With only 129 runs on the board, the bowlers had a tough task on their hands when Mumbai Indians came out to defend the modest score against the Rising Pune Supergiant line-up comprising of the likes of Steven Smith, MS Dhoni andAjinkyaRahane.
Once again Jonty Rhodes’ wards rose to the occasion and complemented their bowlers in defending the total in Hyderabad and gave the MI captain the opportunity to lift the IPL trophy a third time –afeat that no other team has achieved in 10 years of the coveted league.
With 11 runs required off the last over, Kieron Pollard, who has been one of Mumbai Indians’ safest fielders over the years, caught Manoj Tiwary at long-on.The next delivery, Ambati Rayudu caught a blinder near the ropes to send back Steven Smith. The catch to dismiss Smith – who was batting on 51 then – in particular, swung the pendulum decidedly and put MI in the driver’s seat.
Speaking about the third vital aspect of the game – fielding, Pollard said, “Fielding is an integral part of T20 cricket and as we saw today, you don’t have much runs on the board and fielding was what made the difference. In the big final, this is where the big players stand up and especially in the fielding.”
He then asked Rayuduwhat was going through his mind when – under pressure – he took the catch to dismiss Smith. Rayudu replied that he had certainly lost the ball in the lights momentarily, and as a result had to stretch and realign himself, spotted the ball in the nick of time and eventually held on to it.
Watch Pollard and Rayudu speak about the fielding aspect of the game that helped turn the final in MI’s favour.