Indians keep hopes alive with comfortable victory
Kieron Pollard was at his destructive best smashing 72 runs from just 31 balls to help the Mumbai Indians secure a 31 run victory over Guyana which keeps their qualification hopes alive.
The West Indies all rounder peppered the boundaries with 9 sixes during a mammoth innings which cemented his place as one of Twenty20 crickets biggest hitters.
Pollard came to the crease with the Indians 82-1 but it wasn’t until the loss of Shikhar Dhawan (39) and Saurabh Tiwary (0) in quick succession that made the West Indies all rounder tee off dispatching Christopher Barnwell for two massive sixes.
The fireworks continued in the next over when Bishoo became Pollards next victim conceding 2 more sixes as the Indians raced on to 133-3 before the big hitter completed an amazing 26 ball half century with another six, this time over long-on.
Despite the lose of Ambati Rayudu (4) Pollard continued his devastating hitting; dispatching two monstrous sixes over deep midwicket before JP Duminy enjoyed a cameo innings of 14 from 6 balls.
Pollard ended the innings in style though capping an amazing innings with a six over long-off from the final bowl to help the Indians reach 184-4.
Faced with a mammoth run chase Guyana started off poorly losing Sewnarine Chattergoon (1) at the end of the second over to leave their hopes of pulling off an amazing victory already on doubt.
Travis Dowlin (6) soon followed before Narsingh Deonarine and Ramnaresh Sarwan shared a productive partnership of 46 which saw the pair find the boundary with ease dispatching 7 fours and a six.
The mini revival was ended by Dwayne Bravo though at the end of the 13th over when he dismissed Deonarine (27) who slashed at a length delivery picking out Shikhar Dhawan who came in from boundary to take a diving catch to leave Guyana 91-3.
The lose of Deonarine left Guyana faced with a mountain to climb if they were to keep their hopes of reaching the knock out stages of the Twenty20 Champions League alive.
With 5 overs remaining Guyana were still ahead of the Indians at the same stage in their innings but the course of the game was changed by Pollards contribution which put the Indians in control.
With time running out Sarwan tried to up the tempo but he fell 4 runs short of a well deserved half century after he tried to hit Harbhajan Singh out of the ground only to be caught on the midwicket boundary by Lasith Malinga.
Christopher Barnwell (24) and Jonathan Foo (1) quickly followed to leave, brothers Royston and Esuan Crandon and to see out the final over for Guyana who ended the match 153-6.
Before Pollards fantastic finish the Indians started off brightly thanks to Sachin Tendulkar who shared an opening stand of 82 with Dhawan to get the innings off to the best possible start before he was bowled by Devendra Bishoo at the end of the 11th over.
Despite missing out on another half century in the shortest format of the game; Tendulkar impressed with the bat peppering the boundary with 6 fours in an innings of 48.
The wicket of Tendulkar would have come as a relief for Guyana who dropped the Indian legend twice during the 9th over by Jonathan Foo and Royston Crandon.
If proved to be the highlight of the innings for the Caribbean Twenty20 Champions who hit back to remove Dhawan (39) and Saurabh Tiwary (0) in quick succession to leave the Indians 99-3 with only 5 overs left.
After such a good start the Indians were in danger of throwing away the advantage but with Pollard still at the crease the Indians could afford to be confident of a grandstand finish.