Trinidad & Tobago 171-6 (Pollard 54no) beat
New South Wales 170-4 (Hughes 83, Warner 63) by four wickets
Airtel Champions League Twenty20 League A, Hyderabad
Some stunning late hitting from Kieron Pollard protected Trinidad & Tobago's unbeaten run in the Champions League, his unbeaten 54 in 18 balls condemning New South Wales to a surprise four-wicket defeat in Hyderabad.
It was a surprise because after half-centuries from Phillip Hughes and David Warner enabled them to post 170 for four, New South Wales appeared to be on course for victory before Pollard thumped an 18-ball half-century, 27 of his runs coming from the 17th over bowled by Moises Henriques.
Up until that point, the West Indians were losing wickets and losing their way as the run-rate spiralled seemingly out of control. From needing 51 to win in five overs, by taking Henriques for three sixes and two fours after a wide, in the space of seven deliveries, Pollard had got his side ahead of the rate.
Eight runs from Brett Lee meant 16 were needed from eight balls but Pollard was in no mood to hang around, hitting Henriques for four, six and then six again from his next over, ending the game with nine balls to spare.
It represented an impressive turnaround after New South Wales won the toss, chose to bat, and left-handed openers Hughes (83) and Warner (63) put on 121 for the opening wicket, sharing 16 boundaries and four sixes.
Dwayne Bravo hit back to finish with three for 31, dismissing Hughes, Henriques (17) and Ben Rohrer 92) but the odds were stacked heavily against Trinidad & Tobago chasing 171, and particularly when Lee, Doug Bollinger and Henriques made inroads to their batting.
The big-hitting top three of Lendl Simmons, William Perkins and Bravo contributed jusdt 20 runs, and although Daren Ganga hit 32, Darren Bravo 27 and Denesh Ramdin 23, it looked for all the world as if New South Wales had done enough to hold on.
Not so, and Twenty20 cricket teaches us many things - one of which is that a match is never dead until it's over and Pollard, by hitting five fours and five sixes, gave New South Wales the shock of their lives. Henriques, with figures of one for 49 from 3.3 overs, conceded his runs at an expense rate of 14 - economy is not the word while leg-spinner Stephen Smith fared little better, his two overs disappearing for 27 runs.
© Cricket World 2009