St John's: West Indies limited-overs skipper Kieron Pollard entered the very rare list of players who have achieved the milestone of hitting 6 sixes in an over on the international stage.
Pollard achieved the milestone in the first T20I against Sri Lanka. He became just the third batsman to do so after former Proteas swashbuckling opener Herschelle Gibbs and former Men in Blue all-rounder Yuvraj Singh. Pollard hit Sri Lanka's Akila Dananjaya for six 6s in the sixth over of the innings as the hosts' were chasing a target of 132 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
The right-handed batsman hit the first ball over the long-on fence, the second ball was dispatched straight down the ground while the third was hit to the long-off fence.
Continuing the carnage, Pollard dispatched the fourth ball to the mid-wicket boundary, the fifth ball was once again hit down the ground and the final ball of the over was hit to mid-wicket. After hitting the final ball of the over into the stands, Pollard bowed down to acknowledge the roaring reception he was receiving from his teammates.
"After the third one (on when he thought about hitting six sixes in the over) -- I felt after hitting a couple of sixes, I understood how the pitch plays, it was important to be positive and play your shots on that pitch, back yourselves to clear the boundary -- just happy that I managed to contribute to the team's cause at that point of time," Pollard said after the game.
Pollard explained what he felt before facing the last ball of Dananjaya's over.
"A couple of things went through my mind before the sixth ball -- before the last ball, I thought should I go for the six or take the 30 runs in the over, he went around the wicket and bowled it onto my pads, I told myself 'Wait Polly, take a chance'. That's how I have played my cricket all along, especially against the spinners. Today was my day, unfortunate for him, but this was a good win for our team," he added.
Chasing 132, the hosts got off to a blazing start as the openers Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons put on 52 runs in the very first three overs. However, Sri Lanka staged an emphatic comeback as spinner Akila Dananjaya took a hat-trick in the fourth over to send back Lewis (28), Chris Gayle (0), and Nicholas Pooran (0).
Simmons also departed soon after and West Indies was reduced to 62/4 in the fifth over. However, skipper Pollard provided real entertainment in the sixth over as he dispatched Dananjaya for six 6s in over and the hosts' score read 98/4 after the conclusion of the sixth over.
Pollard departed after playing a knock of 38 off just 11 balls, but in the end, Jason Holder (29) and Dwayne Bravo (4) guided Windies to a four-wicket win with 41 balls to spare.