One of the most experienced T20 cricketers in the world, Kieron Pollard is a destructive batsman on his day. Leading St Lucia Stars, Pollard has been able to put an end to the team’s losing streak since 2016 and now trying to get them to the semi-finals. The all-rounder took St Lucia Stars to their second win of Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2018 with a whirlwind inning of 41 runs from 18 balls, that too in a low-scoring game.
Chasing a target of 141, St Lucia Stars were struggling to keep up with the required run rate. After two quick wickets in the powerplay overs, Andre Fletcher held on to one end and tried forming partnerships. Opener David Warner batted at an unusual No.4 position. He got a decent start but could not convert it into a big score.
When Pollard came in to bat, the score was 97 for 4 wickets in 14.4 overs. They needed 44 runs from 32 deliveries which is not tough according to T20 standards but somehow Guyana Amazon Warriors bowlers kept the batsmen at bay.
The skipper did not start hitting the ball the moment he took the guard. At the end of 17th over, Pollard had scored 11 runs off 12 balls. The equation was 31 runs needed from 18 balls.
Skipper Shoaib Malik took the risk and asked leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo to bowl the crucial 18th over. Pollard is not known for tackling spin-bowling well and it seemed like a good move from Malik.
But, the home captain decided to go all in and hit 30 runs in an over including 3 sixes and fours. With one run needed off 12 deliveries, Pollard ensured that they don’t just register a win but increase their net run rate too and keep the hopes of making it to the semi-finals alive.
— CPL T20 (@CPL) August 25, 2018
St Lucia Stars are still at the bottom of the table but a few wins and a positive net run rate might work in their favour. Here’s what Pollard had to say after winning the match,
“We needed these two points. the boys gave their 100 per cent. After two overs, I rallied the guys around and told them this isn’t how we fight for our lives. Restricting them to 140 was fantastic on a ground and a pitch like this. When we were in Guyana, we were in a similar position but we let it slip, but Fletcher did superbly to anchor this innings. We rushed through things in the last game and this Guyana line up had a lot of spinners. I backed myself to take them on and it was a team decision to keep me at No.6.”