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Pollard fires as Windies set New Zealand tough target

·1-min read
Kieron Pollard hit 75 not out for the West Indies

Captain Kieron Pollard smashed an unbeaten 75 to salvage the West Indies' innings Friday after New Zealand paceman Lockie Ferguson claimed a five-wicket haul in the first Twenty20 international in Auckland.

After losing the toss and being put into bat, the West Indies finished on 180 for seven in an innings that was reduced to 16 overs due to persistent showers.

The tourists made a flying start before Ferguson sparked a dramatic collapse, with the speedster finishing on career-best figures of five for 21.

Pollard responded with his own best performance in T20 internationals, a sparkling 75 from 37 balls that included eight sixes and four fours to set a competitive target of 181.

Before play commenced, both sides took a knee in a gesture against racism, with the West Indies players each raising a black-gloved fist.

West Indies opener Andre Fletcher smashed back-to-back sixes off debutant Kyle Jamieson, who conceded 18 from his first over in international T20.

The tourists were even more brutal against Hamish Bennett, plundering 29 runs from a nightmare over for the fast bowler that included two no balls and a wide.

The tourists were 58 without loss before Ferguson broke through and clean bowled Fletcher on 34.

The tourists then lost five wickets for a single run over the course of 11 balls, with Ferguson claiming three scalps and Southee two.

Pollard rebuilt the West Indies' innings virtually single-handedly, clubbing 23 off Jimmy Neesham's opening over, including three sixes.

ns/th