Trinbago Knight Riders 149 for 8 (Pollard 72, Simmons 32, Holder 2-27) beat Barbados Tridents 148 for 7 (Charles 47, Mayers 42, Raza 2-11. Seales 2-21, Hosein 2-30) by two wickets
T20 has evolved to the extent that teams now back themselves to chase two runs a ball over the last eight – or even last ten – overs of matches. Those sorts of chases, however, usually involve flat pitches and line-ups packed with hitting talent. On Saturday, Trinbago Knight Riders probably wouldn’t have backed themselves when Kieron Pollard walked to the crease on a slow Queen’s Park Oval pitch with 87 runs needed from 44 balls, with five wickets in hand.
This was a Knight Riders line-up that lacked Sunil Narine at the top and Dwayne Bravo in the middle. This was a pitch on which Lendl Simmons, the batsman at the other end when Pollard came in, had hit three sixes but no other boundaries while scoring 31 off 26 balls.
Simmons fell soon after Pollard came in, in the 15th over, for 32 off 29. That over, bowled by Mitchell Santner, and the 16th, bowled by Rashid Khan, brought the Knight Riders only six runs in total. That left them 62 to get off 24 balls.
Only a handful of players are capable of pulling off such a task, and Pollard has shown repeatedly – despite having been written off on multiple occasions – that he’s one of them. This, given the modest support available to him from the other end, would be one of his best knocks if he could pull it off, and he did, laying waste to the Tridents’ death bowlers as if he were a 16-year-old ringer in an Under-12s game, launching nine massive sixes in a 28-ball 72 to ensure the Knight Riders stretched their perfect start to the tournament into their sixth game. Seventy two, off nine balls. When Pollard was at the crease, the batsmen at the other end, plus extras, combined to score 7 off 12 balls.
More to follow…