Pollard backed himself to play match-winner after Mumbai slump

Kolkata, May 28 (IANS/CMC) West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard says he backed himself to play a match-winning role for Mumbai Indians as wickets tumbled around him in the Indian Premier League final.

Pollard smashed an unbeaten 60, after Mumbai Indians had slumped to 52 for four, to set up a 23-run win over Dwayne Bravo's Chennai Super Kings and claim their first IPL title Sunday.

"Nothing much was going on in my mind when wickets were tumbling. I just wanted to focus on my game. I just wanted to back myself and my ability," said Pollard.

"I know what the team needed from me at that point in time. These are the games that you have to win for your franchise and thank God it came off and we actually won."

Pollard has emerged as one of the most important players in the Mumbai Indians set-up this year.

The Trinidadian all-rounder has not only shone with the bat, and sometimes with the ball, but he has also been a game-changer with his exceptional fielding as well, plucking certain sixes in midair.

"This is a great feeling," said Pollard who is joining the West Indies squad in England for the ICC Champions Trophy.

"I have been playing for the Mumbai Indians for four years and to get this opportunity and to be able to pull it off, it is fantastic. It is something I will cherish forever."

Sunday's victory for Mumbai Indians was Pollard's third win in major tournament finals over the last year.

He was a part of the West Indies team that won the World T20 finals in Sri Lanka late last year and the Trinidad and Tobago outfit that lifted the Caribbean T20 title earlier this year.

"It is a fantastic feeling. And that is what I was talking about before this final, that I have been in two winning finals before and I just wanted to keep that record going," he told IPLT20.com.

"And now in the next few days, we have another important tournament coming up, the Champions Trophy. We (the West Indies) are looking forward to that as well. Dwayne Bravo is going to be our captain, and we are really enthusiastic about it and let us see if we (the West Indies) can play good cricket and come out on top over there as well."

--IANS/CMC

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