Friday, 28 January 2022

Pollard remembers school coach’s advice in six-hitting finish


DUBAI: Kieron Pollard, the big-hitting West Indies allrounder, stuck to the advice he got from his coach in school -“ten runs are achievable in two balls – to seal a stunning win for Karachi Kings and keep them in the hunt for a Pakistan Super League play-off spot. The dasher from Trinidad smashed two towering sixes off the last two balls of the match to pull off a thrilling five-wicket victory. Pollard, who finished with an unbeaten 20-ball 45 with four sixes and a boundary, smashed the fifth ball over long-off and the last towards deep midwicket to seal the win. “A game is never over until it’s over,” said Pollard after the match. “One coach coming through school always told us that and ten in two, that’s two boundaries. Once there is a situation, and there is belief – and deep down inside we had a bit of belief – and luckily enough tonight it came off.” Pollard, who added 55 for the sixth wicket with Imad Wasim, said he kept his cool as it was just a cricket match. “First of all, to keep a cool head, we’re just trying to make contact with the deliveries first. To get runs, you have to make contact with the ball and it’s just a matter of doing that. And with keeping calm when you look at it, it’s just a cricket match at the end of the day. Yes, if we had lost we’d have got knocked out but it’s not a life or death situation so it makes no sense stressing too much about it. There’s so many things in life to stress about than stressing in a cricket match.”

“Obviously my reputation around the world is for hitting sixes. So I know once I’m there that the bowler is going to be under pressure as well and it’s just a matter of trying to execute and getting ball on to bat. Luckily enough tonight, it went our way.” Pollard celebrated the win by doing push-ups similar to what Misbah-ul-Haq did after Pakistan won the Lord’s Test against England last year. He described that as “a spur of the moment” reaction. “It was just in the moment. You know, when the adrenaline is pumping things happen. It was a matter of enjoying that little moment and then back to normal,” said Pollard, who hoped the win would lift Karachi. “In T20 cricket these sort of games change momentum. Guys start to believe a bit more and that’s what we need in our dressing room. We had a frank chat today at the hotel and we knew we had to come up and come out big tonight. It’s a big task because to go all the way through now, we have to win four games but at the end of the day we live to see another day,” said Pollard, who also backed a misfiring Chris Gayle, dropped for this match after a poor run of form. “Obviously it’s disappointing to see a fellow team-mate not play but there are other guys who haven’t played as well. Gayle is a big player in his right, his stats show for himself and I’m sure if he gets another opportunity in this tournament he’s going to win a couple of games and it might be when we need him the most, perhaps in the semi-final and final so let’s not count him out just yet.”

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