Big-hitting Pollard set to return to PPC Newlands next season

If you’ve blinked, you probably missed it and then you have to watch it on YouTube to catch a glimpse of the fastest half-century in this season’s Indian Premier League.

But next season you can watch him live. Kieron Pollard is destined to re-join the Cape Cobras at PPC Newlands, the venue where he has produced some of his greatest T20-knocks in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge.

It was a special occasion recently for Pollard and Mumbai Indians, and a real ordeal for their beaten opponents, the Kolkota Knight Riders, who bore the brunt of Pollard’s 51 off 17 balls in his 100th IPL-match last week (28th April). It was the fastest 50 in the globally popular T20-showpiece this year.

“The plan is that Kieron will join the Cape Cobras next season in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Cape Cobras.

“We signed him in 2015 for two seasons, and we would like him to return,” added Dien.

Pollard was South Africa’s domestic T20-player of the year in 2015 after scoring 243 runs at an average of 81 and capturing 14 wickets at an average of 14.57 in the 2014/2015-edition of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge.

He played a significant role in partnership with Omphile Ramela in propelling the Cobras to a 33-run win in the final of the competition against the Knights.

But statistics hardly do justice to the match-winner that is Pollard. It is his ability to transform matches from virtually nowhere through his explosive power that counts.

The match against Kolkata is a case in point. The six-wicket win was looking highly improbable with Mumbai stuttering on 106 for four in response to Kolkata 5-174.

But Pollard hammered six sixes as Mumbai flourished and Kolkata withered.

Pollard had been a factor in Mumbai reaching the play-offs in 2014 and in winning the IPL-competition last year.

It will be brilliant if Kieron returns to the Cape Cobras next season,” said Dane Vilas, senior player of the Cape champions.

“He was a big part of our season when we won it (the Ram Slam T20 Challenge) two seasons ago. Last season we missed him (for the last part of the campaign) through injury, which hampered us a bit.

“He is not just a professional, but he wants to contribute to victories. He loves to win. He is very approachable. Kieron helps where he can quite a lot,” said Vilas.