Mumbai Indians stand-in captain Kieron Pollard heaped praises on Suryakumar Yadav’s batting during their five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Wednesday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
“Imagine someone batting at that strike rate after two early wickets. Deep down inside he must be very very disappointed to not have donned the blue for India. He just keeps getting better. Again as an individual if you keep staying consistent, you will be rewarded. Nothing happens before its time,” said Pollard in the post-match presentation ceremony in which Suryakumar won the Player of the Match award.
Fielding first, Mumbai Indians restricted Virat Kohli’s men at 164/6, thanks to Bumrah’s brilliance. Chasing the total, it was not as smooth a ride as Mumbai would have hoped. But Suryakumar’s boisterous show with the bat had no answer from RCB.
Suryakumar Yadav was at his lethal best as he played an unbeaten innings of 79 runs off 43 balls to help Mumbai Indians in becoming the first team to qualify for the playoffs in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Pollard, who triggered RCB’s collapse from 131/3 to 139/6 between the 16th and 18th overs with the wicket of AB de Villiers, explained the strategy that worked in his favour. “I am big on match-ups in a way,” said Pollard.
“I also watch a lot of cricket. I took a punt and bowled at AB. I could have waited for the last over but if someone has to go for runs I thought I’d take it.”
de Villiers’ wicket was followed by a double-wicket maiden from Jasprit Bumrah that put the breaks on the RCB innings. “Bumrah continues to keep standing up throughout the tournament. But again we have been playing total team cricket. Somebody is always there to pick up the slack,” said Pollard.
Mumbai Indians continue to sit at the top of the points table with 16 points from 12 matches, while RCB remain static at second with 14 points from 12 games.