In one of the more ridiculous T20 run-chases you will witness, Kieron Pollard became just the third player to hit six sixes in an over in international cricket off the same bowler, Akila Dananjaya, who had rocked West Indies’ chase just an over earlier with a hat-trick.
It felt like it was either sixes or wickets for most of West Indies’ innings as an opening stand of 52 in 3.2 became 52 for 3 when Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle (on his comeback) and Nicholas Pooran fell in three balls to Dananjaya. Eight balls later Lendl Simmons also departed, lbw to the impressive Wanindu Hasaranga, before Pollard’s immense response.
Facing the next over from Dananjaya he joined Herschelle Gibbs and Yuvraj Singh in having taken 36 off an over with some of the shots almost going out of the small ground in Antigua. West Indies’ power-play tally of 98 was also a new record and the wild ride continued when Pollard was also lbw to Hasaranga before relative calm was brought to the game’s final minutes by Jason Holder, who was returning to the T20I fold.
His 29 off 24 balls saw West Indies home with four wickets and 41 balls to spare after they had limited Sri Lanka to a sub-par 131 for 9, on what was a good batting surface. Such was the feast and famine nature of West Indies’ batting – 75% of their runs (102) came in boundaries off just 19 deliveries – that the innings required Holder’s steadying touch despite all the preceding pyrotechnics.
Summarized scores: West Indies 134 for 6 (Pollard 38, Hasaranga 3-12) beat Sri Lanka 131 for 9 (Nissanka 39, McCoy 2-25) by four wickets
Next game-Friday 5th March at the Coolidge grounds, starting at 6 pm