The swashbuckling opener Evin Lewis did everything, literally everything before Ben Dunk smoked two back-to-back sixes in the final over to give St Kitts and Nevis Patriots their first win of the Caribbean Premier League 2020. Lewis smashed 89 off 60 deliveries and almost single-handedly led the Patriots to a six-wicket win over Barbados Tridents at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain on Tuesday (August 25).
Asked to bat, Patriots dominated the majority of the first innings, but breezy cameos from Corey Anderson (19-ball 31) and Ashley Nurse (17-ball 25) propelled Tridents to a competitive total of 151/7 in 20 overs. In reply, Lewis did almost all the scoring and clobbered nine maximums and two fours during his stay in the middle.
Hosting its first match of the season, conditions at the Queen's Park Oval were much better for batting compared to the Brian Lara Stadium which hosted the first 10 games of the tournament. Patriots' seamers Sohail Tanvir and Alzarri Joseph however managed to keep things quiet in the first three overs by constantly bowling just outside off to Johnson Charles.
Charles, who smashed a stunning fifty against Trinbago Knight Riders, was still scoring at a decent rate but Shai Hope was once again struggling to get going. The wicketkeeper-batsman was 4 off 11 at one stage before he finally managed to break the shackles by lofting Rayad Emrit over covers for a maximum. That gave him the much-needed momentum and Hope crafted Jon-Russ Jaggesar and Imran Khan for a four and six respectively in the next two overs as Tridents went past the 50-run mark in the eighth over.
Just when the partnership was starting to look dangerous, Jaggesar pinned Charles right in front of the stumps with a carrom ball and sent him back for a run-a-ball 24. Meanwhile, Hope survived a close stumping call in the same over but Jaggesar had him in his third over. Hope scored 29 off 30 before he mistimed one straight into the hands of the deep mid-wicket fielder. The 34-year-old offspinner finished with superb bowling figures of 2 for 17.
Kyle Mayers was promoted to No. 3 to take the attack to the Patriots bowlers and the left-hander did exactly that. Mayers had played a blistering cameo when the two sides met earlier in the tournament and played a key role in helping Tridents win the encounter by six runs. In this match, the 22-year-old smacked two fours and a six in his 17-ball 22 before he was dismissed by Tanvir in the 13th over. Jason Holder (2) too was run-out in the same over in an unfortunate fashion as Tridents were reduced to 81 for 4 by the end of 13 overs.
Tridents needed some quick runs and they got that from Anderson and Nurse. Coming in to bat at No. 5 for the first time in the tournament, Anderson along with Nurse took a couple of overs to settle in before taking the attack to Tanvir in the 17th over. The left-arm paceman was smoked for 21 runs in an over, studded with two sixes and a four. Nurse and Anderson added 56 off 29 deliveries for the fifth wicket before the former was caught at deep mid-wicket. Anderson too departed in the next over but only after smoking three maximums and a four in his fiery knock.
For Patriots, Jaggesar scalped two wickets, while the remaining four bowlers picked up a wicket each.
In response, Chris Lynn and Lewis got Patriots off to a rapid start. The two added 34 runs in 25 deliveries and didn't allow the likes of Holder and Mitchell Santner to settle. Lynn, who has struggled to get going in this tournament, looked good for a while before he was undone by Rashid Khan for 11-ball 16. Meanwhile, Joshua Da Silva (1) was dismissed early as Patriots were reduced to 41/2 by the end of the powerplay.
Despite losing two wickets, Lewis kept playing his shots and especially targetted Hayden Walsh. The dynamic opener smoked the legspinner for three consecutive sixes to get to his 30th T20 fifty. He was smart against Rashid and Holder and scored just over 70 per cent of the total runs in the first 10 overs. While Lewis was going at one end, Denesh Ramdin took his sweet time and scored just 8 runs off his first 20 deliveries. Lewis however ensured that the required run-rate was always under control and he did that by slamming sixes at regular intervals.
With 53 needed off 36, Nyeem Young bowled an outstanding over but Lewis managed a six in Rashid's final over to leave 36 for the final four overs. Meanwhile, Ramdin just couldn't get his timing right and that added extra pressure on Lewis. The wicketkeeper-batsman's misery finally came to an end in the 17th over when he was caught at deep mid-wicket for a 32-ball 20. He did add 78 runs but it was Lewis who kept the pressure on Tridents.
Lewis kept doing all the work and got the equation down to 22 off 12. The pressure finally got the better of Lewis who fell to Mayers in the penultimate over. With 13 to get from the final over, Dunk blasted Young for consecutive sixes and gave Patriots their first victory of the season.