There have been numerous occasions in the Indian Premier League's brief history when stunning efforts on the field have enthralled stunned onlookers. Kieron Pollard's unbelievable catch against the Rajasthan Royals to dismiss the big-hitting Kevon Cooper on Monday, was one that will finish very high on the list of such efforts. (Match Report | Scorecard | Highlights)
In an astonishing display of athleticism, Pollard first jumped high in the air to pluck the ball with his right hand at long-on. However, having lost his balance, Pollard threw the ball back in the air, crossed over the boundary line and came back with a giant leap to complete his stunning display. Cooper, who expected to get six runs from that Harbhajan Singh delivery, could only watch in horror and make his way back to the pavilion. Pollard's magnificent catch, one of many he has taken in his career, came at a crucial juncture after which Rajasthan's innings plummeted to give Mumbai a 25-run win and a mathematical chance to scrape through to the playoffs.
A visibly pleased Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma had words of praise for the big West Indian. "Pollard's catch was amazing. We've seen him take a lot of good ones," Rohit said during the post-match presentation.
The pacey T20 format, since its inception in 2005, has constantly stressed on the importance of good, sharp fielding. Solitary but spectacular fielding efforts have changed games on their heads only too often in the past. Not long ago, Chris Lynn's magnificent catch to dismiss AB de Villiers in their match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first leg of the tournament in UAE helped Kolkata Knight Riders run away with a narrow two-run victory.
The ongoing season has already seen a lot of airborne, gravity-defying attempts that have been spectacular to watch. Pollard's latest display of athleticism gives Mumbai a spring in their steps to try and reach the playoffs and it only adds to the spectacle that T20 cricket is.