Pollard powers T&T to unlikely victory

Kieron Pollard

An unbeaten half-century from Kieron Pollard overshadowed similar efforts from New South Wales openers Phil Hughes and David Warner as Trinidad and Tobago sneaked a four-wicket victory in the Champions League Twenty20 at Hyderabad.

Hughes made 83 off 64 deliveries and Warner bludgeoned 63 off 41 to power the Blues to a formidable 170 for four.

The Australian side seemed to be on course as T&T slipped to 118 for six in reply, but Pollard smashed an astonishing 54 off just 18 deliveries as the Caribbean nation overhauled the target with nine deliveries to spare and virtually guarantee themselves a place in the semi-finals.

Warner and Hughes, in a brutal assault on T&T's bowlers, put on 121 in just over 15 overs for the opening wicket to give NSW a flying start.

Hughes had launched his innings with successive boundaries in the first over from Ravi Rampaul and followed up with a similar effort against Dwayne Bravo.

NSW had scored 29 off the first three overs and Daren Ganga brought his spinners on inside the powerplay to stop the easy flow of runs and the move worked - but only briefly.

Warner, who had initially scored at a slower rate than Hughes, raced to his half-century by clubbing leg-spinner Samuel Badree for three sixes and a four to reach the mark in just 31 deliveries.

Chinaman bowler Dave Mohammed eventually grabbed the breakthrough, but there was little respite as Hughes continued to plunder runs and Moises Henriques smashed 17 off 11 deliveries.

Dwayne Bravo, who was clobbered for 26 in his first three overs, picked up three wickets - including Hughes - in the last over of the innings, but by then the damage had been done.

Lendl Simmons and William Perkins, T&T's openers, had promised much at the start by clubbing 24 from the first two overs, but NSW struck with Brett Lee removing Perkins (16) and Doug Bollinger sending back Simmons (three).

Henriques struck in his first over, scalping Dwayne Bravo (one) to leave T&T tottering at 30 for three.
Ganga (32) and Darren Bravo (27) revived the innings with a 47-run stand, but both were run out as was Denesh Ramdin (23) as the Caribbean side slipped to 118 for six with 55 still needed off the last 30 deliveries.

Pollard hammered Henriques for two fours and three sixes in the bowler's third over to leave T&T needing 24 from the last 18 deliveries.

Lee leaked eight runs in his third over - the 18th of the innings - and Pollard then smashed Henriques for a four and two sixes to bring up victory and his half-century.

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