A brilliant innings from AB de Villiers helped the Barbados Tridents to victory in their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) match against the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots. His innings of 82 was his second half century in his last two innings and his highest score this season.
An excellent start with the ball from the Patriots in the Tridents batting PowerPlay saw them take control of this match before de Villiers ripped it away from them. Alzarri Joseph, one of the stars of the West Indies Under-19 World Cup triumph, bowled brilliantly with the new ball. He beat Ramon Reifer for pace with a shorter ball that ballooned up for a catch for Lendl Simmons.
Two more wickets fell inside the first six overs; USA international Steven Taylor trapped lbw by Sheldon Cottrell and Shoaib Malik caught mistiming a pull off Samuel Badree, as the Tridents found themselves 29-3 and in real trouble on an excellent Kensington Oval pitch.
From there de Villiers proved why he is considered the best batsman across formats in world cricket as he steadied the Tridents ship. He began slowly but accelerated brilliantly throughout his innings. He finished with 82 from 54 balls, the highlight being the giant six that he smashed over the roof of the grandstand off Cottrell.
He was dropped three times during his innings, the last of which involved a sickening collision between JJ Smuts and Kieran Powell. It was a bone-crushing impact and it was upsetting to see Powell leaving the ground in an ambulance. Powell suffered a concussion and he is being closely observed by the medical staff, and was unable to bat.
Smuts had recovered well enough from his impact with Powell to open the batting for the Patriots and he didn’t seem to be showing any lasting after-effects as he struck Wayne Parnell for back-to-back fours in the first over. Smuts looked to be well set to make a decent contribution when he attempted to cut a wide ball from Akeal Hosein and only succeeded in chipping the ball straight to Reifer at point.
Proteas batsman du Plessis made a significant contribution, but he lacked any real support from his colleagues as the required rate began to rise. Jonathan Carter made 47 but he struggled to make those runs at a decent lick, as a result heaping more pressure on du Plessis.
The required rate was up to 14 an over when du Plessis attempted a cross-batted swipe to a delivery from Reifer that he edged onto his stumps. Carter swung manfully to try and catch up with the rate, but it just kept climbing.
The Patriots are not mathematically eliminated from the Hero CPL, but their chances of making the knockout stages rest on them winning their remaining four matches and hoping for other results to go their way.
Match 15, Jamaica Tallawahs v Guyana Amazon Warriors Preview
The Biggest Party in Sport moves on to Kingston on Friday, and Jamaica Tallawahs coach Paul Nixon says his team are feeling very confident ahead of their home leg of the Hero CPL.
“We are in a fantastic place. We have come back home in second place. We have had Andre Russell missing for a few games now, he is coming back into the fold now. Chris [Gayle] is in world class form.
“We are of course bitterly disappointed about the last game [against Barbados Tridents] being rained out. We thought that was a very good target on a wet night. The bouncebackability that we have shown from Guyana after some slightly poor decision making, we are in a much better place.”
A big crowd is expected at Sabina Park and Nixon says they have some great cricket to look forward to from his charges.
“[The crowd] can expect some fearless cricket. The guys know their roles and their responsibilities. We want to put on a show for the fantastic crowd that we will get here. It will be a sell-out, the ground will be rocking, it will be pumping. We have got to have calm heads, make sure we execute our skills well and stick to our gameplans and take the game deep – we want to go out and put a real show on.”
The one defeat that the Tallawahs have had this season came against their opponents in the upcoming fixture – the table topping Guyana Amazon Warriors. Nixon says he has been impressed with them so far but that the conditions in Kingston will be different to those in Providence.
“The Warriors have done well. They have Tanvir up front, a left-armer who bowls nicely. But their strength is in their batting. They will do their homework, they will know what to expect. This will be a bit quicker [than the pitch in Guyana] with a bit more bounce.”
Nixon is still clearly disappointed with that loss to Guyana and he says the mistakes of that game will not be repeated.
“We still felt at 70-3 we should have got 140. We went wicket, wicket and then another couple of overs and then wicket, wicket – that happened three times. And that is the only time it will happen in this competition. I guarantee that.”