact that the stadium no longer seats 90,000 people.
"It has been sad how we have had to say no even to some of our close friends when they requested for tickets," a senior CAB official told Mail Today.
The statement was further justified when touts could be seen selling the Rs 400 tickets for Rs 800 and the Rs 500 tickets were being sold for Rs 1,000.
Rakesh, a fan from Delhi, said his friends had poked fun at him for booking tickets to the final, but he didn't care.
"My friends made fun and said I was coming to watch WWE, but I am loving it," he told Mail Today.