BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Barbados Tridents pulled off an exciting 17-run triumph over Saint Lucia Zouks as the inaugural edition of the Caribbean Premier League got underway at the Kensington Oval here Tuesday.
Chasing 170 for victory, the Zouks were dismissed for 152 in 19.4 overs despite a promising start from openers Andre Fletcher and Tamim Iqbal who put on 57 for the first wicket.
Iqbal lost his composure, charged to Ashley Nurse and was promptly stumped by Umar Akmal when he had reached 22. The innings never regained full momentum despite a commanding knock of 57 from Fletcher.
Kieron Pollard brought about his demise jumping high to complete a fascinating catch at mid on as he sought to send nurse over the top. His innings was laced with four fours and four sixes. Devon Smith (9), Misbah Ul-Haq 12 and Albie Morkel no score sunk in the middle of the innings leaving skipper Darren Sammy to struggle to increase the run rate.
He managed 35 off 16 deliveries with four fours and two sixes before being bowled by Jason Holder while attempting to swing to long on. Shane Shillingford, Garey Mathurin and Tino Best Best all followed and failed to score as the Zouks tried desperately to achieve their target. Pollard had a fine all-round game picking up three for 15 off 2.4 overs while Holder, Nurse and Rayad Emrit all picked up two wickets.
Earlier in the evening Barbados Tridents won the toss, batted, and got off to the worst possible start as the pugnacious Dwayne Smith edged the first ball of the match from Morkel to Fletcher behind the stumps.
Jonathan Carter and Shoaib Malik then put on 30 for the second wicket until Carter pulled a delivery from Sammy to backward square and was caught by Devon Smith for 11. Shakib al Hasan became Sammy’s second victim, caught by Fletcher, standing up to the stumps for five.
Umar Akmal failed to score, caught by Sammy running around from first slip as Ukmal swept at Shane Shillingford. The Tridents by then had found themselves 48 for four in 7.2 overs. Tridents captain Pollard then joined Man-of-the-Match Shoaib Malik and the pair added 88 for the fifth wicket.
Malik, who struck eight fours and one six in his 51-ball knock, entertained the huge Kensington Oval crowd with shots all around the ground. When on 68 he was bowled by a Nelon Pascal no ball, having previously struck a six and a four off the same bowler from his two previous deliveries.
When Malik went to a low running catch by Herschelle Gibbs off Tino Best Pollard stepped up the tempo for the Tridents smashing an unbeaten 61 from 46 balls with four fours and three sixes, the final of which was a huge six over long on from the final delivery of the innings sent down by Best. Darren Sammy was the leading wicket taker with two for 36.