Pollard shines with cameo before rain forces wash-out

BANGALORE, India, CMC-IANS – West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard banged a characteristically stroke-filled half-century but heavy and unabated rain washed out an exciting contest between a spirited Mumbai Indians and Cape Cobras in the Champions League Twenty20 late yesterday.  The big-hitting Trinidadian smashed 58 from 37 balls to help propel Mumbai to 176 for five off their allotted 20 overs, after they were sent in at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in this tech hub.

Keiron Pollard

Within minutes of the finish of the Mumbai innings, dark clouds opened up over the city centre and started pounding the stadium even as the ground staff scampered to cover the 22-yard pitch in the middle and the circular green outfield with massive tarpaulin sheets. With no let-up 90 minutes after the break, organisers were forced to abandon the match. Both teams got one point.

Starting on a blazing note, Mumbai’s openers Aiden Blizzard (19) and Sarul Kanwar (45) posted a breezy 65-run first partnership off 39 balls, with six sixes and four fours between them before Robin Peterson got them caught both times by England’s Owais Shah in the seventh and ninth over respectively.

Though Cobras got rid of Ambati Rayudu (6) quickly, James Franklin (18) and Pollard consolidated the innings and accelerated the run-rate through the middle overs with a 69-run fourth wicket partnership.

After Kanwar smashed five sixes and three fours to score his 45 in from 21 balls earlier, it was the turn of Pollard to hit three massive sixes and six fours in a cameo innings of 58.  Entering after the fall of Rayudu, Pollard started quietly with two singles off his first three balls before exploding.

He smashed two sixes off a JP Duminy over that cost 17 runs and then slaughtered seamer Charl Langeveldt with a six and two fours in an over that went for 18.  However, he eventually perished by the sword, holing out to Owais Shah at long-off off pacer Dale Steyn.  For Cobras, Robin Peterson took two for 29. Unfortunately, there was no time for the South African side to chase their target as rain arrived in torrents.

With the south-west monsoon on the withdrawal mode, the sudden downpour caught the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) unawares, as the garden city has been experiencing hot and humid days and cloudy and breezy nights over the last two weeks.

With two previous wins against Chennai Super Kings and Trinidad & Tobago, Mumbai have five points from three games.

Cobras, however, have to be contended with three points from as many matches as they came here after beating New South Wales and losing to Chennai Super Kings.

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