Kieron Pollard become just the third player to smash six sixes in an over in international cricket, as the West Indies stormed to a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their first Twenty20 in Antigua.
Pollard’s incredible innings of 38 off just 11 balls stole the headlines away from Akila Dananjaya, after the Sri Lanka legspinner claimed a hat-trick which included Chris Gayle’s first-ball duck.
Dananjaya experienced the precipitous highs and lows of the T20 game when he was the victim of Pollard’s brutal batting attack. Chasing 132 for victory, the hosts won the match with 41 balls to spare.
Dananjaya became only the 15th player and the fourth Sri Lankan to take a T20 international hat-trick when he dismissed Evin Lewis (28), Gayle and Nicholas Pooran (nought) with consecutive deliveries in the fourth over.
He had little time to reflect on his new-found fame when it turned to notoriety: in his next over he was hit to all parts of the ground by Pollard, who become only the second player after Yuvraj Singh to hit six sixes in an over in a T20 international and the third player to achieve the feat in all international formats – the first being Herschelle Gibbs in an ODI.
Pollard said he thought six sixes was a possibility “after the third one.” “I just had to come out and back myself,” he said. “It was something the team needed. I didn’t see the hat-trick, I only heard. But I still had to come out and do what the team required at that point in time.”
Dananjaya’s see-sawing fortunes – he was hit for a seventh consecutive six by Jason Holder in his next over and had two catches dropped from his bowling – turned the West Indies’ simple chase for a 1-0 series lead into a thrilling spectacle.
Sri Lanka managed only 131-9 after being sent in to bat. The West Indies seemed likely to rapidly run down the Sri Lanka total when Lewis hit the last three balls of the first over for six.
But Dananjaya’s hat-trick saw the home side slip to 52-3, losing Gayle to the first ball of his first T20 in two years. Pollard’s barrage in the sixth over had the hosts coasting to victory.
There was an anti-climax when de Silva dismissed Pollard (38) and Fabian Allen with consecutive deliveries in the seventh over. The West Indies were were seen home by Dwayne Bravo (4 no) and captain Jason Holder, who made an unbeaten 29.