Three wickets in an over from Hayden Walsh Jr and a superb spell from Harry Gurney turned the Barbados Tridents’ whole season around as they defended 141 for 6 to defeat St Lucia Zouks and grab the final 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in a winner-takes-all clash at the Kensington Oval.

The Tridents looked to be heading out of the competition when the Zouks had got the target down to 31 runs from 28 balls with six wickets in hand, but Gurney then dismissed Hardus Viljoen before Walsh Jr’s three-wicket burst in the next over made it four wickets in eight balls and turned the match on its head.

Their total looked slightly short at the halfway stage, but with the pressure of a win-or-bust situation, and a pitch offering some assistance to the bowlers, it always promised to be a nervous run-chase for the Zouks.

Nevertheless, the Tridents’ hopes were already fading fast when the asking rate for the Zouks dropped below a run a ball within the powerplay despite the loss of openers Andre Fletcher and Rahkeem Cornwall.

Colin Ingram and Colin de Grandhomme kept the hammer down and got the Zouks so far ahead of the rate that even when they fell in successive overs control of the chase was still firmly in the visitors’ hands.

But first Gurney, and then most dramatically Walsh Jr, changed that with dizzying speed. Viljoen had smashed Gurney for six the ball before his dismissal, making the English left-armer’s slower ball bouncer an even bolder choice. But it did the job with Viljoen early on his shot and gloving through to Johnson Charles.

That triggered a startling collapse, with the Zouks losing their last six wickets for six runs in barely three overs to tumble out of the tournament.

Walsh Jr had Chris Barnwell, Daren Sammy and Krishmar Santokie caught on the boundary in his third over, while Gurney returned to finish off a superb spell of bowling in which he used the helpful conditions expertly by having Kesrick Williams caught on the fence from another deceptive slower ball. He finished with 3 for 17 from four high-quality overs.

It was Walsh Jr who had the last word, bagging his fourth wicket of the night and tournament-leading 14th of the 2019 Hero CPL to finish off the game and send the Tridents into the playoffs.

It was a fine effort from the Tridents after the heartbreak of the one-run defeat to St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 24 hours earlier that had turned this game into a must-win.

Even on a pitch offering a bit for the bowlers, 141 for 6 still felt short of what the Tridents would have hoped for after getting over the loss of Alex Hales to Santokie’s slower ball for a duck to post 48 for 1 in the powerplay. With Charles looking in imperious form and the classy Shakib Al Hasan another major headache for the Zouks, a total in excess of 160 looked on the cards.

Shakib, though, fell just as he was starting to really get going, drilling a slog-sweep off Fawad Ahmed but picking out Ingram who held a stinging catch at deep midwicket.

Charles fell three short of a half-century having hit four fours and two sixes in a 36-ball stay. No other Trident was able to match his ball-striking.

JP Duminy, a record-breaker earlier in the week, made 13 from 18 here before edging the excellent Santokie behind, while there was to be no repeat of last night’s Raymon Reifer fireworks as he holed out for just 3.

 

 

Daren Sammy held his nerve to keep St Lucia Zouks’ 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff hopes very much alive with a four-wicket win over Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday night.

A pair of Hero Maximums in the penultimate over of a nervy, high-stakes run-chase effectively settled the contest, bringing the scores level and allowing Krishmar Santokie to smash the winning runs at the start of the final over.

Victory for the Zouks lifted them back above Barbados Tridents into fourth place while also ending the Tallawahs’ own lingering hopes of a top-four finish. It’s the first time in Hero CPL history the Tallawahs miss out on the playoffs.

The Zouks now head to Barbados on Sunday for a hugely significant clash with the Tridents as the league phase hits the home straight.

Chasing 166 for victory, Rahkeem Cornwall got the Zouks off to the perfect start with a 24-ball half-century with four fours and five sixes.

He showed his intent from the very first over, pulling Zahir Khan for four and then launching a Hero Maximum over long-on.

The real carnage came in the third over of the innings as Jerome Taylor was taken for 25. Cornwall hit back-to-back Hero Maximums to start the over before Andre Fletcher finished it off with 10 runs in two balls.

Fletcher was caught at slip by Chris Gayle off Zahir Khan, but Cornwall raced on to his half-century, his most dramatic contribution a huge Hero Maximum off Ramaal Lewis that bounced twice on the roof before finding its way into the car park.

He was gone two balls later, though – just after reaching his half-century – when another attempt to clear the rope was held just inside it by Chadwick Walton.

When Colin de Grandhomme holed out off Imran Khan to the first ball of the next over for a golden duck, the Zouks were in danger of losing their way.

But with the required rate well in hand, Colin Ingram and Hardus Viljoen had the luxury of taking a few overs just to steady the ship. They did so, Viljoen then getting the chase really back up and running with a pair of huge sixes over long-on off Khan. The final ball of that over was pulled to the square-leg fence and the Zouks were firmly back in control.

Still it was not exactly plain sailing to the finish line. Ingram was run out by a superb direct hit from Khan at mid-off, before Viljoen top-edged a Dwayne Smith short ball to Shamar Springer at long-leg.

When Chris Barnwell picked out Smith at long-on to give Imran Khan a second wicket, the Tallawahs suddenly sensed a chance with the equation 19 from 12 and Daren Sammy left with only the Zouks bowlers for company.

Two huge sixes later, the matter was all but settled with Santokie gleefully crashing the first ball of the final over to the cover boundary to seal a hugely important win.

Dwayne Smith had earlier returned to form in fine style for the Tallawahs. Having failed to reach double-figures in four previous 2019 Hero CPL innings, Smith looked back to his very best in plundering 58 in 38 balls with six fours and three sixes.

But after he and debutant Liton Das (21 from 21) were dismissed in successive balls by the impressive Kesrick Williams, the Tallawahs innings fell away.

From 138/2 after 16 overs with two set batsmen at the crease, only 27 more were added at a cost of five wickets in the face of some superb Zouks death bowling.

Williams was very much the pick, adding the wicket of Trevon Griffith to finish with fine figures of 3/24 despite Shamar Springer hitting the final ball of his spell for six.

Glenn Phillips and Gayle had got the innings off to a fine start before 2019 Hero CPL leading run-scorer Phillips was bounced out by Viljoen after smacking back-to-back fours.

Gayle was then prepared to play second fiddle to Smith in a partnership of Smith before being caught by a juggling Viljoen at long-off as Sammy’s decision to bring himself into the attack paid dividends.

Smith went through to his half-century in 30 balls but fell just as the Tallawahs were looking to really launch in the final overs. They were never quite able to do so.

St Lucia Zouks skipper Darren Sammy has expressed frustration with the team’s reading of its own home field conditions following a loss to the table-topping Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Wednesday.

For the playoff-chasing team, the loss came on the back of a win of against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.  Defending 161 against the Warriors, however, the Zouks were unable to repeat the type of performance, that was typified by energetic efficiency.

“As a team we have just not executed our plans.  Especially when you are playing at home where you know the conditions, we are getting a lesson from the opposition about how to play on the wicket and it should be the other way around,” Sammy said.

“We have two games left and they are must-win.  We have Jamaica next and we are going to come back stronger.”

Having played eight games so far the Zouks are in fourth spot on five points, ahead of the Barbados Tridents on four and the last place Jamaica Tallawahs who also have four.  The Tridents have, however, played two games less to date.

 

 

Brandon King’s unbeaten 81 helped Guyana Amazon Warriors make it a magnificent seven wins out of seven in their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over St Lucia Zouks at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

The Warriors are assured of a top-two finish and with it a place in the first qualifier for a place in the final with the safety net of a second chance should they lose that one.

The Zouks remain fourth but may need win both their remaining games to have a decent chance of staying there given the Tridents are just a point behind with two games in hand.

No such concerns for the Warriors, though, who were given the ideal start to their pursuit of 162 for victory here by Chandrapaul Hemraj, who smashed two fours and three Hero Maximums in a 20-ball 33 that put Guyana ahead of the eight-an-over required rate at the outset.

When he fell, skying a sweep shot off Fawad Ahmed, King took up the charge having been relatively quiet while Hemraj was doing his thing. All but one of King’s six sixes came after Hemraj had been dismissed and, despite the loss of Shimron Hetmyer for just 5 to a caught behind decision that displeased him, the Warriors reached the 10-over mark exactly halfway to their target at 81/2 with plenty of batting options still to come. They didn’t need it, King and Shoaib Malik, who finished on 30, easing the Warriors past the target with almost two overs to spare with an unbroken 92-run stand for the third wicket.

After 12 overs, that required rate of 8.1 from the last 10 had come down to barely a run a ball thanks to King. He took Barnwell’s first three balls for two sixes and a four, with Shoaib Malik striking another four through backward point to round off an over that put 21 on the total. Along the way, King reached another classy half-century and the Warriors passed 100.

Suddenly, the target was a routine 49 from 48 and from there it was a cruise for the table-toppers, Malik stroking the winning single down the ground with 10 balls to spare.

Earlier, there was another masterclass in spin bowling from the Warriors. All six overs of the Powerplay were bowled by spinners, with Chris Green and Imran Tahir particularly impressive. Their five overs under the fielding restrictions gave up just 20 runs. At one point the pair between them bowled 10 successive deliveries without conceding a run while the Zouks lost their first two wickets.

Andre Fletcher was first to go, skying one miles into the St Lucia sky and being well held by Ben Laughlin to give Tahir the first of his two wickets. The second was a bad moment for Rahkeem Cornwall, run out having failed to run his bat in yet being so far over the crease that he almost made his ground with his foot.

From 21/0 after three overs, the Zouks found themselves 24/2 in the sixth.

The Colins Ingram and de Grandhomme set about repairing the damage. De Grandhomme ended the runless streak by depositing Green onto the grass banks at midwicket.

Ingram contributed 25 from 14 balls to a 56-run stand before drilling Tahir low, hard and flat to long-off where Green held a stinging running catch.

De Grandhomme carried on, though, and reached an excellent half-century – his first in the Hero CPL - from just 27 balls with four Hero Maximums.

What he lacked, though, was further Ingram-style support. Jahmar Hamilton and Daren Sammy each made 9 off 10 and 15 balls respectively, and the pressure to accelerate the scoring began to tell on de Grandhomme who duly holed out for 65 when there were still three overs left where he could have caused some damage.

Barnwell did give the Zouks one final lift by taking Shepherd for three successive sixes in the 19th over, but the 20th from Laughlin was superb. He picked up two wickets while conceding just three singles to finish with eye-catching figures of 3/12 from three overs and leave the Zouks well short of where they needed to be.

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots skipper Carlos Brathwaite insists the team will not lose too much sleep over the decision to promote in-form batsman Fabian Allen up the order, despite the move seeming to backfire against the St Lucia Zouks on Tuesday.

Allen has been one of the tournament’s most devastating batsmen, his 192 runs scored at an impressive strike rate of 181.13.  The batsman has, however, typically come into the line-up at six or seventh this season where he has routinely taken apart bowling attacks.

  With the game in the balance at 4 for 89, on Tuesday, and the threat of rain on the horizon, Allen was brought into the line-up at fifth.  The move quickly backfired as he was dismissed lbw by Kesrick Williams after facing just two deliveries.

“With the showers around we figured that Fabian, being in the form that he has been in, could bring us closer to the Duckworth Lewis and take some pressure off the rest of the line-up," Brathwaite said.

“After the rains came we just decided that the run rate was getting close to 12.  We didn’t want it to be a situation where Fabian would have to come in and dig us out from 16,17 an over, which he has been doing,” he added.

“We gave him the opportunity to go up the order.  It didn’t quite work out but in a situation like that, you can’t really lay blame.  We tried something but it just didn’t work.”

St Lucia Zouks jumped from last place in the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) table to a playoff spot with a fine 20-run victory over St Kitts & Nevis Patriots at the Daren Sammy Stadium.

Rain was the winner after only 12.2 overs were possible in Saturday’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) clash between St Lucia Zouks and Trinbago Knight Riders at Daren Sammy Stadium.

Colin Ingram was the star of what play was possible, getting off the mark with two sixes within the first four balls he faced and making his way to 52 not out from 36 before the rain arrived.

He put on 51 for the third wicket with Colin de Grandhomme (17 from 16) after Andre Fletcher and John Campbell both fell to the first ball of new spells.

Fletcher was caught by Khary Pierre off Ali Khan’s first ball of the night, while Campbell was superbly caught and bowled by Jimmy Neesham, who stuck out a right hand in his follow-through to pouch a ball hit back at him with interest.

Neesham had a far simpler task to dismiss de Grandhomme when his New Zealand team-mate miscued Kieron Pollard straight to him at cover, while Rahkeem Cornwall – moved down the order to number five for this game – sliced Pierre to Khan at short third-man from the final ball before the rain arrived.

Both teams take a point apiece from the abandoned game, leaving the Knight Riders a point behind Guyana Amazon Warriors at the top of the table while the Zouks move within a point of Barbados Tridents in the final playoff spot.

The Zouks are next in action against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on Tuesday, while the Knight Riders now travel to Barbados to face the Tridents on Thursday.

The St Lucia Zouks have announced that Colin Ingram will be joining them for the remainder of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season. Ingram will be replacing Sri Lankan Thisara Perera who has been recalled for a Sri Lanka Cricket training camp.

Ingram has played at the Hero CPL before, joining the championship winning Trinbago Knight Riders for the latter stages of the 2018 season. He has also played in the Australian Big Bash, the Indian Premier League and for Glamorgan in the T20 Blast in the UK.

Ingram has played for South Africa 40 times and has appeared in 250 T20 matches in various tournaments around the world. With four hundreds, 38 fifties and over 6000 runs in T20 he brings a huge amount of experience to the Zouks squad as they look to make the knockout stages of the Hero CPL for the first time since 2016.

The Zouks have, to date, had a torrid time of their 2019 CPL campaign, losing three of their four games, with a solitary win coming against the woeful Jamaica Tallawahs inside Sabina Park in Kingston.

Akeem Jordan took 4 for 33 on his Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) debut to set St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on their way to a six-wicket victory over St Lucia Zouks.

Jordan’s are the second-best figures ever for a Hero CPL debutant, and the best since the very first year of the tournament.

He took a wicket in each of his four overs as the Zouks were restricted to 138 for 9 from their 20 overs, a total the Patriots chased down with minimal fuss thanks largely to Evin Lewis’ ferocious 65 from 30 balls.

The Patriots recovered quickly from the early loss of Devon Thomas for just a single, with Lewis and Laurie Evans adding 45 for the second wicket either side of a short rain delay.

Evans was bowled by a beauty from Fawad Ahmed that spun past the edge into off stump, but Lewis was on a mission.

Having set the record for the fastest ever Hero CPL half-century earlier in the tournament he became just the second man to score 100 career Hero CPL sixes with the first of his six sixes here. Chris Gayle has 160.

Lewis dominated a 62-run stand with Mohammad Hafeez that finished the game as a contest, reaching his 50 in just 26 balls with his fifth six, hit high and handsome off Kavem Hodge.

That started a run of 20 runs in four balls before Hodge exacted a measure of revenge, Lewis finally miscuing one to be caught by Roland Cato on the boundary.

The Patriots were just 14 short of their target when another flurry of rain forced another short stoppage, but the home side’s celebrations were not delayed for long.

Mohammad Hafeez fell for a measured 26 with the finishing line in sight, but Carlos Brathwaite finished the job with a huge six - and with a whopping 31 balls to spare – to seal a victory that had looked on the cards ever since that dramatic first Hero CPL spell from Jordan reduced the Zouks to 33 for 3.

Jordan struck a key blow in the very first over of the night as Andre Fletcher slapped a short ball straight to Fabian Allen at point. In his next over he picked up an even bigger wicket as the in-form Rahkeem Cornwall sliced one down to third-man where Sheldon Cottrell took a smart catch.

Hodge got a couple of boundaries away in Jordan’s third over inside the Power Play but then picked out deep midwicket looking for a third.

Usama Mir got to work in the middle of the innings, dismissing Cato and Colin de Grandhomme while giving up just 13 runs in four expert overs of leg-spin.

De Grandhomme made 30, while Daren Sammy unleashed a couple of huge Hero Maximums in his 18.

But Sammy and Kesrick Williams fell to stunning diving catches in successive balls from keeper Thomas – Williams the fourth victim for Jordan – to leave the Zouks 100/8.

Hardus Viljoen and Obed McCoy added an enterprising 35 for the ninth wicket, but the damage had been done.

Victory for the Patriots lifts them to third in the Hero CPL table, behind only the unbeaten heavyweight pair of Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders.

 

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots captain Carlos Brathwaite has hailed the team’s bowling effort as the most complete to date following a 6 wicket win over St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Sunday.

Patriots home team debutant Akeem Jordan was the star of the show as his four-for rattled the visiting Zouks, particularly early on.  Crucially, Jordan dislodged both openers Andre Fletcher (1) and Rahkeem Cornwall (5) who have proven to be dangerous scorers on several occasions this season.

 For Brathwaite, who also saw Usana Mir and Rayad Emrit claim two wickets each, the performance could not have come at a better time.

“This is probably the most complete bowling effort we’ve had so far,” Brathwaite said following the match.

“One of the things we asked for was wickets at the top, that’s why we brought Akeem Jordan in and he delivered, so congrats to him.  As a team, we executed as well as we wanted to and obviously, in the end, we got the result we wanted as well.”

For his efforts, Jordan was named the player of the match

 

When Andre Russell went down and out of Thursday night’s game between the Jamaica Tallawahs and the St. Lucia Zouks at Sabina Park, it proved to be a turning point in the game that ended with the visitors coming out victors.

St Lucia Zouks secured an impressive first victory of their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign on a night marred by a nasty-looking injury for Jamaica Tallawahs’ star all-rounder Andre Russell.

St Lucia Zouks captain Darren Sammy has revealed the team will be looking to its overseas imports for a much-needed boost, following a slow start to the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

The struggling Zouks lost back-to-back encounters against the Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders to start the season.  The St Lucian-based franchise would have been hoping for fast start to the season after losing six games last season and finishing in 5th place.

In five seasons the highest place St Lucia has managed is fourth, making the playoffs on just one occasion.  Hoping to buck that trend in this current season Sammy is hoping newcomers

“We have more experience coming in with Colin de Grandhomme who is batting really well for New Zealand.  He can bring that experience.  We also have Hardus Viljoen who just had a good T20 blast in England,” Sammy said.

The former West Indies captain was, however, quick to admit that the team needed to improve its overall effort.

“At the end of the day, it takes a total team effort to win cricket games…So far it’s only been Cornwall giving us that start but we need different people in the line-up to come out and perform.”

 The Zouks will take on the Jamaica Tallawahs at Sabina Park on Thursday.

 

Defending Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) champions Trinbago Knight Riders made it three wins from three in their season-opening home stint after cruising past St Lucia Zouks’ 167 for 5 with seven wickets and 13 balls to spare.

Very different yet equally impressive half-centuries from the explosive Lendl Simmons and ice-cool Denesh Ramdin ensured a mid-range target never really posed much of a threat. Simmons set the tone with a six straight back over Thisara Perera’s head from just the second ball of the innings, with Sunil Narine adding another Hero Maximum as 14 came from the opening over.

With the boundaries coming so regularly, even the loss of Narine and Tion Webster in the space of nine balls, the latter caught at point from Fawad Ahmed’s first ball of the day, did nothing to stem the flow.

Ramdin had been understandably content to play second fiddle to Simmons for the most part but he cut loose once the partnership reached 50, taking Fawad Ahmed for 10 in two balls as 17 runs came from the 11th over of the innings.

Simmons continued the boundary spree with his fifth Hero Maximum, powered down the ground off Kavem Hodge, but the bowler had instant revenge as Simmons ran past a wide to be comprehensively stumped by Andre Fletcher.

The target was by now down to 62 from 52, though, and with Kieron Pollard striding to the middle to join Ramdin there was little reason for optimism from the Zouks.

All that remained to be determined was whether Ramdin could complete his 50 before Pollard finished the game, and back-to-back fours through midwicket and point took him to 47 and the victory target down to seven at the start of the 18th over.

He duly got to the landmark with a clip for two that brought the scores level, and the Zouks’ day to forget ended with a wide outside off to hand TKR the winning run.

The Zouks innings, just as in their opening match against Guyana Amazon Warriors, was given a stunning start by Rahkeem Cornwall. He followed up a 14-ball 36 in that game with 33 from 12.

His departure, trapped plumb in front on the sweep by Narine, brought an inevitable slowing of the rate.

Fletcher struggled to cut loose in a frustrating 32-ball stay that brought him 26 runs while Najibullah Zadran’s promising cameo was ended at 26 from 17 balls when he picked out Javon Searles on the long-off boundary from a Mohammad Hasnain slower ball.

Daren Sammy smashed back-to-back sixes in his 16 from 13, while John Campbell did start to find the boundary towards the back end of the innings but once again it felt like the Zouks had failed to take full advantage of the early momentum the innings had been given by their big opener.

 

 

Trinbago Knight Riders captain expressed delight with the contribution of multiple players as the team maintained a perfect start to the new CPL season with a 7-wickets win over St Lucia Zouks on Sunday.

The win added to victories over the Jamaica Tallawahs and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, marked a third in a row for TKR who bowled off the season at the Queens Park Oval.  Powered by 50s from Denesh Ramdin (50) and Lendl Simmons (63), TKR comfortably hunted down St Lucia’s first innings total of 167 for 5.  Simmons hits five boundaries and five sixes for his total, while Ramdin reached the boundary five times only once clearing the ropes.

Against the Tallawahs the team had outstanding contributions from Sunil Narine and Tion Webster.  Jimmy Neesham and Pollard himself were the ones to deliver for the home team in the opening match.  Pollard, who took over captain duties from Dwayne Bravo at the start of the tournament believes the varied contributions so far is a good sign for the defending champions.

“That’s what cricket is about, it’s a team sport.  We know in T20 cricket in each and every game the same person is going to do it.  We spoke about it in the dressing room and every game can be someone else.  Last game was Tion Webster the youngster and Lendl has been searching for runs,” Pollard said following the match.

The TKR captain also expressed satisfaction with the team’s position in the early standings.

“I think it was crucial for us…playing three games in six days and the intensity of T20 cricket and playing at 12.  I thought the heat the better of us at the start and we were flat but we spoke about it and just asked for one big push.”

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