24th Jan, 2023
MI Emirates skipper Kieron Pollard continued from where he left on Sunday night at the Zayed Cricket Stadium here, as he came up with another blazing half century, his second of the tournament in a row, but ended up on the losing side after Alex Hales and Sherfane Rutherford came together to power the Desert Vipers to a seven-wicket win on Tuesday.
Not only by his batting, Pollard also lifted the morale of the side by plucking a one-handed blinder on the ropes to get the prized scalp of his opposite number Colin Munro, who looked threatening with his 22-ball 41. And two balls later, Samit Patel struck again removing Sam Billings (1) to apply the brakes on the Vipers’ chase before Hales (62 off 44 balls) and Rutherford (56 off 29 balls) got them over the line with a 94-run fourth wicket partnership.
Earlier, joining forces as early as the ninth over of the innings with the MI Emirates’ scoreboard reading 53/3, the Trinidadian pair forged a sublime 116-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Pollard finished unbeaten 67 off 39 balls, laced with a boundary and six mighty sixes, while Pooran scored a 49-ball 57, powered by four hits to the fence and twice over it. MI Emirates finished with 169/5 on the scoreboard.
Pooran was also instrumental in helping the MI Emirates build the innings with Jamaican Andre Fletcher (21 off 18 balls) with a 43-run third wicket stand after being asked to bat by the Desert Vipers. The duo looked good for a long innings together before Fletcher, who added 15 runs after receiving a reprieve on 6, was run out while attempting to sneak in a single.
Reflecting on the loss, MI Emirates pace spearhead Trent Boult said, “Not to use it as an excuse, but generally the wickets in the second innings do become a little more friendlier to bat on. I definitely think it was a different surface, probably a bit drier than the one during our batting innings.”
“We have been a part of some great games, the batters have done a fantastic job for us. As a bowling group, we probably haven’t been able to match the standards we have set but those couple of things we need to work on and that’s T20 cricket where we need to set small targets and hopefully we can tighten them soon,” he added.
“Exciting to play with the local players, skill can take them far, they have the chances of learning a lot from the likes of Pollard, Bravo, and the other senior guys in the dressing room. It’s great to be paying along side them,” he added on being asked about the contribution of the local players in the side.