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IPL 2017: Kieron Pollard’s knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) best till date for Mumbai Indians (MI), feels Mitchell McClenaghan

“Pollard's innings was one of the best I have seen on an incredibly difficult wicket. I think the media underestimated him. He showed the composure of a top-order batsman to stick to the wicket in given situations."

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Mitchell McClenaghan finished his bowling with impressive figures of 20 for 2 in 4 overs © BCCI
Mitchell McClenaghan finished his bowling with impressive figures of 20 for 2 in 4 overs © BCCI

Chasing a target of 143, Mumbai Indians (MI) were struggling at 33 for 5 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Match 12 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. The two-time IPL champions were on the verge of losing their second game in the group stage. But the Trinidadian Kieron Pollard – batting all-rounder, played a responsible 47-ball 70 to bring home an easy victory keeping 4 wickets and 7 deliveries intact. Moreover, Pollard also scored a 93-run stand in 57 deliveries to form a formidable base in the run-chase.  Full Cricket Scorecard, RCB vs MI, Match 12

Talking about this innings from Pollard, his team-mate and left-arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan hailed the knock as one of the best he had seen on a difficult wicket. Talking to reporters after Mumbai Indians’ victory, McClenaghan was quoted according to PTI as, “Pollard’s innings was one of the best I have seen on an incredibly difficult wicket. I think the media underestimated him. He showed the composure of a top-order batsman to stick to the wicket in given situations. It was one of the smartest and technically good chases I have seen.”

“The wicket had variable bounce. It was not coming on to the bat at a pace, and therefore KP’s (Kieron Pollard) innings looked even better,” he said.

McClenaghan himself was promoted up the order in a bid to up the scoring rate and counterattack RCB bowlers early on. But the 30-year-old Kiwi disappointed as he was dismissed on the very first delivery from Samuel Badree who took the first hat-trick in IPL 2017.

“That (hat-trick against us) was a terrible thing for a start. Badree is a world class bowler for a long time. He took a hat-trick in this match and put us on the backfoot, and almost put us in a position where there was no way back,” he said.

Talking about MI’s bowling plan in death overs, he said, “We had strong plans. We have Shane Bond as bowling coach, and in last two to three games myself, in particular, have not executed well enough. Drying up boundaries at the end of the innings really affects the momentum of any team, and hence my kudos to the bowlers who bowled exceptionally well,” he said.

Since the past four games, the Pandya brothers i.e. Hardik and Krunal have played major roles in achieving victories. Talking about their contribution in IPL 2017 so far, McClenaghan said, “It was pleasant to see both of them (Pandya brothers) backing up Pollard till the end,” he said.

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