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Rediff.com  » Sports » Pollard's 18-ball 54 takes Trinidad and Tobago past NSW

Pollard's 18-ball 54 takes Trinidad and Tobago past NSW

Last updated on: October 17, 2009 00:02 IST

- Scorecard

Keiren Pollard hit a whirlwind 18-ball unbeaten 54 as Trinidad and Tobago beat New South Wales Blues by four wickets in a League B match and moved a step closer towards a semi-final spot in the inaugural Champions League T20 in Hyderabad on Friday.

Pollard struck five fours and as many sixes to single-handedly haul the Caribbean side from the claws of defeat and seal victory with nine balls to spare.

Apart from Pollard, captain Darren Ganga (32 off 26), Darren Bravo (27 off 24) and Denesh Ramdin (23 off 13) shone with the bat before being run-out.

For the Australians, Brett Lee, Moises Henriques and Doug Bollinger claimed a wicket each.

Chasing an imposing 171 for victory, Trinidad & Tobago lost their way after an early burst from William Perkins.

Perkins (16 off 13) showed early promise, hitting two boundaries and a six, but his over-aggression led to his downfall, caught by Nathan Hauritz off Lee.

Trinidad & Tobago dug a hole for themselves, losing two more quick wickets in the form of Lendl Simmons and danger-man Dwayne Bravo.

Simmons was caught in front of the wicket by Bollinger, while Bravo was held at fine-leg by Bollinger off Henriques.

However, Ganga and Darren Bravo were in no mood to give up without a fight and put on 47 runs for the fifth wicket.

Hauritz came in for some beating at the hands of the duo, as both Ganga and Darren Bravo hit the off-spinner for a six each to give some momentum to the Trinidad & Tobago run chase.

Just when Ganga and Darren Bravo started to accelerate the innings, both the batsmen fell to unnecessary run-outs.

But wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and Pollard had other plans as they welcomed Steven Smith with a 15-run over to keep alive the chase.

With Ramdin running himself out, Pollard took the onus on his shoulders and completely changed the complexion of the match in one over.

He demolished Henriques for two back-to-back fours and then followed it up with three sixes to pile a massive 27 runs of the 17th over and reduce the equation for his side.

Needing 16 off 12 balls, Simon Katich committed a blunder by handing the ball to Henriques. Pollard clobbered the pacer for a four and two sixes to finish off the match in style.

Earlier, the opening pair of Philip Hughes and David Warner made merry against an inexperienced Trinidad and Tobago attack as New South Wales posted a mammoth 170 for four.

Hughes played a destructive 64-ball 83-run innings while Warner hit a quickfire 63 off 41 balls as the duo raised 121 runs for the opening wicket to set the platform for the big total.

Dwayne Bravo was Trinidad and Tobago's most successful bowler with figures of three for 31, while left-arm Chinaman bowler Dave Mohammed took one wicket, giving away 26 runs.

Opting to bat, New South Wales got off to a rousing start as Warner and Hughes scored 24 runs in the first two overs. Both the left-handers were in a murderous mood from the word go as they clobbered Ravi Rampaul for three boundaries to pile up 14 runs in the opening over.

Sensing the ease with which the NSW openers were negotiating the pacers, Darren Ganga introduced his brother, Sherwin, into the attack in the third over and the off-spinner did justice to his skipper's call, giving away just 17 runs in his four overs.

However, his good work was undone by Darren Bravo at the other end as Hughes struck him for two fours in the same over through midwicket to take NSW to 50 for no loss at the end of the Powerplay.

The Caribbean side's problems were compounded by their bowlers' inability to pick wickets as Hughes and Warner piled up 71 runs by the halfway mark of the innings.

With wickets in hand, Warner cut loose in the 12th over and hit leg-spinner Samuel Badree for three sixes and a four to notch his fifty in just 31 balls.

In search of quick runs, Warner's explosive innings, which included five fours and three huge sixes, finally ended when Dwayne Bravo caught him off Dave Mohammed.

It could have been double delight for Mohammed had the bowler latched on to a straightforward chance from Hughes off the next delivery.

The Caribbean side finally got something to cheer about in the final over as Bravo scalped Moises Henriques (17 off 10) and Hughes with back-to-back deliveries and then Ben Rohrer with the final ball of the innings.

Hughes was going great guns with 11 fours and a six before he was caught by Keiron Pollard off Bravo.

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