GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – St Lucia Zouks closed in on the top four when they cruised to their second straight home win with an easy seven-wicket verdict over Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League here yesterday.
Playing at the Darren Sammy National Stadium, they restricted Tridents to 137 for eight off their 20 overs and then reached their adjudged target of 131 with 15 balls to spare, after rain during their innings forced a recalculation.
The victory moved Zouks to six points – the same as the fourth placed Trinbago Knight Riders – but they lie fifth due to an inferior net run rate.
Tridents, meanwhile, remained on seven points in third following their second straight defeat.
Opting to bat first, they were propelled early on by opener Kyle Hope who top-scored with 55 off 48 balls while captain Kieron Pollard chipped in with 20 off 16 deliveries.
Hope struck eight fours and dominated a 51-run opening stand with Ahmed Shehzad (13) before adding another 32 for the third wicket with Pollard.
Once Hope perished in the 15th over at 92 for three, the innings suffered a collapse as Tridents lost three wickets for six runs in the space of ten deliveries.
The in-form pair of Pollard and Nicholas Pooran (2) were part of the slide and their cheap departures exposed the visitors threadbare lower order.
Captain and medium pacer Darren Sammy, voted Man-of-the-Match, was the best bowler with three for 18 from four brilliant overs while seamer Shane Watson supported with two for 29.
In reply, Zouks virtually put the result beyond doubt thanks to an up tempo opening stand of 88 between West Indies openers Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles.
Fletcher smacked 45 off 41 deliveries with two fours and three sixes while Charles weighed in with 41 off 34 deliveries, including two fours and two sixes.
The right-handed Fletcher showed his intent from early, smashing three consecutive sixes off South African seamer Marchant de Lange in the third over which went for 21 runs and Charles followed the cue with a pair of sixes off leg-spinner Imran Khan in the 10th over that leaked 17 runs.
Both fell to Pollard in successive overs from the medium pacer on either side of the rain break and when Watson holed out to long off in the 15th over off pacer Ravi Rampaul, Zouks had lost three wickets for 25 runs in the space of 21 balls.
But South African David Miller belted two fours and a six in scoring 19 from ten balls, to sink Tridents.
K Hope c Hussey b Sammy 55
Ahmed Shehzad c wkp Fletcher b Sammy 13
Shoaib Malik c Hussey b Sammy 3
*K Pollard c & b Johnson 20
+N Pooran c Lesporis b Watson 2
D Wiese c wkp Fletcher b Taylor 17
S Springer run out 6
N Stewart c wkp Fletcher b Watson 9
I Khan not out 3
R Rampaul not out 1
Extras (b1, w6, nb1) 8
TOTAL (8 wkts, 20 overs) 137
Did not bat: M de Lange
Fall of wickets: 1-51, 2-60, 3-92, 4-96, 5-98, 6-111, 7-129, 8-135.
Bowling: Taylor 4-0-18-1, Morkel 4-0-34-0, Johnson 4-0-37-1 (w3, nb1), Watson 4-0-29-2 (w1), Sammy 4-0-18-3 (w1).
ZOUKS (target: 131 off 19 overs)
J Charles c Khan b Pollard 41
+A Fletcher c wkp Pooran b Pollard 45
S Watson c Ahmed Shehzad b Rampaul 19
D Miller not out 19
*D Sammy not out 0
Extras (lb2, w4, nb1) 7
TOTAL (3 wkts, 16.3 overs) 131
Did not bat: K Lesporis, M Hussey, S Shillingford, D Johnson, J Taylor, M Morkel
Fall of wickets: 1-88, 2-101, 3-113.
Bowling: de Lange 2-0-34-0 (w2), Rampaul 4-1-21-1 (nb1), Wiese 3.3-0-21-0, Imran Khan 3-0-27-0 (w2), Stewart 1-0-6-0, Pollard 3-0-20-2 (w1)
Result: Zouks won by seven wickets (D/L method).
Points: Zouks 2, Tridents 0.
Man-of-the-Match: Darren Sammy.
Toss: Barbados Tridents.
Umpires: Z Bassarath, P Gustard; TV – J Cloete.