PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Evin Lewis stroked his second cameo half-century in as many days, as Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel steamrolled St Lucia Zouks with minimum fuss, to post their fourth game on the trot in the Caribbean Premier League here yesterday.
Chasing an uncomplicated 137 for victory at Queen’s Park Oval, Red Steel raced to their target in the 15th over, to complete an easy nine-wicket triumph and their fifth of the competition.
The left-handed Lewis followed up his 72 against Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday with an equally electrifying top score of 77 from a mere 45 balls, as he put on an up tempo 129 for the first wicket with Irishman Kevin O’Brien who finished unbeaten on 55.
Lewis smashed 12 fours and two sixes to decimate the docile Zouks attack and by the time he top-edged a pull at off-spinner Shane Shillingford to Johnson Charles at mid-wicket in the 14th over, Red Steel’s victory had been assured.
O’Brien played second fiddle but was by no means any less effective, cracking three fours and three sixes in his 44-ball innings.
It was he who took Red Steel over the line, lifting left-arm spinner Garey Mathurin over mid-wicket for a couple. The victory put Red Steel top of the standings on ten points, two clear of Guyana Amazon Warriors on eight points, and Tallawahs and Barbados Tridents on six. Zouks, meanwhile, remained winless and rooted to the bottom of the table without a point from four outings. Antigua Hawksbills, also winless, are above them only on net run rate.
Opting to bat first, Zouks struggled from the outset and stuttered to 136 for nine from their 20 overs.
Captain Darren Sammy top-scored with an unbeaten 46 from 35 balls, with a four and four sixes, while South African Roelof van der Merwe got 21 and Keddy Lesporis 20. Leg-spinner Samuel Badree, charged as usual with bowling the new ball, delivered a splendid spell of two for 13 from his four overs that strangled the Zouks’ scoring.
His four overs came on the trot and accounted for both openers – Johnson Charles stumped for 15 after charging and missing a googly in the fourth over and Andre Fletcher, bowled for four after missing a heave two overs later.
Van der Merwe struck two fours and a six and looked to be leading a revival when he picked out Badree at third man with a loose shot to an ordinary delivery from seamer Javon Searles in the ninth over, leaving Zouks on 52 or three.
The over from Searles, his first, leaked 14 runs, however, as Lesporis crunched back-to-back leg-side sixes. His fireworks were also short-lived as he played on to medium pacer Dwayne Bravo in the next over. It was then left to Sammy to rally the innings, punishing speedster Fidel Edwards with two giant sixes in the penultimate over that went for 18 runs. The real fireworks though were the remit of Lewis. He announced his intentions by taking three fours from left-armer Sohail Tanvir’s second over, the third of the innings, before destroying Sammy in the seamer’s opening over, carting him for two fours and two sixes in the innings’ fifth over that cost 20 runs.
He reached his half-century from 23 balls and then survived a chance to Mervin Matthew at third man off pacer Ray Jordan when 56, to strike a few more lusty blows.