Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Kieron Pollard is known for his exploits in the shortest form of the game but yesterday he showed off his skills in the longer format.
The right-hander hit 111 to dig the national team out of trouble against Jamaica on the first day of their Regional Four-day match at Queen’s Park Oval, in Port of Spain.
Pollard’s knock helped the hosts recover from 58 for three to post 244 all out after winning the toss and batting first.
Jamaica were 24 without loss at stumps.
Yesterday, Pollard showed his patience, yet was aggressive when he needed to be, as he smashed six sixes, all down the ground and off the bowling of left-arm spinner Nikita Miller (four for 78), and eight fours, most of which came through the off-side, as he reached his fourth first-class century off 150 balls after spending more than three hours in the middle.
Playing his second first-class match after recovering from knee surgery, Pollard left alone almost everything that was wide of his stumps as he put on 84 runs with opener Evin Lewis for the fourth wicket after the hosts lost Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo and Jason Mohammed early.
The pair took T&T to lunch on 73 for three before opening up after the break.
Lewis, who was dropped by Miller at first slip off the bowling of leg-spinner Damion Jacobs (two for 61) when he was on 22, played some attractive shots through the covers as he reached his third first class half-century.
The T&T left-hander made 63 off 163 balls with nine fours before Miller sent him back, caught by John Campbell at second slip with the score on 142 for four after 50 overs.
T&T skipper Rayad Emrit joined Pollard in the middle and ensured there was no more damage as the hosts went into the tea break on 176 for four.
Pollard took a special liking Miller in the final session, hitting the left-arm spinner for three consecutive sixes, two of which landed on the road outside the Oval, as T&T went past 200 in the 66th over.
Emrit was out in the following over, caught behind off Jermaine Blackwood for 18, ending a 63-run stand for the fifth wicket, but it was the next over from Miller that proved to be the turning point as the left-armer grabbed two quick wickets, sending back Steven Katwaroo and Imran Khan off consecutive balls to bring his team back into the game.
But he could not stop Pollard from getting to triple figures as the big man sliced Jacobs over Miller at backward point for four runs to get to the milestone.
After that, Jamaica completed their fight back, taking two more quick wickets, including centurion Pollard who was caught at cover by Jamaican skipper Tamar Lambert off Jacobs with the score on 240. Pollard faced a total of 169 balls.
Jamaica openers John Campbell (ten not out) and Jon Ross Campbell (12 not out) safely negotiated the remaining seven overs yesterday and will resume their innings at 10 a.m. today.