A combined bowling performance, followed by heavy rain, and a couple of blistering cameos helped St Lucia Zouks defeat Barbados Tridents by seven wickets (DLS) in Match No. 5 of the Caribbean Premier League 2020 at the Brian Lara Stadium on Thursday (August 20). The Daren Sammy-led side were set a target of 47 in five overs because of the play being interrupted due to rain and they got the job done with five deliveries to spare.
Opting to bat, Johnson Charles and Jason Holder smoked fiery cameos but Barbados kept losing wickets and were 131 for 7 in 18.1 overs before it started pelting down in Trinidad and the encounter was cut short to five overs in the second innings.
In reply, Rahkeem Cornwall (8-ball 14) and Andre Fletcher (7-ball 16*) opened the innings and the former managed three boundaries in the first over. Holder kept bowling short to Cornwall who was heaving from the word go. The right-hander got two outside edges that flew over the wicketkeeper before he tonked one down the ground to make it 13 from the first over. Rashid Khan then bowled a tidy second over and also got rid of dangerous Cornwall.
With 27 needed off 18, left-arm pacer Raymon Reifer was smart with his change-ups and had Najibullah Zadran (5) caught at deep square leg. Mohammad Nabi however batted smartly and got a couple of twos to bring the equation down to 18 off 12. The onus was on Rashid to bowl a tight over but Nabi had done well against his countrymate in the past. The right-handed batsman smashed the first ball over long-on for a maximum and then hit one straight down the ground where Mitchell Santner dropped a touch chance and the ball went past the boundary rope.
Nabi hammered 15 off just 6 deliveries before Fletcher blasted one more maximum over cow corner to leave just one run for the final over. For some reason, Rashid kept bowling googlies and paid the price because of the shorter boundaries down the leg side. It was Fletcher who brought the curtains down with a gorgeous cover drive and helped his team gather two points.
Earlier, St Lucia brought in left-arm spinner Saad Bin Zafar in place of Zahir Khan but Charles greeted him with a boundary in the very first delivery. The right-handed opener looked in stunning touch from the word go and slammed left-arm seamer Obed McCoy for three fours in the second over. The seamer was either too short or too full and Charles made the most of it.
Only Glenn Phillips (476) has scored more runs than Johnson Charles (442) in the powerplay since CPL 2018. Charles added 35 runs in 3.3 overs with Shai Hope (16-ball 19) for the opening wicket and all of those runs came off his bat. The 31-year-old smoked three fours and two maximums in his 19-ball 35 before Scott Kuggeleijn had him caught at mid-off in the fourth over to give St Lucia some relief.
Meanwhile, Corey Anderson could only score 2 before he fell to his countrymate Kuggeleijn in his next over. The Kiwi paceman did concede a couple of boundaries in his first two overs but also got two crucial breakthroughs. Hope however at the other end kept the scoreboard moving as Barbados raced to 53/2 at the end of six overs. That's when Nabi and McCoy bowled a couple of tight overs and pressure started building up on Hope.
Coming in at No. 4, Kyle Mayers couldn't get his timing right and Hope was forced to play uncharacteristic shots. The opener tried to go after Nabi but ended up mistiming one straight into the hands of Mark Deyal at deep mid-wicket. The runs were not coming and it looked like Barbados would lose out on all the momentum but that's when skipper Holder walked in and smashed 27 off 12 deliveries to keep the run-rate over 8. Holder smacked two huge sixes through the on-side but fell to Kesrick Williams in the 12th over.
Barbados went past the 100-run mark in the 13th over and the onus was on Mayers and Jonathan Carter to bat till the end but the duo tried to keep the attack going and paid the price. St Lucia skipper Sammy rotated his bowlers very well and Roston Chase, in the 14th over, got rid of both Mayers (24-ball 16) and Carter (5) in back-to-back deliveries as Barbados were reduced to 110 for 7 at the end of 15 overs.
Ashley Nurse (15*) and Santner (8*) then added few handy runs and just when it was time to up the ante, it started pelting down and the action had to be stopped. For St Lucia, Kuggeleijn and Chase picked up two wickets each, while Nabi, Williams and Mark Deyal too chipped in with a wicket apiece.
Barbados will next play Trinbago Knight Riders on Sunday, while St Lucia will take on St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on Saturday.