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Pollard proves credentials at IPL’s ‘El Clasico’

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NEW DELHI: For someone keen to produce memorable knocks in big matches, Mumbai Indians player Kieron Pollard is particularly pleased with the one he conjured in Saturday’s ‘El Clasico’ victory against Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).


The clash between IPL’s two most successful franchises who share eight titles between them resulted in a runfest as the sides amassed a combined score of 437 runs, including 30 sixes.


Eight of those sixes flew from Pollard’s bat as Mumbai’s middle-order lynchpin smashed an unbeaten 87 off just 34 balls, his first fifty this season, to secure Mumbai’s last-ball victory by four wickets.


“World-class players at the CSK team,” Pollard said of table-toppers Chennai, led by former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.


“We built this match as El Clasico of the IPL. When you have international guys with so much experience...guys who have done it time and again, you want to be able to come out and perform (against them) in these sort of matches.”


“For me, it’s just a matter of doing what I can do — playing to my strengths and doing what the team requires at any given time,” the 33-year-old said after his spectacular power-hitting earned him player-of-the-match award. Since joining the franchise in 2010, Pollard has been a crucial cog in Mumbai’s five triumphant IPL campaigns and the all-rounder said familiarity with the franchise has helped.


“Over a period of time, you’re comfortable in a franchise and they believe in you after so many years. You just want to continue to come out and perform.


“So for me, it’s just a matter of coming out day in, day out trying to evolve as a cricketer and trying to do my best.” — Reuters


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