ST. JOHN’S: Akila Dananjaya went from hero to zero in the space of two overs, claiming a hat-trick before being smashed for six sixes by Kieron Pollard as West Indies beat Sri Lanka by four wickets in their first Twenty20 international at Antigua on Wednesday.
The feat came in the sixth over of a bizarre West Indies innings as captain Pollard followed in the footsteps of South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs against the Netherlands in the 2007 50-over World Cup and India’s Yuvraj Singh, who achieved the feat in the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup against England.
Pollard was eventually out for 38 off 11 balls as the West Indies chased 132 to win at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, reaching their target in the 14th over when Jason Holder clobbered his side’s 13th six.
“I felt I could hit six sixes after the third one,” said 33-year-old Pollard.
Only eight men have hit six sixes in an over in all forms of cricket with fellow West Indian Garfield Sobers the first to do so in an English county game in 1968.
West Indies’ openers Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons bludgeoned 52 off the first 20 balls as the two-time T20 world champions looked comfortably on course.
However, having hit three sixes off three balls off Mathews’ opening over, Lewis was caught by Danushka Gunathilaka in the deep off Dananjaya for 28.
That brought 41-year-old Chris Gayle to the crease for his first international appearance in two years. But he lasted just one ball when he was plumb lbw to Dananjaya who then completed his hat-trick by having Nicholas Pooran caught behind by Niroshan Dickwella.
The West Indies were 52-3 which soon became 62-4 when leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga dismissed Simmons for 26 before Pollard launched his demolition job. Hasaranga survived the carnage and finished with figures of 3-12 off his four overs.
Despite his hat-trick, Dananjaya’s four overs cost 62 runs.
Sri Lanka, bidding to win a match for the first time in a year, made a below-par 131-9.
The tourists were asked to bat with Pathum Nissanka marking his Sri Lanka debut by top scoring with 39 off 34 balls including four fours and one of his team’s three sixes. The 22-year-old batsman shared a 51-run second wicket partnership with Dickwella, who made 33.
N. Dickwella b Holder 33
M.D. Gunathilaka c Pollard b Sinclair 4
P. Nissanka st Pooran b Allen 39
L.D. Chandimal c Holder b McCoy 11
A.D. Mathews c Simmons b Edwards 5
N.L.T.C. Perera c Bravo b McCoy 1
W. Hasaranga c Allen b Bravo 12
K.N.A. Bandara run out 10
A. Dananjaya not out 9
P.V.D. Chameera run out 2
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-3) 5
TOTAL (for nine wkts, 20 overs) 131
FALL OF WKTS: 1-20, 2-71, 3-83, 4-96, 5-97, 6-106, 7-111, 8-126, 9-131.
DID NOT BAT: N. Pradeep
BOWLING: Sinclair 3-0-26-1; Edwards 4-0-29-1 (1w); Holder 4-0-19-1; McCoy 4-0-25-2 (2w); Bravo 4-0-26-1; Allen 1-0-4-1.
L.M.P. Simmons lbw b Hasaranga 26
E. Lewis c Gunathilaka b Dananjaya 28
C.H. Gayle lbw b Dananjaya 0
N. Pooran c Dickwella b Dananjaya 0
K.A. Pollard lbw b Hasaranga 38
J.O. Holder not out 29
F.A. Allen lbw b Hasaranga 0
D.J. Bravo not out 4
EXTRAS (LB-4, W-4, NB-1) 9
TOTAL (for six wkts, 13.1 overs) 134
FALL OF WKTS: 1-52, 2-52, 3-52, 4-62, 5-101, 6-101.
DID NOT BAT: K. Sinclair, O.C. McCoy, F.H. Edwards.
BOWLING: Mathews 1-0-19-0; Dananjaya 4-0-62-3; Chameera 3-0-29-0 (1nb, 4w); Hasaranga 4-0-12-3; Bandara 1-0-2-0; Pradeep 0.1-0-6-0.
RESULT: West Indies won by four wickets to lead three-match series 1-0.
UMPIRES: G.O. Brathwaite (West Indies) and N. Duguid (West Indies).
TV UMPIRE: L.A. Reifer (West Indies).
MATCH REFEREE: R.B. Richardson (West Indies).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Kieron Pollard.
SECOND MATCH: Coolidge, Friday (3:00am PST on Saturday).
THIRD MATCH: Coolidge, Sunday (3:00am PST on Monday).
Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2021