Barbados Tridents made a mess of a 93-run chase as St Lucia Zouks defended the lowest total in the history of the Caribbean Premier League at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain on Sunday (August 30). Twice in two days, the Jason Holder-led side have lost games that they should have easily won. Less than 24 hours after receiving a severe beating at the hands of Kieron Pollard, Barbados failed to chase a very total, and they have no one to blame but themselves.
Asked to bat, St Lucia were bowled out for just 92 in 18 overs. In reply, Barbados, for some reason, despite the surface being not that bad, were ultra slow with their approach and could only manage 89/7 in their 20 overs. Yes, the St Lucia bowlers bowled brilliantly, but this one's on Barbados.
With five wins to their name, St Lucia are currently at No. 2, while Barbados are at No. 4 in the points table. They have played seven games so far and have only managed to win two.
Earlier, playing his first match of the season, and only his second T20, Joshua Bishop made an early impact as the left-arm spinner got rid of dangerous Rahkeem Cornwall (6) in the very first over. The giant right-hander greeted Bishop with a boundary but the 20-year-old had his revenge on the next delivery as Cornwall mistimed a cut straight into the hands of Walsh at backward point. Coincidentally, he had dismissed Cornwall in the last edition as well.
Before the dust had settled, Jason Holder pinned Andre Fletcher (6) right in front of the stumps to reduce St Lucia to 12/2. Coming in at No. 3, Leniko Boucher hit a couple of solid boundaries off Walsh to get his innings moving. Boucher however was struggling to pick the wrong'uns which eventually proved to be his undoing. The 22-year-old scored 18 off 20 before he was knocked over by Walsh.
That wicket gave Walsh a lot of confidence and the legspinner looked a different bowler from thereon. He also got the all-important scalps of in-form Roston Chase (14) and Mohammad Nabi (2) and turned the match completely in Barbados' favour. The spin quartet of Walsh, Rashid Khan, Bishop and Ashley Nurse kept things very tight in the middle overs as the pressure kept mounting on the St Lucia batsmen. Najibullah Zadran (31-ball 22) kept one side intact but didn't find any support from other batsmen.
The right-hander from Afghanistan however kept the scoreboard moving with ones and twos. Daren Sammy (2) and Javelle Glenn (8) too couldn't contribute much and left everything up to Najibullah, who tried to up the ante but fell to Raymon Reifer in the 17th over.
Walsh was also outstanding on the field and took a couple of very good catches. Apart from him, Reifer claimed two wickets, while the remaining bowlers (apart from Nyeem Young) picked up a wicket each.
This was a perfect opportunity for Shai Hope and Holder to spend some time in the middle but it was once again Johnson Charles who looked the most comfortable. Both Hope (14) and Holder (2) fell to Kesrick Williams who smashed them right in front of the stumps. Meanwhile, Kyle Mayers (2) was undone by Zahir Khan's peach of a legbreak. The surface was still providing enough assistance to the spinners but Charles played according to the situation and scored 39 off 42.
The surface wasn't really easy to bat but the Barbados batsmen were slightly over-defensive with their approach. Both Nabi and Zahir gave nothing away in their eight overs, while Glenn too was outstanding with his legspin. Because of their slow approach, Barbados needed 13 off 12 deliveries and they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. The likes of Corey Anderson (20-ball 11) and Rashid (5-ball 2) fell prey to the pressure and left nine runs for the final over.
Chase then bowled a superb final over and dismissed Nurse (21-ball 12) on the second delivery of the over. Barbados needed six off one ball but Young couldn't hit it out of the park and St Lucia managed to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. Not a single bowler conceded more than 5.2 runs per over and everyone except Scott Kuggeleijn picked up at least one wicket.
Sammy maneuvered his spinners around perfectly and kept the batsmen guessing. Both part-time spinners Chase and Glenn were phenomenal, picking up three wickets between them in seven overs, at an expense of just 26 runs.