On Wednesday, Mumbai Indians scripted an easy 5-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 48th fixture of the Indian Premier League at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
It was Suryakumar Yadav and his unbeaten 79 off 43 balls that helped Mumbai stay atop the IPL points table.
Suryakumar came in when MI had lost the in-form Quinton de Kock in the sixth over but took the game by storm. He hit 10 fours and three sixes in his innings. The inning comes few days after he missed out on a place within the Indian squad that will tour Australia starting from November.
However, after smashing a boundary to finish off the game, Suryakumar took off his helmet and did a nonchalant gesture to assure the squad sitting in the pavilion of the victory.
Watch his reaction below:
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians captain Kieron Pollard encouraged Suryakumar to stay consistent. "Imagine someone batting at that strike rate after two early wickets. Deep down inside he must be very very disappointed to not have donned the blue for India. He just keeps getting better. Again as an individual if you keep staying consistent, you will be rewarded. Nothing happens before its time," said Pollard in the post-match presentation ceremony in which Suryakumar won the Player of the Match award.
Pollard triggered RCB's collapse 131/3 to 139/6 between the 16th and 18th overs with the wicket of AB de Villiers, who looked set for a trademark swashbuckling innings. "I am big on match-ups in a way," said Pollard.
"I also watch a lot of cricket. I took a punt and bowled at AB. I could have waited for the last over but if someone has to go for runs I thought I'd take it."
de Villiers' wicket was followed by a double-wicket maiden from Jasprit Bumrah that put the breaks on the RCB innings. "Bumrah continues to keep standing up throughout the tournament. But again we have been playing total team cricket. Somebody is always there to pick up the slack," said Pollard.
(with IANS inputs)