Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Pollard’s power play


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LONDON – When Brian Rose describes an innings as “the most remarkable one-day knock I have ever seen played for Somerset” there can be no doubt he has witnessed something very special.
Those were the words used by the English county club’s director of cricket recently after watching the West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard mark his debut for the county with 89 not out, off 45 balls, to win the Friends Provident Twenty20 match against Middlesex at Lord’s almost single-handedly.
Coming in with his side struggling in reply to 155 for six, the powerful Trinidadian smashed an incredible seven sixes and seven fours to set up a five-wicket victory with 2.1 overs to spare.
It was an amazing exhibition by Pollard who chose to take up his pre-existing contract with Somerset rather than join the West Indies ‘A’ team on tour of England for which he was selected. He reached his 50 off 25 balls without hitting a single four but, by then, he had blasted half-a-dozen of his sixes.
Added to his three for 26 from his four overs in the Middlesex innings, it added up to one of the most spectacular debuts in Somerset history.
Rose, who captained Somerset during their glory years of the late 1970s and early 1980s, said: “I watched Viv Richards and Ian Botham produce some very big hitting for Somerset, but for sheer power I have never seen anything like Kieron’s knock.
“One of his sixes almost hit the roof of the Lord’s pavilion on the full and I think only one player in history has ever cleared it,” he added. “It was such an astonishing performance that when Kieron got back to the dressing room at the end of the game no one knew what to say to him. Even Marcus Trescothick, who knows a thing or two about hitting a cricket ball, was rendered speechless.
“The only word I can come up with to describe the innings is ‘stunning’. The most remarkable thing of all was that it was played on a worn wicket, which made the other batsmen on both sides struggle for timing.
“Kieron made it look as though he was playing on tarmac. He simply took the pitch out of the equation and smashed the ball to all parts.” (TC)


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