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Explosive Pollard blasts Mumbai into IPL final

Published:Thursday | April 22, 2010 | 4:00 AM

MUMBAI, India (CMC):

Despite bothered by troublesome hamstring, West Indies' Kieron Pollard fired the Mumbai Indians into the Indian Premier League (IPL) final with a sizzling all-round display that shocked Royal Challengers Bangalore and sent them crashing to a 35-run defeat yesterday.

Playing in the semi-final at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Pollard pummelled the Bangalore bowling with a cameo - unbeaten 33 from 13 balls - to lift Mumbai to 184 for five off their allotted overs, after winning the toss and batting.

The IPL's top dollar all-rounder then snatched three for 17 to reduce the visitors to 149 for nine and earn the Man-of-the-Match award.

Mumbai lost the prolific Sachin Tendulkar cheaply for nine and despite knocks of Ambati Rayudu (40) and Abhishek Nayar (22), were still struggling at 144 for five in the 18th over.

Pollard then dominated an unbroken 40-run, sixth-wicket stand with Saurabh Tiwary (52) to lift the tempo at the end of the innings.

The right-handed Pollard hammered one four and three sixes, while Tiwary smashed three fours and four sixes off 31 balls.

Ominous

Royal Challengers looked to be making a fight of it at 81 for two in the 10th over until Pollard intervened. He broke an ominous, 34-run, third-wicket stand between Robin Uthappa (26) and Rahul Dravid (23), luring Uthappa into hitting a slower ball to Shikhar Dhawan at deep square leg.

Off the next ball, Pollard ran out Dravid at the bowlers end after a mix-up with Ross Taylor (31 not out) and when he had Virat Kohli caught at the wicket for nine in the 12th over, Bangalore were tottering at 97 for five.

Two overs later, he had Manish Pandey (5) brilliantly caught by JP Duminy at deep midwicket as the death knell sounded.

Dwayne Bravo, who skippered Mumbai in their previous match, was on the bench for the game.

Mumbai will face the winner of the other semi-final between Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers tomorrow.