Following his blistering match-winning knock on Saturday, Kieron Pollard described the pitch at Central Broward Regional Stadium as “very good” and said he is looking forward to Sunday’s second Digicel T20 against New Zealand.
Pollard smoked 63 not out off just 29 balls with five fours and five massive sixes. He batted alongside the equally destructive Chris Gayle who cracked 85 not out with seven fours and five sixes off 52 balls.
They added an amazing 108 runs in the final seven overs as West Indies rattled up a record 209 for two off their 20 overs. Earlier Gayle added 74 with Johnson Charles, who made 24 with three boundaries. New Zealand were then rolled over for 153 as the West Indies won by 56 runs to take a 1-0 series lead.
The brilliant batting of Pollard and Gayle sent the crowd of more than 15,000 into frenzied celebration. Pollard, who got off the mark with a huge six off the first ball he faced, was full of praise for Gayle and the way he played on the placid surface.
“When I went in, it just a matter of supporting Chris as we looked to build a partnership. It was a very good pitch for batting and when I hit my first ball I realised things could go our way. We all know the kind of player Chris is so once we both got in we were able to target the bowlers close to the end of the innings,” Pollard said.
“The atmosphere was good. It was a huge advantage for us, the way the fans came out and supported us so that helped to make feel relaxed and at home. We have some areas to improve on and I believe the more we play things will sharpen up.”
Gayle’s assessment was: “It’s a good start, a slow track but a good start for us. Charles played a good innings but credit must go to Kieron for taking the pressure off me. I think power’s a key factor, you don’t want to do a lot of running, you can accelerate in the end.”
The 32-year-old added: “Tomorrow we have another match right here and we have to come out and start over again. Today gave us some good momentum so hopefully tomorrow we can come back and get another good win for the people.”
In the second half of the match, off-spinner Sunil Narine then grabbed three wickets and was backed by some superb fielding as New Zealand fell short. Wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin had two sharp stumping and direct hits by Darren Sammy and debutant Samuel Badree resulted in two run outs.
The second and final Digicel T20 is on Sunday is 2 pm (1 pm Jamaica Time.).
DIGICEL 2012 SERIES
New Zealand to West Indies
Match schedule (All times local)
Digicel Twenty20 Series
1: 2nd Digicel Twenty20 – Central Broward Regional Park – 2 p.m.
Digicel One-day International Series
5: 1st Digicel ODI – Sabina Park, Jamaica – 9:30 a.m.
7: 2nd Digicel ODI – Sabina Park – 9:30 a.m.
11: 3rd Digicel ODI – Warner Park, St. Kitts – 9:30 a.m.
14: 4th Digicel ODI – Warner Park – 9:30 a.m.
16: 5th Digicel ODI – Warner Park – 9:30 a.m.
20-22: West Indies-A vs New Zealand – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua – 10 a.m.
Digicel Test Series
25-29: 1st Digicel Test – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground – 10 a.m.
2-6: 2nd Digicel Test – Sabina Park – 10 a.m.