Pollard brace puts Renegades in playoff contention

Kieron Pollard celebrates his first wicket of the final over in yesterday’s match against Sydney Thunder.

CANBERRA, Australia, CMC – Neither Dwayne Bravo nor Kieron Pollard had a major impact but the latter’s brace of wickets helped Melbourne Renegades beat Sydney Thunder by nine runs and enhance their playoff chances in the Australian Big Bash here yesterday.

Sent in at Manuka Oval, Renegades rattled up 189 for six off their 20 overs, with opener Marcus Harris top-scoring with 64 from 41 deliveries and Matthew Short getting 28 from 24 balls.

The pair gave Renegades a rollicking start, posting 77 from 66 balls for the first wicket.

Bravo, serving as the Renegades skipper, made only 16 from 18 deliveries while Pollard belted a pair of fours and a six in a 19-ball 23. In reply, Thunder slumped to 13 for two in the third over and never really recovered, ending on 180 all out off their 20 overs.

Ben Rohrer slammed a cavalier 48 from 21 deliveries in an attempt to revive the innings while Arjun Nair supported with 45 from 25.

The pair added a crucial 84 for the fifth wicket but once Nair departed, Thunder lost their last six wickets for 45 runs.

They started the final over requiring 14 for victory but Pollard (2-19) struck twice with his medium pace and conceded only four runs, as their hopes of a playoff spot fizzled out.

On Monday, Pollard became the first cricketer to play 400 Twenty20s in Renegades’ 26-run defeat to Adelaide Strikers.

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