Saturday 18th July – Port of Spain, Trinidad: An excellent performance from Darren Bravo with the bat and from Dwayne Bravo with the ball has seen the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel defeat the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Hero Caribbean Premier League. Darren Bravo made a superb 40 runs off just 15 balls to set up a very challenging target. Brother Dwayne then collected three wickets for just 15 runs as the Patriots chase looked to be on and then fell away.
The Red Steel got off to a fine start thanks to South African legend, Jacques Kallis. He is the leading run scorer for the Red Steel in this tournament and he continued in that vein here. He was on 25 not out and the Red Steel were 30-0 when rain took the players from the field.
When the rain abated and the players got back on the field, the Red Steel lost William Perkins. Promoted to open in the place of Cameron Delport, Perkins managed 15 from 12 balls before he mistimed a pull shot off Sohail Tanvir that was caught in the covers.
It wasn’t long before the rain returned and it hung around long enough to see the game reduced to 14 overs a side. The very first ball after the resumption saw Kallis dismissed, stumped off the bowling of Jomel Warrican for a 29-ball 31
Kamran Akmal smashed a massive six but was out in the next over when he tried to repeat the trick against Tabraiz Shamsi, who was in wicket taking form once again on his return from his hamstring issues.
The fall of Akmal’s wicket brought the Bravo brothers together and Dwayne and Darren combined to produce 26 runs in 11 balls. Dwayne fell in the 13th over for eight runs, but Darren added a brilliant 40 runs that included five sixes.
There was drama in the last over when Carlos Brathwaite was removed from the attack for bowling a second beamer. He had already been smashed for a six off the first ball and, when the second was a high full toss, he was handed his cap by the umpire.
He was replaced by Afridi who found it no easier to keep the run rate under control as he was hit for four sixes in five balls as the Red Steel made it to 134-5 off their 20 overs.
Once the target had been readjusted, by Duckworth-Lewis-Stern, the Patriots needed 142 runs to win. Evin Lewis opened the batting and was brutal against his former teammates. He was on 35 from 16 balls at the end of the Powerplay that was reduced to four overs.
Lewis fell for 40 off 22 balls when he attempted to drive Dwayne Bravo over long off. He was replaced by Shahid Afridi and he and Samuels took up the six hitting mantel. It looked as if they would combine to reach this target with ease, but Samuels was bowled by a brilliant legspinning delivery from Derone Davies.
Afridi and Ramon Reifer looked to be edging their side to victory but they fell to successive deliveries off Dwayne Bravo. Reifer went skying a ball into the deep. Afridi was then pinned LBW. Those wickets took Bravo to the top of the wicket taking table in this year’s tournament and put the Red Steel firmly in charge of this chase. Their stranglehold was further increased with Devon Thomas also fell going for a big shot leaving the Patriots 111-6.
The Patriots never recovered from that cluster of wickets as the Red Steel won the game with relative ease having been under real pressure halfway through the chase.
The loss means that the Patriots are the first team to be eliminated from CPL 2015 having claimed eight points from their 10 games. It has been a credit worthy first year from the new franchise, but they will be hugely disappointed not to be competing in the elimination games.
For the Red Steel this win means they have managed to go from the bottom of the table to third place and, with two games in hand, they are brilliantly placed to finish top when all of the matches have been played.