Only 2 points separate the top 3 teams in this season’s Caribbean Premier League after the end of 15 matches. The Barbados Tridents still lead the race with 8 points from a possible 14. But last night, they had a very ordinary match as they slipped up and gave away two points to their rivals St Kitts and Nevis Patriots who now find themselves just one victory away from clinching the top spot with a game in hand.
The St Kitts and Nevis Patriots lost the toss as the Barbados Tridents chose to bat and started positively at the Basseterre. They reached a score of 46/0 in the power play and were heading for a challenging score on a worn our Basseterre pitch.
But Afridi provided the first blow as Munaweera was picked up for 18 in the 7th over. Smith went soon to Shamshi and this left the Tridents with two new batsmen with the score 49/2. Jason Holder came up the order and played positively but lost his wicket in the last ball of the 12th over as the Tridents were reeling at 70/3 in 12 overs.
They lost their momentum in the middle of the innings and were now trying to get back to grips with the pace of the game. Shamshi then picked Hope and Carter in the space of 3 balls and Tridents were 76/5 in 14 overs with a lot left to be done to post a challenging total.
The skipper, Kieron Pollard played a quick innings of 49 from 33 balls with 5 sixes and bought the score to 135 before losing his wicket in the last over. The last three overs produced 47 runs but the Tridents still had to do a lot of work if they wanted to get close to troubling the Patriots in the chase.
The St Kitts and Nevis Patriots started the chase of a moderate total positively. But E Lewis lost his wicket in the 3rd over to Smith as he was gone for 10 of 8 balls. At 26/1, Guptill and Samuels started to knit on a confident partnership.
Both players played sensibly putting the bad ball away and keeping in reach of the required run rate. In the 15th over, with just 25 runs required of 32 balls, Guptill was run out, but his team was comfortably placed for victory. Brathwaite joined Samuels in the middle as Samuels went berserk in Nurse’s over. He scored 18 runs with 3 4’s and a 6. He ended up with 71 of 54 balls and finished the game with 17 balls to spare and 8 wickets in hand. It was a comfortable victory as they were rarely challenged by the Barbados Tridents side.
Though the defending champions started the campaign positively, they are slowly loosing shape and they will not be able to hang onto the top spot for long if they continue this way. The St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on the other side need just one victory to equal the Tridents on points and will be raring to continue their good form in the rest of the season.
Make sure you follow the rest of the Caribbean Premier League and that you do not miss out on the enthralling action at the end of the season.