Mumbai Indians were in a precarious position at 102/5 in 15 overs during the IPL 2019 final against Chennai Super Kings at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal. Rohit Sharma’s side was banking on Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya to deliver. These two had rescued Mumbai Indians with their brilliant batting in the death overs in previous games and they were given the task of doing it yet again in the final. Pollard looked in fine touch, slicing Ravindra Jadeja over backward point for a boundary and then dispatching Imran Tahir, the leading wicket-taker in this tournament to the deep square leg fence for a big six.
The 18th over of the Mumbai Indians’ innings proved to be game-changing. Pollard blasted Shardul Thakur over deep midwicket for his second six while Hardik Pandya unveiled the helicopter shot to dispatch Thakur over deep midwicket as the bowler conceded 16 runs. Deepak Chahar pulled things back with just four runs and also got the big wicket of Hardik Pandya and Rahul Chahar. In the final over bowled by Dwayne Bravo, Pollard played out two dot balls.
On the third ball, there was controversy as the umpire did not signal a wide. Before the fourth ball was bowled, Pollard walked way across to the tramline, threw his bat up in the air and took his stance as he voiced his displeasure. The umpires warned Pollard and it only fired him up as he blasted the last two balls for fours to end on an unbeaten 41 off 25 balls. Pollard’s onslaught had helped Mumbai Indians score 47 runs in the last five overs and it gave their bowlers something to bowl at.
Shane Watson kept Chennai Super Kings in the hunt with a blazing 80 but Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar bowled brilliantly and Mumbai Indians secured a tense one-run win when Lasith Malinga trapped Thakur LBW to give Rohit’s side their fourth IPL title. Speaking after the victory, Pollard remarked, “These are the games we need to perform in, these are the games that people remember, scoring runs first in the final is always good, the pressure is on the chasing team. It's the teams that do not put pressure on themselves that can become champions at the end of the tournament.”
However, the win owed much to Pollard’s brilliant knock towards the end and it was not the first time that the West Indies all-rounder had hurt Chennai Super Kings on the big stage. In the 2013 Indian Premier League final, Pollard blasted 60 off 32 balls to help Mumbai Indians reach 148/9 and an inspired bowling performance saw them win the match by 23 runs. In the 2015 final of the IPL, Pollard was once again at his aggressive best against Chennai Super Kings by hammering 36 off 18 balls to help Mumbai Indians win the title for the second time by 41 runs.
Mumbai Indians’ win in Hyderabad was also their fourth against Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2019 and it was also their third title by beating MS Dhoni’s franchise. However, after this performance, there is no denying that Pollard is the ultimate bogey for Chennai Super Kings when it comes to finals.