Pollard fireworks set up TKR semi-final with KingsTuesday, September 14, 2021
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) — A 20-ball fifty from Captain Kieron Pollard was enough to ensure Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) finished top of the standings to deny St Kitts and Nevis Patriots that honour, as the reigning champions ended the preliminary phase of the Caribbean Premier League with a four-wicket victory here Sunday night.
The game was still in the balance with TKR on 74 for three after 11 overs in pursuit of 148 at Warner Park, but Pollard went after fellow countryman Jon-Russ Jaggesar in the 12th over to bludgeon 23 runs, and ease the pressure on the innings.
Pollard top-scored with 51 off 22 balls, lashing three fours and five sixes, while Isuru Udana struck a 16-ball unbeaten 25 with three sixes, to end the game with an over to spare.
“I think we were a bit behind in terms of where we wanted to be at the back end,” Pollard said afterwards.
“Yes, you have power-hitters [left] but you don't want to leave it too late so I took my chances.
“For us, the most important thing was getting over the line and getting the full two points.”
The win was TKR's sixth, leaving them on 12 points alongside second placed Guyana Amazon Warriors and third placed Patriots, but ahead on net run rate.
TKR will now face fourth placed St Lucia Kings in today's first semi-final, with Patriots clashing with Amazon Warriors in the second game.
Test wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva had earlier top-scored for Patriots with exactly 50 off 45 balls, counting five fours and a six, while captain Dwayne Bravo and Sherfane Rutherford both chipped in with 25, to get Patriots up to 147 for seven off their 20 overs.
The Twenty20 World Cup-bound Chris Gayle failed for the umpteenth time, falling cheaply for five in the second over before Da Silva put on a valuable 44 for the second wicket with Jonathan Carter (16) and a further 39 with Rutherford for the third wicket, to stablise the innings.
Bravo then provided the energy at the back end, striking a four and two sixes in a 13-ball cameo.
Fast bowler Ali Khan snatched three for 19 from his four overs while left-arm new-ball seamer Isuru Udana supported with two for 28.
In reply, Lendl Simmons (20) and Denesh Ramdin (17) added 32 off 31 deliveries for the first wicket before a clatter of wickets left TKR struggling on 52 for three in the 10th over.
Pollard arrived to dominate a fourth wicket stand of 50 with another T20 World Cup-bound player, Darren Bravo, who scraped a single run from seven balls.
However, it was Pollard's assault on Jaggesar which swung the game firmly in TKR's favour, the right-hander crunching a four and three sixes in the off-spinner's third over.