CPL

Pollard powers Knight Riders past Patriots in CPL opener

By CPL.com September 04, 2019
Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard. Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard.

A power-packed 47 from new skipper Kieron Pollard and all-round heroics from New Zealand star Jimmy Neesham helped two-time defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders start the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a thrilling 11-run win over St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on Wednesday.

Pollard, leading the side after the finger injury suffered by Dwayne Bravo, powered his side to 152 for 7 after Neesham and Denesh Ramdin’s 60-run partnership began the champions’ recovery from an early slump at 24 for 3.  The new captain crafted a responsible 47 from 32 balls.

After his vital 33 with the bat, Neesham then made the crucial first breakthrough with the ball to end a 47-run opening partnership, having Kjorn Ottley caught and bowled off a slower ball for 25, before catching Evin Lewis for 36 off the impressive Khary Pierre to trigger a decisive collapse of four wickets for six runs.

Neesham later returned to defend 13 from the final over of the match, taking the last two wickets with a pair of low full-tosses zeroing in on the stumps to seal victory.

The Patriots’ pursuit of 153 appeared to be well in hand at 70 for 1 but three overs later, the scoreboard read 76 for 5 after Pierre and spin twin Seekkuge Prasanna ripped the heart out of the middle-order.

Jason Mohammed fell for a duck and Devon Thomas just 1, while a horrible mix-up saw Carlos Brathwaite run out for only 2.

That appeared to be that, but Fabian Allen rekindled the visitors' hopes by blasting four sixes off Prasanna’s third over - an assault made all the more astonishing by the fact just three runs, a wicket and that run out had come from the Sri Lankan’s first two.

 Allen, though, was superbly caught at third-man by Prasanna himself off Mohammad Hasnain in the next over for 30 from just 14 balls. Usama Mir bravely took up the charge with an enterprising 24 from just 10 balls, including one astonishing ramped six over fine-leg off Hasnain, but ultimately he had just too much to do.

He was bowled by Neesham in the final over and was swiftly followed by last man Sheldon Cottrell, who had been the early star of proceedings at the Queen’s Park Oval with superb figures of 3 for 13 from his four overs.

 

 

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    West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said that while he could pinpoint a great many things his side got wrong during a one-sided affair against Sri Lanka at Hambantota on Wednesday, he would not go into the business of scapegoating but would talk to his team about what transpired.

    Sri Lanka won the game by 161 runs but more importantly, the hosts now hold an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match ODI series.

    The hosts benefitted from centuries of 127  and 119 from opener Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis respectively, the pair helping them to a mammoth 345-8 from their 50 overs. The West Indies did not get close, as only Shai Hope, 51, and Roston Chase, 31, offered any resistance.

    The visitors would end on 184 all out against the bowling of Wanindu Hasaranga, 3-30, Lakshan Sandakan, 3-57, and Nuwan Pradeep, 2-37. There was also a wicket for Angelo Matthews, 1-20.

    But Pollard did point out that things could have been different had he not dropped Mendis early in the innings and maybe, the series would now be different.

    "It was the start we were looking forward to, getting two wickets early. But I put the catch of Kusal Mendis down, otherwise they would have been three down,” said Pollard.

    In addition, Pollard believes his side did not have faith in the plans they made.

    “We didn't stick to our plans long enough. I don't think we were up to the international standard today. Well bowled to them and well played to them,” he said.

    Pollard will now look toward the final game of the series to see if the West Indies can win one.

    “We weren't there in all three departments today. We can pinpoint a lot of things but I don't want to go into a lot of details. We'll do that as a team. I cop this one on the chin and we move on to Kandy."

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    West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes there were a number of missteps that led to his side’s one-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in Colombo on Saturday.

    The West Indies, thanks to a century from Shai Hope at the top of the order, scored 289-7 before going from losing positions to winning positions and back again, as Sri Lanka got to 290-9 with five balls to spare.

    According to Pollard, after leaving a few runs with the bat, the West Indies were also not at their very best with the ball and coughed up too many presents for the Sri Lankans.

    But Pollard did enjoy the game, saying it was well contested by both teams.

    “Good game of cricket came down to the last over with the crowd on its feet,” he said.

    “Normally guys like me and Pooran finish it off but it couldn't happen today. Couple of soft dismissals in the middle really set us back,” said Pollard.

    “I think we bowled too many bad balls in the start, gave them too many freebies, that's where we lost the game. Our discipline was not there,” he said.

    Sri Lanka started well with a 111-run first-wicket partnership between Avishka Fernando (50) and captain Dimuth Karunaratne (52).

    The Windies fought back brilliantly but Thisara Perera played an important innings, slamming a 22-ball 32. When Perera was caught off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph, the match was very much in the balance with Sri Lanka on 253-7.

    However, Hasaranga (42 off 39) produced a performance that belied his ODI average of 14.37 to get Sri Lanka over the finish line.

    Hasaranga's ability to find the rope – he struck a quartet of fours and one maximum – and inaccurate death bowling from the Windies left the scores level going into the final over.

    A direct-hit run out from Sunil Ambris to remove Lakshan Sandakan frayed the nerves a little, but the one run Sri Lanka needed came from a Keemo Paul no-ball off the next delivery as if to highlight the way little mistakes had cost the Caribbean side.

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