It’s going to be up there, this is international cricket: Pollard on his six sixes

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Mar 4, 2021 : After Kieron Pollard had hit the fifth six off the sixth over from Akila Dananjaya in the chase, he was in two minds. Go for the jugular and get that sixth six or take a very good 30-run over. The dilemma was eased by Dananjaya’s decision to go around the stumps and fire one into the big West Indian’s pads. Pollard’s eyes lit up and he comfortably cleared the square leg fence to become just the third batsman – after Yuvraj Singh and Herschelle Gibbs – to hit six sixes in an over in international cricket.

Expectedly, Pollard was delighted with what he pulled off and chose to rate his effort really highly, considering it came at the highest level of the sport.

“Obviously it’s going to be up there. It is international cricket, this is not franchise cricket or club cricket,” Pollard said. “Getting the opportunity to do that was fantastic. And thank god for small mercies, giving me the strength to do that. So I continued to carry on to do what was required for the team at that point in time.”

Pollard’s manic effort was part of a rather frenetic run chase, that also saw Dananjaya pick up a hat-trick in just his previous over. Asked to chase 132, West Indies made an incredible start via Evin Lewis, who carted Angelo Mathews for three sixes in the first over. He and Simmons powered the home side to 48 for 0 in just three overs before Dananjaya rocked their boat by dismissing Lewis, comeback man Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran. Wanindu Hasaranga then made it 62 for 4 at the end of 5 overs, giving the visiting side a sniff at causing a dramatic batting collapse.

And then, up stepped Pollard with his power hitting, smashing Dananjaya for 36 runs to wipe up a big chunk of the deficit. Yet, there was more drama in store as Hasaranga sent back the West Indian captain and new batsman Fabian Allen of successive deliveries to leave West Indies six down.

Pollard revealed the West Indian dugout endured a bit of a nerve-wracking time because of the position they’d slipped into. The captain also praised the experienced duo of Jason Holder and Dwayne Bravo, who put a lid on West Indies’ sudden slide and saw the team home.

“When you lose wickets… they had Hasaranga having a couple of overs to go. Guys were on their toes, just wanting to see him off. The total of 132 and the position we found ourselves in, gave us a bit of a nerve-wracking time. Having said that, the experienced guys [Holder and Bravo] pulled through for us.

Pollard felt his side were a bit flat on the field, letting up a couple of misfields. As for the batting collapse, he was just glad that he had two batters assured enough to mop up after the mess that the home side found themselves in.

“In terms of our batting, the batting collapses that we’ve had a couple of times… but it was good this time around we were able to get over the line. Experienced guy like Jason using his technique and using all his Test experience as well, and Bravo with all his experience to finish off the game as well. Having said that, well done to the openers for the start that they gave us so that we were able to cruise at the back end.

“It [the performance] was there and thereabouts. Most importantly, the objective of this first game was to win the game and I thought we did that. There are a couple of things to note – we haven’t played T20 cricket for a while. We had a couple of guys coming back to the set up as well, so we’ll take the win and have discussions about how we want to continue playing in terms of improving in different areas.”