Pollard’s knock not enough

ADELAIDE – West Indies batsman and Twenty20 specialist Kieron Pollard had a terrific game for Adelaide Strikers against Brisbane Heat but the Heat pinched a dramatic last-ball win in the KFC T20 Big Bash League match today.

Pollard, a day after arriving in Adelaide, smashed 48 runs from just 23 balls as the Strikers posted 185 for 8 from their 20 overs.

The Trinidad and Tobago star then took two clutch wickets and fluked a run-out as Brisbane were left with four runs to win from the final ball.Brisbane’s Chris Hartley hit the ultimate delivery from Striker speedster Gary Putland over cover towards the boundary and the batsmen ran three as Callum Ferguson dived to stop the ball.

But replays showed Ferguson failed by a whisker to halt the ball and, after an agonising minute-long review as players stood mid-pitch awaiting the verdict, the Heat were winners, finishing on 186 for 7.Adelaide captain and former South African international Johan Botha said the loss was particularly bitter.†”It’s never nice to lose close games,” he said.

Botha remained uncertain from initial replays whether Hartley’s strike was a four.

“The one replay we saw on the field, you can’t say from that far out from the big screen,” he said.

Explosive batting

Brisbane’s run chase was on track when one-time ticking time bomb Luke Pomersbach exploded with the bat, making 65 from 39 balls.

Pomersbach hit eight fours and two sixes to propel Brisbane to 105 for 1 in the 12th over.

But in the next 14 balls, Pollard claimed Joe Burns (37 from 30 balls), Pomersbach fell to spinner Cameron Boyce, and Pollard struck again to dismiss Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera.

And with the Heat needing 35 runs from their final three overs, Pollard dropped a tough caught and bowled chance from Chris Lynn, only to watch the ball rebound into the bowler’s end stumps with Brisbane’s Ben Cutting stranded out of his crease.

The Heat required 14 runs from Putland’s final over, with Peter Forrest blasting a six before Hartley’s last-ball heroics.Earlier Pollard muscled three sixes and five fours to overshadow his teammate Ferguson’s stylish 52 from 36 balls.

Pollard’s team-mate Chris Gayle will be on show tonight for the Sydney Thunder while other West Indians appearing in the Big Bash are Sunil Narine, Marlon Samuels and Kemar Roach.††

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