Blues hold on after stunning blitz from Pollard
The Speedblitz Blues held on to record a 21 run victory against the West End Redbacks despite a stunning innings from Kieron Pollard who cemented his place as one of the worlds best Twenty20 players thanks to another stunning half century.
The West Indian produced another batting master class to give the Redbacks hope of claiming an improbable victory after they had collapsed to a total of just 53-6.
Steve O’Keefe (23-3) and Stuart Clarke (3-28) lead the rampage picking up 3 wickets each as the Blues collapsed from 30-0 to 53-6 in the space of just 5 overs.
Daniel Harris (20) and Michael Klinger (10) started the run chase in positive fashion scoring 30 run sin the first 3 overs before O’Keefe struck twice within the space of 3 deliveries to Harris and Daniel Christian (0).
Harris and Tom Cooper (10) quickly followed before Aiden Blizzard (4) and Graham Manou (4) perished at the hands of Clark in the 9th over.
With the chances of victory looking all but over Pollard came to the crease and wasted little time settling himself at the crease as he smashed O'Keefe for two sixes in the 12th over.
He followed that up with a brutal attack 3 overs later smashing Moises Henriques for 25 runs in a stunning 15th over as the home fans who remained in the Adelaide Oval sensed a stunning fight back.
With 38 runs needed from just 30 deliveries the balance of power shifted back towards the home side but the Blues bounced back as the tension mounted after Pollard’s stunning blitz was ended by Henriques who produced a brilliant diving catch out on the long one boundary to reduce the Redbacks to 134-8.
With Pollard back in the dugout Adil Rashid (6) and Nathan Lyon quickly followed as the Blues wrapped up victory with just over 2 overs remaning.
Having won the toss the Blues got off to the perfect start with big hitting openers Daniel Smith and Warner sharing an opening stand of 71 with Smith leading the way smashing 45 runs from just 24 deliveries.
With the Blues threatening to run up a huge score the Redbacks struck back in the 8th over when Nathan Lyon, playing in his first game for the Redbacks picked up the wickets of Smith and Nic Maddinson (0) from consecutive balls to leave the Blues 71-2.
Moises Henriques (7) quickly followed as the Blues started to stutter losing three wickets in the space of 4 overs for the addition of just 15 runs as the boundaries dried up with none scored in 30 deliveries.
Spinners Lyon and Kieron Pollard continued to increase the pressure as the explosive Warner was kept in check despite reaching his 13th Twenty20 half century which came uncharacteristically from 43 deliveries.
Peter Nevill added 16 runs before Warner (73) and Ben Rohrer (22) shared a 5th wicket partnership of 45 to set up a tricky run chase for the Redbacks before Rohrer was dismissed by Daniel Christian with just 3 deliveries of the innings remaining.