kieron Pollard's hurricane ton gives india the jitters before hosts wrap up one-day series over west indies 4-1 in Chennai
India's Manoj Tiwary walked away with the man of the match honours, but West Indian Kieron Pollard's century here yesterday will be etched in memory for those who witnessed his brutal hitting in the fifth and final ODI at the M A Chidambaram Stadium.
Done it: West Indies' Kieron Pollard celebrates his century in Chennai
Pollard's exploits in Twenty20 are well known and documented through his stint with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and Champions League. Indian crowds watched yet again what he could do with his willow and broad frame. His 119 off 110 balls. He hit more sixes than fours -- 4 x 4, 10 x 6 -- to give India the jitters. If only he had better support from the rest of his team! But, experts reckon he should be batting higher up the order.
India's Manoj Tiwary walks back to the dressing room after retiring hurt
due to cramps in Chennai yesterday. Pic/AFP
Stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir summed up his innings in apt fashion: "Every ball he middled was going out of the ground." Doubtless, in the opinion of pundits, the award deserved to be shared. India wrapped up the series 4-1 through their 34-run win here. But as their perky skipper Darren Sammy said, "we can hold our heads up."
"The attitude was good to see. I'd like to congratulate the boys on the effort, the way they supported me in the tough series. We can only move forward from here. Congratulations to Sehwag and his team," added Sammy, who lost the Test series 2-0.
The tourists were bowled out for 233 in reply to India's 267-6 with Pollard being the last man to be dismissed in the match - caught in the deep by Ajinkya Rahane off Suresh Raina.
The Indians reduced West Indies to 78-5 in the 16th over before Pollard and Andre Russell got together for a rollicking sixth wicket partnership of 89 off 79 balls. The association was broken when Russell was run out by Gambhir for 53 (42 balls, 5 x 4, 3 x 6).
Three quick wickets and West Indies were 213 for nine, but Pollard reached his maiden ODI century with Anthony Martin at the other end. Tiwary's knock was priceless as he helped India prosper after a crisis. He made his first game in the series memorable at a time when he lost the Bengal captaincy. Gambhir gave the impression that his team did not panic too much when Pollard was toying with the bowling.
"In the end, it was a matter of just one ball, but the bowlers had to stick to line and length. It was also good to see Manoj get a hundred, hopefully he will go on and get many more," said Gambhir. Tiwary put on 83 for the third wicket with Gambhir and 117 for the fourth with Virat Kohli. He had to retire owing to cramps. Kohli once again played a superlative knock - 80 in 85 balls.
Sehwag, Ravichandran Ashwin and Vinay Kumar were rested while Irfan Pathan made his first ODI appearance for India since February 2009. He got rid of the West Indies openers after managing only four with the bat.