CPL 2017: Pollard’s 35-ball 83 crushes St Lucia Stars

Kieron Pollard walks off after smashing 28 off the last over Getty Images

By Peter Della Penna

Barbados Tridents 196 for 4 (Pollard 83*, Williamson 46, Mayers 2-30) beat St Lucia Stars 129 for 6 (Sammy 60*, Parnell 3-28, Wahab 2-27) by 21 runs (DLS method)

Kieron Pollard walks off after smashing 28 off the last over Getty Images

(ESPNcricinfo) St Lucia Stars’ wretched form at home continued on Thursday night as they were beaten by 21 runs via DLS Method by Barbados Tridents. On the flip side, Kieron Pollard’s red-hot form on the road continued. Following his 62 off 33 balls against Jamaica Tallawahs, Pollard blitzed five fours and six sixes in an unbeaten 35-ball 83 to take Tridents to an insurmountable 196 for 4.

Captain Darren Sammy’s head was already drooping after a sloppy Stars fielding performance but his shoulders sank as well after the top six were done and dusted with just 64 on the board. Though Sammy lifted spirits briefly with a fearless fifty off 23 balls – the fastest of CPL 2017 – rain dashed any hopes of an improbable comeback.

Smith’s march past 7000

Dwayne Smith entered the contest needing 31 runs to hit 7000 in his T20 career. He struggled to time the ball on up and down pitches in Lauderhill, but looked sharper in Gros Islet. He tucked into Kyle Mayers for a straight six and then squeezed a drive through point for four in the fourth over as he teamed with Kane Williamson to push the score to 42 for 0 in the Powerplay. In the eighth over, with a pulled six and a sweetly timed cut, Smith became the seven man to 7000, joining Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, David Warner, Brad Hodge, and his Tridents captain Pollard.

Mayers-Ryder tag team

After getting hammered by Smith in the fourth over, Mayers got his revenge when Smith tried to stab a wide yorker through point but instead found Jesse Ryder at short third-man. Drinks were taken and when Shoaib Malik took guard after the break, Ryder had moved squarer to backward point, where he was gifted another catch off Mayers and Malik was back in the pavilion.

Polly wants a fifty

Pollard batted at No. 5 in both matches over the weekend but promoted himself up one spot to face Mayers’ hat-trick ball. He got going with a top-edged hook that fell in no man’s land and never looked back.

Tridents were at 96 for 3 in 14 overs when Pollard took control with a six and four off Shane Shillingford. Two more sixes came in the offspinner’s next over so the Stars tried testing Pollard with pace, but that didn’t work either. Jerome Taylor was bulldozed for 36 runs in eight balls by Pollard as Tridents amassed 100 in their last six overs.

Some of that carnage could have been mitigated if the Stars had converted a chance to run Pollard out in the 20th over. He dug out a yorker to long-on and insisted on a second run, but an awful relay throw from Mayers resulted in four overthrows and an unorthodox six in the scorebook.

With 28 runs off the last six balls, Tridents registered the highest CPL total at Darren Sammy National Stadium, and just one run short of the overall record set by Australia in the 2010 World T20. If it was Michael Hussey mauling Saeed Ajmal then, here it was Pollard dismantling Shillingford and Taylor, who were at the receiving end for all but two of his boundaries.

Golden-duck soup

Stars got off to a decent start to reach 36 for 0 after four overs before the chase fell apart. Wahab Riaz dismissed Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher on the first and last balls of the fifth, Kamran Akmal rounded off a poor match behind the stumps with a first-ball duck and Shane Watson went without scoring as well, caught by wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran diving to his right. When Parnell, who finished with 3 for 28, took out Ryder, the Stars were 64 for 6 with only Sammy and the tail left.

Things looked even bleaker at the halfway mark as a second shower hit the ground. The match had earlier been delayed by 45 minutes after just one over had been bowled and now it was poised with the hosts 47 runs behind the DLS par score of 117.

The game resumed, with one over lopped off and the target reset to 193, but Sammy fought against those odds with a freewheeling unbeaten 60 off 29 balls that included five fours and five sixes. But more rain arrived to kill the match off two balls into the 16th over, at which point Stars were still comfortably behind the DLS par score.




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