Gros Islet, St Lucia – Mere days after picking up their first win of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League, the St Lucia Zouks were the victims on Tuesday night for the Antigua Hawksbills to pick up their first win of the campaign.
Darren Sammy won the toss for the St Lucia Zouks and asked Marlon Samuels’ Antigua Hawksbills to bat first. It was a surprising decision in itself from the home skipper as Beausejour Cricket Ground tends to be kind to batsmen.
This was further emphasised when Kieran Powell smashed his first four balls for four before getting a single. He had played through the line of two of them, but the other two were simply too short. From early on, the Zouks knew they had a belter on their hands.
Charles at the other end struggled to get the ball away. He had started off slowly and missed most of the deliveries he elected to try to hit out of the ground. But luckily for the Hawksbills, Kieran Powell was on sung during the Powerplay. The opening stand had put on a quick 35 runs from 4.4 overs before Powell flicked a delivery to Devon Smith at deep square-leg.
In almost flowing form, by that time, Charles had found his feet. He started attacking the bowling. The Powerplay had finished but he was still finding the boundaries.
Together with Ponting, he took the score to 86, smashing five fours in his 30-ball score of 36.
He would eventually play all round a straight delivery from Albie Morkel.
With the second half of the innings to come, the Hawksbills were in pole position to go on and score a very big total, perhaps double their score. But it turned out to be a tricky period for them. Ponting struggled to get his innings going.
He was afforded two early lives, the first given by Darren Sammy. It was the very next delivery after Charles was bowled as Morkel followed through after bowling to Marlon Samuels.
As the batsmen looked for a quick single, Morkel appeared to push Ponting from the back, causing the batsman to slide and lose momentum. He had given up halfway down the pitch as Shane Shillingford ran in and effected the run out.
The umpires went upstairs to 3rd umpire, Billy Bowden, to judge whether he was impeded. Billy Bowden sent the decision back downstairs to Zouks captain Darren Sammy, who decided not to take Ponting’s wicket. Five balls later, Ponting would topple over in his crease, only just getting back in time to ensure Andre Fletcher didn’t stump him out.
His luck didn’t last long though. Trying to break loose, he slog swept Morkel into the hands of Smith for 20.
The Hawksbills had slipped to 93/3 midway through the 13th over. Twenty runs later, Marlon Samuels was unluckily run out backing up too far off Sammy.
It took the effort of Devon Thomas at the end to give the Hawksbills the momentum they needed. Thomas hit the ball clean, smashing three fours and two sixes in his quickfire knock of 32 runs from 18 balls.
By the time he was out in the 18th over, the Hawksbills were 148/5. The rest of the batsmen pushed the score to 166/6 at the end of their 20 overs.
It was a good score, but no one could predict whether it would be good enough. The pitch showed no demons during the first innings. Andre Fletcher gave the Zouks a start similar to that of Powell for the Hawksbills. Kemar Roach was woefully off target, and Fletcher hit him to every part of the ground.
Roach’s first over cost 16 runs. Fletcher had ten of them. His second cost 15, but he would get Fletcher caught off the top edge. It became evident just how important Fletcher’s batting at the top of the order is for the Zouks.
Tamim Iqbal and Herschelle Gibs put on a short stand of 17 runs before Gibbs swung for the stars but had his stumps rooted by Gavin Tonge. It was the start of the slide for the Zouks.
Though Tamim stuck around, he wasn’t scoring as fluently as he could or as the situation required. Just past the halfway mark of the innings, Marlon Samuels took his off-stump in his second over.
A lot depended on Misbah again, but he would fall to a brilliant catch from Devon Thomas at point when he was on eight. The Zouks, who had started well, were now in tatters at 82/5.
Morkel’s troubles in the tournament continued three runs later. Thomas ran in aggressively, and hit the pitch hard. Morkel tried to pull him but only managed a top-edge to Cotterell.
Over the next 14 runs, both Shillingford and Sammy would go, leaving the Zouks 99/8 and all but out of the contest.
Liam Sebastien and Garey Mathurin added some respectability to the total, hitting 25 and 12 respectively, but ultimately, the Zouks had been well beaten. The Hawksbills had won by 33 runs, and gotten their first win of the Limacol CPL.
Marlon Samuels was brilliant with the ball, putting in a Man of the Match performance of 4-1-10-3.
Antigua Hawksbills: 166/6 (20 overs) +Johnson Charles 36, Devon Thomas 32, Kieran Powell 27, Ricky Ponting 20. Albie Morkel 2-27.
Saint Lucia Zouks: 133/8 (20 overs) Tamim Iqbal 33, Liam Sebastien 25 not out, Andre Fletcher 20. Marlon Samuels 3-10.
Johnson Charles b Albie Morkel 36
Kieran Powell c Devon Smith b Garey Mathurin 27
Ricky Ponting c Devon Smith b Albie Morkel 20
Marlon Samuels run out (Sammy) 12
Devon Thomas c Devon Smith b Shane Shillingford 32
Justin Kemp not out 13
Kemar Roach c Devon Smith b Darren Sammy 5
Rahkeem Cornwall not out 8
Extras: (lb3, w10) 13
Total: 166/6 (20 Overs)
Fall of Wickets: 1-35, 2-86, 3-93, 4-113, 5-148, 6-154
Did not Bat: Dave Mohammed, Sheldon Cotterrell, Gavin Tonge
Bowling: Darren Sammy 4-0-29-1 (2w), Albie Morkel 4-0-27-2 (1w), Garey Mathurin 4-0-31-1 (2w), Shane Shillingford 3-0-21-1, Liam Sebastien 1-0-12-0, Tino Best 4-0-43-0 (3).
Saint Lucia Zouks
Tamim Iqbal b Marlon Samuels 33
Andre Fletcher c Marlon Samuels b Kemar Roach 20
Herschelle Gibbs b Gavin Tonge 5
Misbah-ul-Haq c Devon Thomas b Marlon Samuels 8
Devon Smith b Rahkeem Cornwall 12
Albie Morkel c Sheldon Cotterrell b Devon Thomas 0
Darren Sammy c Kemar Roach b Marlon Samuels 4
Liam Sebastien not out 25
Shane Shillingford b Sheldon Cotterrell 4
Garey Mathurin not out 12
Extras: (lb1 w7 nb2) 10
Total: 133/8 (20 Overs)
Did not Bat: Tino Best
Fall of Wickets: 1-29, 2-48, 3-69, 4-82, 5-82, 6-85, 7-90, 8-99
Bowling: Kemar Roach 4-0-40-1 (1w), Sheldon Cotterrell 4-0-17-1 (2w), Gavin Tonge 3-0-16-1, Marlon Samuels 4-1-10-3, Rahkeem Cornwall 1-0-13-1, Devon Thomas 4-0-36-1 (2nb 2w)
Toss: St Lucia Zouks won the toss and elected to field
Result: Hawksbills won by 33 runs
Points: Hawksbills 2, Zouks 0
Man of the Match: Marlon Samuels
Limacol CPL Points Standings Post Match 8