Following the news that West Indian superstar Kieron Pollard will be joining Surrey for this summer’s Vitality Blast campaign, we pick out 10 whirlwind knocks from an extraordinary career.
1. Trinidad & Tobago v New South Wales
Hyderabad, 16 October, 2009
Champions League T20
54* from 18 balls, 5 fours, 5 sixes
“An innings that would transform not only his life but T20 cricket,” wrote Tim Wigmore and Freddie Wilde in Cricket 2.0. “Quite suddenly, no total was safe, no target was out of reach and no asking rate was too steep.” Trinidad & Tobago looked sunk in their Champions League encounter with NSW, but a 22-year-old Pollard turned the match on its head, blitzing 54* from 18 balls, including 27 in the space of just six deliveries. Three months later he was picked up by Mumbai Indians for $750k, making him the joint most expensive player at the IPL auction. A star had been born.
2. Middlesex v Somerset
Lord’s, 9 June, 2010
89* from 45 balls, 7 fours, 7 sixes
Pollard’s first innings in English domestic cricket and he wasted no time in making a big impression, overcoming a strong Middlesex side which featured Adam Gilchrist, Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan. Coming to the crease at 29/3 following the dismissal of Jos Buttler, the Trinidadian lit up Lord’s with an unforgettable display of hitting, dispatching seven sixes to take Somerset to their target of 156 with 13 balls to spare.
3. Leeward Islands v Trinidad & Tobago
North Sound, 11 January, 2012
56* from 15 balls, 2 fours, 7 sixes
The fastest half-century in his T20 career, reached from just 14 balls – only five players in the history of the game have reached the milestone more quickly. After openers Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath laid a solid platform, Pollard came in at No.4 and went ballistic in the final five overs, hitting seven of the 15 deliveries he faced over the boundary ropes and setting up a crushing 167-run victory.
4. West Indies v Australia
Colombo, 5 October, 2012
World T20 semi-final
38 from 15 balls, 3 fours, 3 sixes
Perhaps the most significant innings of Pollard’s illustrious international career, this brutal cameo on the big stage of a global semi-final took West Indies from a strong position to an utterly commanding one. He entered the fray with his side 140/3. Four overs later they had posted 205/4 and had one foot in the final. Pollard then took two wickets, including that of Aussie skipper George Bailey, to confirm a comprehensive victory. West Indies would go on to beat Sri Lanka in the final to lift their first World T20 trophy.
5. Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers
Mumbai, 13 May, 2013
Indian Premier League
66 from 27 balls, 2 fours, 8 sixes
“He’s a guy that can win games from nowhere,” said John Wright, the former Mumbai Indians coach. “It gives you hope [as a team], and I think that’s a big thing in T20. It’s that never-say-die attitude – fearlessness and no regrets. Sometimes you have to pinch yourself.” This IPL clash with Sunrisers was a prime example, as Pollard seized the game by the scruff of the neck and achieved the unthinkable. Mumbai needed 62 from the last four overs and appeared to be slipping towards defeat when the Trinidadian moved into top gear, dishing out particularly severe treatment to Thisara Perera and taking his team home with three balls to spare.
6. Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings
Kolkata, 26 May, 2013
Indian Premier League final
60* from 32 balls, 7 fours, 3 sixes
A fortnight later and Pollard was at it again, this time in the cacophony of Eden Gardens. Mumbai were struggling at 52/4 when their gun all-rounder came to the wicket and he held the innings together, at first playing watchfully and then unfurling his strokes at the death to carry his team to a competitive 148. Of the 21 boundaries in their innings, 10 came from the bat of Pollard, and it proved to be a match-winning effort as Mumbai emerged victorious by 23 runs, lifting their first IPL title.
7. Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians
Bengaluru, 14 April, 2017
Indian Premier League
70 from 47 balls, 3 fours 5 sixes
Another near-solo effort from Pollard, who came to the crease with Mumbai having slumped to 7/4, which soon became 33/5. Chasing 143 for victory, Pollard paced his innings to perfection, cruising to a 41-ball half-century before opening his shoulders to mastermind a thrilling victory against a star-studded RCB outfit which included Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
8. St Lucia Stars v Barbados Tridents
Gros Islet, 17 August, 2018
Caribbean Premier League
104 from 54 balls, 6 fours, 8 sixes
Pollard’s first, and to date only, T20 hundred – a magnificent effort against a strong Barbados attack spearheaded by Jason Holder and Wahab Riaz. Arriving at the crease in the fifth over, he cleared the ropes on eight occasions and brought up his century in 53 balls, setting up a commanding win for St Lucia.
9. New Zealand v West Indies
Auckland, 27 November, 2020
75* from 37 balls, 4 fours, 8 sixes
Another Pollard blitz which featured eight sixes, this is his highest score in T20I cricket and one of the six half-centuries he made in the format before announcing his international retirement in April. Eden Park wasn’t big enough for the hard-hitting Trinidadian, as he carted the Kiwi attack to all parts in a scintillating innings.
10. Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians
Delhi, 1 May, 2021
Indian Premier League
87* from 34 balls, 6 fours, 8 sixes
Another epic chase of the kind which Pollard has come to specialise in, Mumbai reeled in the eventual IPL champions to pull off a smash-and-grab win. Needing 219 for victory, Pollard brought the equation down to 16 required from the final over, to be bowled by Lungi Ngidi, and finished off the job all by himself, completing the second-highest successful chase in IPL history.