(CMC) – Kieron Pollard struck an electrifying 40th half-century and became only the third batsman to pass 8,000 runs in Twenty20s, but the knock was in vain as Multan Sultans went down to Islamabad United by 33 runs in their final preliminary match of the Pakistan Super League.
Chasing 186 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sultans were dismissed for 152 with five balls remaining, to remain fourth in the standings on nine points with their fifth defeat of the season.
Pollard top-scored with a whirlwind 73 off 47 deliveries, an innings which pulled his side around after the innings lay in ruins at 20 for four in the sixth over.
He belted five fours and half-dozen sixes, adding 30 for the fifth wicket with Sohaib Maqsood (13) and 40 for the sixth wicket with Ross Whiteley (11), but Sultans lacked that one major stand as wickets fell regularly.
Pollard reached his half-century off 34 balls in the 15th over before eventually falling in the 18th over, caught at deep square leg off pacer Mohammed Sami.
The 30-year-old Trinidadian now has 8,048 runs in 413 T20s at an average of 30 and a strike rate of 151. He joined fellow West Indies superstar Chris Gayle, who tops the career aggregates with 11,068, and New Zealander Brendon McCullum, who has scored 8,985.
United had earlier gotten a top score of 58 from opener Luke Ronchi as they piled up 185 for four after they were sent in.
He put on 46 for the first wicket with JP Duminy (6) and a further 45 for the second wicket with Hussain Talat (36).
On Wednesday at the same venue, Pollard’s Trinidad and West Indies teammate, Sunil Narine, played a key role to help Lahore Qalanders to a 17-run victory over Quetta Gladiators.
The left-hander struck an unbeaten 20 from 14 balls to give Qalanders a strong finish to the innings after opener Fakhar Zaman had struck 94 from 50 balls at the top of the order, to help the innings to 186 for four off their allotted overs.
Narine then returned with his off-spin to claim two for 22 from his over four overs to help restrict Gladiators to 169 for six.