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Pollard’s knock of 75 not enough as NZ win 1st T20I

November 28, 2020

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The first T20I between New Zealand and West Indies was jam-packed with nail-biting action and spectacular individual performances. Lockie Ferguson was undoubtedly the star of the show. With bowling figures of 5/21, Ferguson ran riot against the Indies batsmen.

Indies, after batting first, got off to a flying start. Andrew Fletcher was later dismissed by Ferguson at 34. Brandon King did not deliver with the bat as he got dismissed at just 13. Ferguson and Tim Southee took apart the middle order with ease. Things were not looking good for WI. After Nicholas Pooran’s dismissal, West Indies were down to 59/5.

Pollard’s game-changing innings of 75 ultimately futile

In stepped the WI captain Kieron Pollard. Pollard was terrific with MI in IPL 2020. In 16 matches, Pollard smashed 268 runs and picked up 4 wickets in the entire season. Pollard averaged an outstanding strike rate of 191.42, showing he’s still one of WI’s most explosive batsmen.

Pollard knew that his team needed runs on the board. WI needed a strong total considering how strong a batting lineup NZ had. Pollard then hit 75 runs off just 37 balls. Pollard smashed 4 fours and 8 sixes in his innings, with a strike rate of around 202. This was Pollard’s best batting record in his T20I career. Pollard and Fabian Allen, helped WI achieve a strong total of 180 in 16 overs. However, Pollard's outstanding knock proved futile as NZ somehow managed to chase the total.

With a revised target of 176, Guptill and Tim Seifert opened for New Zealand. However, the openers did not impress much as they got out for 5 and 17 runs respectively. Devon Conway helped the Kiwis narrow down on the total with 41 runs off 29 runs. Glen Phillips helped his partner, contributing with a quickfire 22 off just 7 balls. Ross Taylor did not deliver even though much was expected of him. The veteran did not score a single run and was out after facing just 4 deliveries.

The partnership between James Neesham and Mitchell Santner helped NZ reach the winning line. James Neesham managed to smack 4 sixes in his innings, hitting 48 runs in just 24 balls. Meanwhile, Santner also played a quickfire knock of 31 off just 18 balls. Eventually, such short and quickfire knocks were enough to help NZ go 1-0 up in the T20I series.

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