IN?AN?ATTEMPT TO?WIN their support, Kieron Pollard had pledged to put on a performance for the home fans. And he delivered.
Pollard, whose appointment as captain of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) franchise, Barbados Tridents, had been met with opposition from some Barbadians, played his way into their hearts with a memorable, match winning performance Tuesday night at Kensington Oval.
His sizzling unbeaten knock of 61, coupled with a three-wicket haul, helped propel the Tridents to an exciting 17-run victory over the St Lucia Zouks in the first match of the competition.
“For me, it’s all about cricket and performing on the cricket field because that’s what I know to do,” a tired looking Pollard told the media at the post-match Press conference.
“That’s the God-given talent that I have and that’s all that
I want to do.
“I was playing international cricket and I wasn’t scoring any runs, so if I get an opportunity to score runs in any cricket, for me [it] is fantastic.
Despite his heroics, which also saw him take three catches, Pollard said the victory was due to a team performance.
He said although several players might not have had their best start to the competition, it was just their first match together and fingers should not be pointed.
“It’s good to perform when the team wins, but having said that, it is about a total team effort.
“I think Shoaib [Malik] batted pretty well. We lost a couple early wickets and he stayed there and helped to settle things by getting boundaries and rotatingthe strike.
“Some guys bowled well, and for other guys, it didn’t come off today. But you expect that because it’s the first game that we are playing together as a team and you expect these sort of things.”
Man of the Match Malik helped rescue the innings with a whirlwind 78 off 51 balls and with Pollard, put on 88 runs for the fifth wicket that helped the Tridents get up to their eventual total. He said it was a delight to have played such a pivotal role.
The out-of-favour Pakistani acknowledged that as one of the more experienced players in the team much was expected of him.
“I had the responsibility to rotate the strike and to bat until the 20th over and that is what I did,” he told reporters.
“Even though we lost four early wickets, my goal was to bat until the end. At the end of the day, we won, but we still need to improve, especially our first six overs in bowling.”
Not only did his knock help lead his team to victory, but Malik will also go down in history as the first player to score a half century in the CPL.
It is a recognition which Malik was very pleased to have achieved.
“It is a great honour and I am very proud; but at the end of the day, my goal is to be consistent.
“That is key for a batsman, and I hope to perform whenever I play or whenever I get the opportunity,” Malik said.