Pollard proves his worth again

The Caribbean T20 tournament is in
full swing and there have been no shock results so far. Lots of thrills and
spills as expected in 20 overs cricket and some magnificent knocks, especially
from Kieran Pollard, Trinidad’s biggest hitter. 

On Sunday, Alcindo Holder led a
late-innings charge as Barbados rattled up 104 runs in the last 10 overs
against the Windward Islands. This piloted the home side to 159-6 off their 20
overs in Match 8 of the West Indies Board’s tournament at Kensington Oval. The
powerfully-built right-hander, who is in the squad specifically for his ability
to hit out of the ground, thumped 46 not out from just 23 balls to give the
Bajans an impressive score.

It took Pollard only a few minutes
on Saturday to remind West Indies fans why he is among the biggest earners in
the sport. The strapping Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder strode to the crease
with his country in serious trouble against a combative Leeward Islands unit in
the teams’ Caribbean Twenty20 Zone A match.

In pursuit of the Leewards’
competitive 161 for seven off 20 overs, the Trinis were 82 for five, 80 adrift
with 41 balls remaining. Pollard took four balls settling in before unleashing
a memorable onslaught of power-hitting that turned a panicked pursuit into a
palpable picnic.

The win ensured Trinidad and Tobago
a semi-final berth in front of their home fans on Friday at the Queen’s Park
Oval in Port of Spain and ended the Leewards’ hopes.

Pollard, 23, already assured of a
place in September’s Champions League after similar exploits earlier this year
for South Australia and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, lit up Kensington
Oval with seven towering sixes on his way to 53 not out off 20 balls.

In other matches, Guyana beat
Combined Colleges by four wickets with four balls remaining, Jamaica thrashed
Canada by nine wickets, Barbados tied with Combined Colleges and Guyana beat
the Windward Islands by five wickets.

The first match of the tournament
was at the Kensington Oval, Barbados between Guyana and the Windward Islands on
Thursday. The Windward Islands batted first and struggled initially to reach
157 for 8 off 20 overs. Guyana was grateful to Jonathan Foo who ensured they
won because from his knock Guyana needed only three runs to win off the final
over. They got them with four balls to spare.

Barbados were clear favourites
against Combined Colleges in the night game. Barbados batted first and amassed
180 runs for six wickets, thanks to crisp lower-order hitting by Carlo Morris.
CCC had a brilliant opening partnership, scoring 80 runs in eight overs.
Although they suffered a top-order collapse, CCC recovered from 120/5 to reach
180/5, courtesy of two Barbadians – Floyd Reifer and Ryan Wiggins, for a tie.

In the first match on Thursday at
the Kensington Oval, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobabgo hammered Canada by nine
wickets. Jamaica also won by nine wickets against the Leeward Islands.

The next round of matches are on
Wednesday when Canada face Leeward Islands in Port of Spain in Zone B and Jamaica
take on T&T at the same venue in their final
Zone A games.