Caribbean Premier League
Pollard ton ends St Lucia win drought
Kieron Pollard hit his first ever T20 century as St Lucia broke a 15-match losing streak
18 August 2018, 02:23 PM AEST
Kieron Pollard's maiden T20 century helped the St Lucia Stars snap a 15-game losing streak and beat the Barbados Tridents for their first win in the Caribbean Premier League.
The St Lucia franchise last tasted victory in 2016 when they were named the Zouks, but Pollard's fireworks helped them to post a CPL record 6-226, en route to a 38-run victory at the Darren Sammy Stadium in front of their home fans in Gros Islet.
The match had been billed as a showdown between David Warner and Steve Smith, who played his second game for the Barbados side, but the Australians were sideshows in a match dominated by Pollard.
Warner departed for a second-ball duck in the game's second over. He missed his first ball aiming a booming drive, and managed a faint nick on a repeat of that stroke second ball to be caught behind off Jason Holder.
In the Barbados innings, Smith hit 28 from 16 balls, with three fours and a six coming in at No.5 with the match already slipping out of Barbados's grasp.
Warner was also involved in the field, running forward in off the boundary and diving in an attempt to take a catch before immediately waving off the attempt as teammates celebrated. Replays showed it had bounced narrowly in front of the Stars opener. He later dropped a skied opportunity in the final over, but that had no impact on the final result other than to deny impressive youngster Obed McCoy a wicket.
St Lucia got off to a perfect start with Andre Fletcher smashing 20 runs from Mohammad Irfan's first over as Warner watched on from the non-striker's end. The first six went out of the ground, forcing an immediate call for a new ball.
Fletcher crashed six sixes and a half-dozen more boundaries in a 52-ball knock of 80, with pinch-hitter Rahkeem Cornwall adding a quick-fire 30 from 11 balls at No.3.
Wahab Riaz had Cornwall well caught then got fortunate with an LBW decision against former Brisbane Heat player Lendl Simmons with a ball that pitched outside the leg stump line.
Pollard saw off the hat-trick delivery, then proceeded to smash the Barbados bowlers to all parts of the ground in a 148-run partnership with Fletcher.
Pollard hit eight massive sixes, including a monster straight shot that disappeared over the grandstand, and added six fours in a 54-ball knock that saw him caught in the deep the ball after reaching his century.
The 31-year-old is one of the world's best, and most destructive, T20 players but incredibly this was his first century in his 427th match. His previous highest score in T20 cricket had been 89.
Barbados opener Dwayne Smith hit 58 in response, but the visitors lost regular wickets and failed to have the top-order acceleration to keep pace with the asking rate.
Afghanistan 18-year-old leg-spinner Qais Ahmed claimed the wicket of Smith, then celebrated with a somersault, and when he had Hashim Amla stumped in his second over performed an acrobatic flying judo-style kick.
Steve Smith then put on a 58-run partnership with Shai Hope, with his unorthodox technique and keen eye allowing him to pierce the field for three boundaries, and he picked Mitchell McClenaghan's slower ball to smash a six over deep square leg.
When he sliced a drive high to deep cover it left Barbados five down and still 61 runs from the target with just 16 balls remaining.