Savage Pollard stuns Tridents to keep TKR unbeaten
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Captain Kieron Pollard belted an astonishing half-century as Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) pulled off an exhilarating run chase to stun reigning champions Barbados Tridents by two wickets in a last-over thriller here yesterday.
Entering the contest in the 13th over with unbeaten TKR floundering on 62 for five in pursuit of 149 for victory, Pollard smashed 72 off just 28 balls to haul his side back into contention at Queen’s Park Oval.
He counted two fours and nine giant sixes in a jaw-dropping display of power-hitting to single-handedly take the game away from Tridents, as TKR gathered 70 runs from the last five overs of the innings.
When Pollard was run out off the second ball of the final over, TKR still needed a further eight runs, but the nerveless Khary Pierre (10 not out) sliced the fourth delivery – a high full toss from left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer – over point for six before thrashing the next ball to the backward point boundary for four, to spark celebrations in the host’s camp.
The victory extended TKR’s winning streak to six on the trot, and put them on 12 points at the top of the six-team standings, all but securing a spot in the semi-finals.
In contrast, the defeat for the Tridents was their fourth in six outings and, even though they still remain third on four points, they face the possibility of missing out on the final four if their form in remaining matches fails to improve.
Sent in, Tridents rallied to 148 for seven off their 20 overs, thanks mainly to opener Johnson Charles’s top score of 47 off 37 balls and the in-form Kyle Mayers’s 42, also off 37 deliveries.
Zimbabwean off-spinner Sikandar Raza snatched two for 10 from his only over, while fast bowler Jayden Seales (2-21) and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein (2-30) chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Faced with a hardly imposing required run rate of just under 7½ per over, TKR found themselves in early trouble, thanks to a double strike from fast bowler Holder (2-27) in the second over, and plunged to 36 for four in the eighth.
Opener Simmons, whose 32 came from 29 balls and included three sixes, put on 26 with Hosein (12) for the fifth wicket in an attempt to revive the innings but, when both fell within the space of 11 balls, TKR were still in deep trouble at 77 for six in the 15th over.