Pollard's 3rd ton pulls WI out of trouble
Sydney, Australia – Kieron Pollard single-handedly pulled West Indies back from the brink of disaster with a brilliant century in the fourth One-Day International at Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
The powerfully-built six-footer made 109 not out of the Windies’ 220 all out – which did not look possible after the score slipped to 98-7 off 32 overs when skipper Darren Sammy fell for 25.
Pollard engineered a revival as the last three wickets put together 123 runs in under 18 overs to set Australia a challenging target. The home side eventually made 221-5 to take a 4-0 lead in the series.
He added 64 for the ninth wicket with Sunil Narine, who made 23 off 22 balls. Pollard batted solidly and looked in full control as he demonstrated tremendous resilience and powers of concentration. He faced 136 balls and hit 11 fours and two sixes – one of which cleared the boundary at long on and hit a security guard in the head.
Pollard also had to overcome testing short bowling from the Australians. He was struck painfully on the fingers but recovered to post the third century of his ODI career. The others were: 119 off 110 balls against India in Chennai in December, 2011; and 102 off 70 balls against Australia in St Lucia last March.
“I had a job to do for the team so I decided I would settle in and buckle down and look to bat all the way to the end. We were in trouble so I had to stand up and play a big innings. I had to play according to the situation. I couldn’t just come out and go after the bowling. It required me to dig in and dig deep,” Pollard said.
It was Pollard’s first major score of the tour following 0 and 1 at the WACA Ground in Perth and 9 in the third match at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
“In the first game we got skittled out, in the second game I holed out with the team in a terrific position to win, so I was pretty disappointed with that. I wanted to come and do well in the third game but I got run out with the game well set-up, but today I backed myself. I knew once I got a start I would get a score and make a significant contribution,” he said.
“I felt I played really well and in the end I was happy I was able to get a score for the team. It wasn’t easy as the Aussies kept coming at me. They bowled well but I just made sure I played ‘my game’ and it worked out for me.”
The two teams travel to Melbourne on Saturday where they will face-off in the fifth and final ODI on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. First ball is 2:20 pm (11:20 pm Saturday Caribbean Time/10:20 pm Jamaica Time).
Meanwhile, opener Chris Gayle will undergo a fitness test on Sunday to determine if he will be able to play in the final ODI. He sustained an injury to his left side while fielding during the third ODI last Wednesday and missed the fourth match.