Basseterre, St Kitts: A last-over flourish from Devon Thomas helped the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to a competitive total against the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in the Hero Caribbean Premier League but they simply did not have enough runs on the board as the men in red claimed a comfortable six-wicket win thanks to a career-best unbeaten 64 from 43 for William Perkins.
After a watchful start against the respected leg spin of Samuel Badree, Martin Guptill greeted Jacques Kallis into the attack with a booming drive down the ground. Kallis came back well though, and he and Badree ensured that the Patriots made a slow start to their innings.
Evin Lewis turned on the gas with two overs of the Powerplay remaining. He edged Badree’s first ball through the vacant first slip area, and then punished a shorter ball for a second four. Two balls later he perished though, when he misread the turn and played a wild slog to Kallis at short third man.
The Red Steel made another crucial breakthrough in the final over of the Powerplay. Dwayne Bravo took enough pace off the ball so that Martin Guptill’s straight drive fell to Johan Botha at wide long-on. Orlando Peters joined Dowrich at the crease, and had a nervous moment when a lofted shot fell just short of Cameron Delport at short midwicket.
Not long after that half-chance, Peters cut Sulieman Benn towards short third man, and was sent back going for a risky second run when Benn broke the stumps with a tumbling dive.
The Red Steel spinners continued to squeeze the Patriots after the wicket, but Dowrich picked one from Benn and broke the shackles by coming down the track and thumping him over long on for six. However, he could not get hold of a leg spinner from Badree and Javon Searles ran in from the boundary to complete the catch.
Johan Botha dragged his length back to have Marlon Samuels caught at midwicket, and the very next ball he also dismissed Shahid Afridi, who toe-ended a high catch to Dwayne Bravo on the ropes.
Botha did not manage to complete his hat-trick, but with four overs left and the score at 103-6, the Patriots needed to get a move on. Dwayne Bravo bowled Brathwaite with a full, straight delivery to bring up his 250th T20 wicket, becoming only the fifth man to reach this milestone.
Devon Thomas hit a quick-fire 25 in last night’s victory over the Zouks and once again he was a key player for the Patriots. He lost partners quickly though, as Searles took a screamer over his head to get rid of Raymon Reifer, and Sohail Tanvir nicked his first ball behind to Kamran Akmal.
In the final over, Thomas turned his side’s fortunes around by taking Searles for 22 including three maximums. Although he was out caught off the last ball, his 44 from 23 gave his team a fighting chance of winning the match by setting a target of 147.
Jacques Kallis made a positive start to the Red Steel’s chase, punching two length deliveries outside the off stump for four in the first over of the reply. He picked off Sohail Tanvir for three more boundaries in the second over, as the Pakistani seamer erred with both his line and his length.
Tanvir made amends for his first over when he changed ends and Kallis popped a slower ball to Shahid Afridi. Soon after, Cameron Delport was given a life when an edge burst through the hands of Patriots captain Marlon Samuels at slip..
William Perkins punished some poor deliveries from Jomel Warrican to take the pressure off the required run rate. He and Delport rotated the strike and looked to be aggressive against anything loose from the Patriots bowlers.
With just 47 needed from 50 balls, Delport was caught behind when he misread a delivery from Shahid Afridi. Perkins kept his cool after losing his partner, though, and when he launched Shahid Afridi over extra cover for six in the 14th over, the game was all but up.
Perkins reached his 50 with a huge maximum onto the roof over long on, and sealed the win by carving Reifer to the ropes after losing both of the Bravo brothers towards the end. It was only the Red Steel’s second win of this year’s Hero CPL, and it helped lift them off the bottom of the table leapfrogging the Guyana Amazon Warriors.