Pollard blitz seals a stunning win for T&T
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad
Scorecard:New South Wales v Trinidad and Tobago
Player:MC Henriques, KA Pollard, DA Warner, PJ Hughes
Event:Champions League 2009/10

DateLine: 16th October 2009


Kieron Pollard played one of the best innings of the tournament to steer his side to a stunning win over a much fancied NSW. Chasing a mammoth score of 171 to win, all hope seemed lost when T&T lost Ramdin but Pollard had other ideas as he blasted a quickfire 54 to take his team to a crucial win.


Katich had no hesitation in electing to bat first on a pitch where 180 was reckoned and his decision was vindicated by a rousing opening partnership between Phil Hughes and David Warner. The pair added 121 in 15.2 overs to deflate the Trinidad and Tobago bowling attack.


Warner set the trend for the innings when he found the cover fence and it was no looking back for the left-handed pair. Hughes soon joined the party and NSW were off to a positive start. While Hughes depended on exquisite timing, Warner employed a more muscular approach as they walloped a hapless T&T bowlers black and blue.


Runs came in a torrent for the pair as neither pace nor spin seemed to hinder their approach. Skipper Ganga realising the impotency of his pacers employed the services of spinner Sherwin Ganga who put a lid on the scoring.


After the initial burst from Warner he went quiet and Hughes took over the scoring as he found the boundaries regularly. The powerplay yielded 50 runs but the next three overs cost only 11 runs as spinners Ganga and Dave Mohammad exerted some degree off control.


The two spinners in operation at that period took the ball away from the left-handed openers. Both batsmen managed to prevent the adrenalin rush and played out this period intelligently with singles and twos.


Hughes kept the strike longer than Warner and at the end off 11th over the score read 77 for no loss with Hughes on 49 and Warner on 27. Ganga introduced his leg-spinner Badree and Warner went berserk. Warner missed a long hop first up and on the second ball he survived a run-out when he tried to steal a second run.


The next four balls disappeared for 22 runs as Badree came under a vicious attack by the diminutive opener. Two over-pitched deliveries disappeared over long-on and long-off and Badree over-compensated by shortening his length and Warner crashed them to square-leg. The last ball was again a long hop and Warner deposited it into the midwicket stand and he overtook Hughes to the fifty run mark.


Eventually Warner was dismissed as he tried to repeat his six-hitting prowess against more experienced and wily Dave Mohammad but could only lob an easy catch to Dwayne Bravo at midwicket. Henriques joined Hughes in the middle and there was no let-up in the run-rate as the two continued to toy with the T&T bowling attack.


Hughes targeted a luckless Rampaul whose excellent deliveries went unrewarded on several occasions. A brace of wickets in the last over off Dwayne Bravo stopped NSW in their tracks but still they were able to rack up an imposing total in their stipulated 20 overs.


T&T in reply got off to a mixed start as opener Perkins found a couple off boundaries to get the innings kick-started. 24 runs came in just two overs and it was evident that the West Indian side will not be going down without a fight. Perkins innings was cut short when his fierce cut shot landed straight into the hands off Hauritz at deep point.


Simmons was the next to go when Bollinger trapped him leg before with a one that straightened from around the wicket. Bravo promoted up the order did nothing off much note when a top edge from him went as far as fine-leg where Bollinger took a well-judged catch and the scorecard read 30 for 3.


Darren Bravo was joined in the middle by his captain Darren Ganga and the two went about rebuilding the innings. Both of them deposited Hauritz into the stands to signal their intentions but the stand did not go far as Darren Ganga carelessly wandered out off his crease only for Katich to hit the stumps to run him out.


Darren Bravo continued to hit out but he too was a victim of another run-out as this time it arose due to misunderstanding between him and Ramdin. Ramdin meanwhile made amends for the run-out with some lusty blows to help keep T&T in the contest but another run-out claimed the wicket of Ramdin and it seemed that the West Indian side had reached the end.


But Kieron Pollard who was quietly assessing the situation at the other end exploded in the next over bowled by Henriques. The bowler faced a the unbridled fury off the tall right-hander as he was trounced for 27 runs. The first ball was a wide one and the re-ball was sent to the cover-fence. The next ball raced through the point fence to rub to rekindle hope for the West Indian side.


The next two balls were juicy full tosses and Pollard without much trouble deposited one into the midwicket stand and another into the square leg stand to tilt the match in T&T's favour. With Henriques unable to find the yorker length banged the ball in short coaxing Pollard to go for the pull shot which he duly sent it over fine-leg and the equation became 24 off 18 balls.


Lee was brought back into the attack and Pollard was sensible enough to see off the fast bowler to reduce the required margin to 16 off 12 balls. With Katich running out off options he had to turn to Henriques. Pollard continued to train his guns on the unlucky bowler as he simply swatted a boundary and a couple off sixes to finish off the match to leave NSW team wondering as to what had hit them.