|Caribbean Premier League||P||W||L||D||NRR||Pts|
|1||Trinbago Knight Riders||3||3||0||0||0.728||6|
|2||St. Lucia Zouks||4||3||1||0||0.302||6|
|3||Guyana Amazon Warriors||4||2||2||0||0.313||4|
|6||St Kitts and Nevis Patriots||3||0||3||0||-0.733||0|
CPL 2020 : BOWLERS & ROSTON CHASE SHINE FOR ZOUKS AS THEY DEFEAT GUYANA
St Lucia Zouks 144/7 (Chase 66, Nabi 27, Glenn 19; Tahir 3/22, Smith 2/33, Nedd 1/20, Green 1/24) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 134/8 (Pooran 68, Paul 20, Rutherford 15; Kuggeleijn 3/24, Holder 2/32, Williams 2/32, Nabi 1/17) by 10 runs
Another excellent St Lucia Zouks bowling performance ensured Roston Chase’s backs-to-the-wall fifty was not in vain, as Chemar Holder bowled a brilliant last over to deny the Guyana Amazon Warriors, who looked to have recovered from a rocky start through the flashing blade of Nicholas Pooran.
With all three previous games on this track won by the team batting first, Daren Sammy chose to set a target. Kimani Melius announced himself on Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) debut with a glorious Hero Maximum off Chandrapaul Hemraj but was caught at mid-off trying to repeat the trick off Imran Tahir.
Tahir didn’t stop there, as he had Mark Deyal dropped first ball and caught second, both by Ashmead Nedd. Nedd started solidly with the ball, but Chase clubbed Keemo Paul for six to add some gloss to the Zouks’ Powerplay score of 37/2.
Amazon Warriors captain Chris Green used five bowlers in the first seven overs including two overs from himself, culminating in him yorking Andre Fletcher. Nedd got the deserved wicket of Najibullah Zadran, whose mishit saw him caught on the boundary for a duck.
A lot now rested on Chase and Mohammad Nabi, and the Bajan took three boundaries off Odean Smith’s first over. The two were cautious initially against the spinners, and the Zouks were a middling 67/4 at halfway.
Paul and Smith conceded just one boundary each, and Nedd finished his spell beautifully. Nabi briefly broke free with an enormous Hero Maximum and a powerful four off Green, but he was beaten in the flight by Tahir and gave the skipper a straightforward catch.
Chase brought up his second T20 fifty off 40 balls, and in his first game for the Zouks, Javelle Glenn got off the mark with a lovely cover-drive. But Paul was dismissed for just two, and with four overs to go, the Zouks needed an acceleration. Chase provided it, launching Tahir straight and swinging Paul through square leg, and Glenn settled himself with a boundary of his own.
Green gave Smith the last over, and his pace proved effective as Glenn and Chase fell in consecutive balls. There was to be no hat-trick, but the over was reward for the bowler and captain’s persistence, and the Zouks’ total seemed below-par.
Their bowling however was anything but. Nabi bowled a superb first over, and two Scott Kuggeleijn short balls saw King caught behind for 1 and Shimron Hetmyer top-edging to square leg for 4 to leave the Amazon Warriors two down in the second over.
The Amazon Warriors predicament got even worse when Ross Taylor top-edged a reverse paddle-sweep off the back of the bat into his own helmet and was caught, giving Nabi a first wicket. Even a Hemraj six off Chase couldn’t put much gloss on a Powerplay of 19/3.
Pooran was lucky to pick up four off a Kesrick Williams short ball, but there was nothing lucky about the authoritative pull for six that followed. Holder was wayward, with wides, a no-ball and a deft steer through third man, and a 15 run over took the Amazon Warriors to 59/3 at halfway.
Hemraj struggled for timing throughout, and eventually spooned a leading edge off Williams which was well caught by Chase. Sammy showed faith in Holder, who recovered after being crashed for four by the promoted Paul, but two boundaries in a 12 run over from Pooran put a slight dent in Nabi’s still excellent figures.
The Zouks got sloppy in the next over, as an overthrow brought up Pooran’s 50 off 32 balls and Sammy dropped a very simple catch. Pooran then top-edged over the keeper’s head for four to bring the required rate under 9.
Chase ensured Pooran couldn’t find a boundary, but the Amazon Warriors’ number five made up for that off Williams to take his team into the last four overs needing 39. Paul clobbered a Hero Maximum off Chase’s last ball and brought up the 50 partnership, but he picked out Nabi at deep midwicket in the next over.
Sherfane Rutherford blasted his second ball for six to dent Kuggeleijn’s figures. The equation seemed to have swung dramatically in the Zouks favour when Pooran bottom-edged a Williams slower ball onto his stumps, but the Warriors burgled 8 off the last four balls of the 19th including a botched run-out to leave Rutherford on strike and 13 to win off the last over, to be bowled by Holder.
Holder responded magnificently. He flattened Rutherford’s off-stump with a pinpoint yorker, then he had captain Green caught behind, and a bowler who’d gone for 30 off his first 3 overs sealed the win with 2/2, showing the world why West Indian cricket is so excited about him and giving the Zouks a third straight win ahead of the move to Port-of-Spain.
Brutal death hitting from Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard saw the Trinbago Knight Riders post the highest score of Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020, and though Johnson Charles gave the Barbados Tridents a chance, once he fell the spinners took firm control and extended the Knight Riders’ unbeaten start to this year’s tournament.
Choosing to bowl, the Tridents started well – the first boundary didn’t come until the third over, and Narine didn’t get off the mark until the fifth. Simmons hit the next ball for a Hero Maximum and then clubbed Jason Holder to mid-on. It took Colin Munro to kickstart the innings, taking 18 off Kyle Mayers including a glorious flick over mid-on for six, and the Knight Riders ended the Powerplay at 45/1.
Ashley Nurse put the pressure back on, but Munro counter-attacked against Rashid Khan, clobbering a sweep into the stands. Narine at the other end should have fallen to Nurse on 6 but was dropped by Shai Hope. The drop was not costly however, as Reifer dramatically splattered Narine’s stumps to end a stuttering innings.
At the drinks break, the Knight Riders were a subdued 63/2. Munro brought up 50 off just 29 balls, then fell to a fantastic Rashid catch to give Nurse a deserved wicket off the last ball of his spell. But that was as good as it got for the Tridents with the ball.
Rashid lost his line to the left-handed Bravo, going for 12 including a set of five wides. Hayden Walsh Jr started with two full tosses, and while Pollard was almost bowled by the first one, he dismissed the second for a Hero Maximum. Bravo punished Rashid for going too full with a slog-swept six.
Mitchell Santner couldn’t contain Bravo, who clubbed 10 off the first two balls of the over, or Pollard, who hit an extraordinary one-handed Hero Maximum over the sight screen. Pollard repeated the trick to end a Reifer over that started with Bravo hammering a full toss for six, and, suddenly the Knight Riders were 155/3 off 18.
Holder proved expensive in the 19th, with 3 wides punctuating Pollard hammering a Hero Maximum and Bravo essaying a classy lofted drive. In the 20th, Bravo found and then cleared the midwicket fence to take himself to 50, and the Knight Riders to an imposing total. The last four overs went at a bruising 17.25 an over, and the Tridents were left wondering if they’d got their bowling strategies right.
The Tridents had to go hard and Johnson Charles did exactly that, targeting Jayden Seales to the tune of 20 runs to start the chase in overdrive. It was a measure of how concerned Pollard was that he went to DJ Bravo in the Powerplay.
It was a dramatic over – elder brother Darren dropped Charles off the first ball, ensuring the wait for a 500th T20 wicket for DJ went on, and the Tridents opener rubbed it in with two boundaries. Hope was very much the support act, ending the Powerplay at 9 off 11 to Charles’ 46 off 25. Remarkably, those 46 came entirely between long leg and midwicket.
But Narine, Ali Khan and Fawad Ahmed slowed scoring significantly, and the pressure told as Charles lost his off-stump to Fawad just after reaching his 50. Corey Anderson’s horror start to Hero CPL 2020 continued as he was run out by Seales for 2, and after a promising start the Tridents were falling away.
The elder Bravo pulled off a good low catch to dismiss Mayers off Khary Pierre. Hope picked up a four off Pierre and a massive Hero Maximum off Fawad, but the legspinner responded well to limit the damage and send the rate above 12.
Though Carter found the fence with a deft reverse scoop off DJ Bravo, it was not enough, with 14.5 an over needed off the last six, he aimed a swipe at Ali Khan and was bowled. The Tridents had lost all momentum, and Hope’s sluggish innings finally ended with a top-edged hoick.
Had Rashid been promoted up the order to help out Holder, who struck the ball beautifully, it may have been a closer-run thing. Seales bowled a nervy last over, but by then it was too late, and the Knight Riders had shown their class to go three wins from three.