Pollard hits 6 sixes in an over as Dananjaya goes from hero to zero

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(Reuters) - Akila Dananjaya went from hero to zero in the space of two overs, claiming a hat-trick before being smashed for six sixes by Kieron Pollard as West Indies beat Sri Lanka by four wickets in their first Twenty20 international at Antigua on Wednesday.

Pollard strode out to the crease in the fourth over after Dananjaya had dismissed Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran off consecutive deliveries to leave West Indies reeling at 52-3 in pursuit of 132.

But the West Indies skipper tore into unconventional off-spinner Dananjaya in his next over, taking 36 runs and becoming only the third man to hit six sixes in an international match, emulating Herschelle Gibbs and Yuvraj Singh.

"I felt after hitting a couple of sixes, I understood how the pitch plays, it was important to be positive and play your shots," Pollard said. "Back yourselves to clear the boundary.

"A couple of things went through my mind before the sixth ball, I thought should I go for the six or take the 30 runs in the over, he went around the wicket and bowled it onto my pads, I told myself 'Wait Polly, take a chance'.

"That's how I have played my cricket all along, especially against the spinners."

Pollard was dismissed for 38 in the following over by Wanindu Hasaranga but Jason Holder and Dwayne Bravo completed the chase with more than six overs to spare.

The other players to achieve the feat include Garry Sobers (1968) and Ravi Shastri (1985) doing so in first-class games, Gibbs (2007) in a one-dayer, Yuvraj (2007) in a T20, and Ross Whiteley (2017) and Hazratullah Zazai (2018) in domestic T20 games.

Sri Lanka will look to level the series when the second T20 begins on Friday.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)