Cricket

Pollard's knock keeps Stars' play-off hopes alive

Sunday, August 26, 2018

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GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC) — Captain Kieron Pollard blasted an unbeaten 41 from just 18 balls to lead the St Lucia Stars to a much-needed victory over table leaders Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) here Friday.

Chasing the Warriors' modest total of 140 for nine in their 20 overs, the Stars eased to only their second win of the competition in seven outings, finishing on 141 for four with 11 balls to spare.

The win kept the slim play-off hopes of the bottom-of-the-table Stars alive, while the defeat dropped the Warriors to second position behind the Trinbago Knight Riders, who have a similar record but a better net run rate.

The contest had looked set for a gripping finish, with the Stars requiring 31 runs off the last three overs.

But Pollard put any doubts of a surprise Warriors victory to bed when he smashed legspinner Devendra Bishoo for 30 runs in the 18th over.

The powerful Trinidadian dispatched the West Indies' spinner over the boundary ropes for three huge sixes and three boundaries in what proved to be the second most expensive over in this year's CPL.

His heroics left Fletcher the simplest of tasks, and he collected a single of Rayad Emrit's first ball of the next over to secure the victory.

Fletcher finished unbeaten on 45 from 46 balls and contained two fours and one six.

Earlier, the Amazon Warriors had looked set for a big total after openers Chadwick Walton and Luke Ronchi belted Stars' opening bowlers Mitchell McClenaghan and Odean Smith for 33 runs inside three overs.

But once McClenaghan got rid of Ronchi for 24 off just nine balls, the Warriors lost wickets at regular intervals, causing the run rate to drop drastically.

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