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A Pollard picture

Kieron Pollard blasted a stunning 13-ball unbeaten 45 and then produced a superb bowling and fielding performance as Mumbai Indians thumped Delhi Daredevils by 39 runs in their IPL match in Mumbai, reports Amol Karhadkar.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2010 00:16 IST
Amol Karhadkar

Patience pays. Always.

Apologies for the cliché but one cannot help but use it to describe the sterling performance of Kieron Pollard and the Mumbai Indians.

While the most expensive signing of IPL III displayed his worth with an all-round performance, most notably during his unbeaten 45 off 13 balls to ensure MI's top position in the league stage, he also justified the team's strategy to persist with him.

Pollard's blitzkrieg helped Mumbai add 50 in the last three overs to set the Delhi Daredevils a difficult target of 184 in what was a crucial tie for the latter. Then, his two run-outs and an economical spell ensured Delhi faced a 39-run defeat, which placed them in a must-win situation in both their remaining matches in order to make it to the last four.

Those who had seen Pollard smash the New South Wales Blues' attack, led by Brett Lee, in the Champions League Twenty20 in October, had never doubted the West Indian's abilities. The man himself had said last week, it was a "matter of time" before he set the stage on fire.

The 22-year-old had shown glimpses of his raw power and precision when it came to timing the ball. But never before Tuesday had he single-handedly taken the game away from the opposition - something he is best known for.

The Trinidadian took the crease after Ambati Rayudu was dismissed off the last ball of the 17th over.

Of the 13 balls he faced, four sailed into the stands while another came to rest in the car park.

Just when it seemed David Warner and Virender Sehwag were set to make mockery of a Lasith Malinga-less attack, Pollard again stepped in with a throw from the deep to cause Sehwag's dismissal.

And then, to use another cliché, the rest of the Delhi top order collapsed like a pack of cards.