West Indian cricketer Kieron Pollard has established his reputation as one of the hardest hitters of the cricket ball at present and has also added value with his bowling. However, another exceptional quality that Pollard possesses is his ability to pull off stunning catches, particularly near the boundary ropes.
Over the past few years, the big man has shown what an asset he can be on the field with his exploits in domestic T20 tournaments all over the world. Even in international cricket, the 29-year old has pouched some incredible catches for the West Indies, the most recent one coming in their ongoing series against Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Babar Azam was batting on 120 when he hit Carlos Brathwaite for what looked like a sure-shot six. However, Pollard had other ideas as he jumped to catch the ball and then popped it in the air while he went over the fence. He then returned to the field of play to complete the catch, doing all of this in a matter of few seconds.
Here are five of Kieron Pollard’s finest catches:
#5 A sharp one at silly point during 2015 CPL
The close-in catching positions in cricket, especially when spinners are operating, are designated mostly to players who are either short or of an average height. At 6 feet 6 inches tall, Kieron Pollard certainly doesn’t fall in any of these categories so for him to take a catch at silly point is something special.
Playing for the Barbados Tridents in a match against the Jamaican Tallawahs during the 2015 Caribbean Premier League, Pollard picked up a brilliant low catch at silly point to send Mahela Jayawardene packing for a first-ball duck.
As skipper of the Tridents side, the big West Indian positioned himself close to the batsman when left-arm spinner Robin Peterson came in to bowl. Jayawardene stepped forward to defend his first delivery towards the off-side but the ball stayed in the air long enough for Pollard to grab it and take off in celebration.
#4 One-handed stunner to dismiss David Warner
Another one of Kieron Pollard’s outstanding catches came during a home ODI series against Australia in 2012. It was the first game of a 5-match series and the Australian innings was progressing quite nicely with opener David Warner leading the way for them.
Part-timer Marlon Samuels bowled a slightly shorter delivery and Warner, who was on 40 at the time, punched it towards the cover region. The ball flew towards Pollard’s extreme left and he dived full length to get to it, plucking it just inches off the ground in a spectacular effort.
Keiron Pollard looked visibly pleased with his endeavour and ran off to celebrate the catch with his teammates.
#3 Terrific combination catch in BBL 2015
While the official scorecard of the match between the Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat played in 2015 may show this incredible catch under Travis Head’s name, it was Kieron Pollard who carried out the effort almost single-handedly. In fact, Head’s role in taking it was restricted to being in the right place at the right time.
Brisbane Heat’s Chris Lynn, who was batting on 28, stepped out of his crease to smash Johan Botha straight down the ground for a six. The ball took a lot of elevation but did not gather enough distance to clear the ropes by a long margin.
Even as it proceeded to fall just outside the boundary, Pollard sprinted in and jumped to take the ball in his grasp. Knowing that his body momentum would take him across the line, he tossed the ball towards Head who had also made his way to the boundary and completed the catch with ease.
#2 Blinder at the Manuka Oval in Canberra
Kieron Pollard’s uncanny ability to produce great catches near the boundary line is unparalleled. One of his finest catches in the outfield came about in the third ODI of a 5-match series on the West Indies’ tour to Australia back in 2013.
A delivery from off-spinner Sunil Narine was clobbered flat and hard by Glenn Maxwell towards the square leg boundary. Unfortunately for him, though, Pollard was patrolling the area at that point and had completely different ideas in his mind.
The big West Indian used his height to full advantage and leapt in the air with his right arm outstretched. Not only did Kieron Pollard manage to hold on to the ball, he also ensured that he fell inside the playing area despite being tantalisingly close to the rope.
#1 A catch for the ages in the 2014 IPL
While Kieron Pollard has taken some outstanding catches in his career, there is none better than the one he took against Rajasthan Royals during the 2014 IPL season. The Royals were in disarray while chasing a target of 179 when all-rounder Kevon Cooper decided to break the shackles.
Cooper smacked one off Harbhajan Singh towards long-on and the shot seemed to have enough power to take the ball over the fence. But Pollard jumped as high as he could and produced a spectacular one-handed take.
As his left foot landed on the ground, he flung the ball inside the field of play and then crossed the boundary rope. Then he turned around, rushed back to the playing area and dived forward full length to complete the catch before the ball hit the ground.
Kieron Pollard’s incredible effort is considered to be one of the greatest catches not just in the IPL, but in all forms of cricket.