BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Opener Evin Lewis stroked the fastest half-century of this year’s Caribbean Premier League but missed out on three figures in controversial circumstances as St Kitts and Nevis Patriots crushed Barbados Tridents by 10 wickets, in the final preliminary game here Sunday night.
The left-hander ended unbeaten on 97 from 32 deliveries as Patriots easily chased down a paltry target of 129 in just seven overs at Kensington Oval, to clinch second spot in the standings.
Lewis blasted six fours and 11 giant sixes and such was his assault on the Tridents bowlers that partner Chris Gayle was reduced to being a spectator, finishing 22 not out from 14 balls.
The 25-year-old Lewis raced to his half-century off 19 balls, raising the landmark by disdainfully pulling Pakistani seamer Wahab Riaz over the ropes at mid-wicket in the fifth over.
His run-spree continued unabated and he appeared on the verge of the fastest-ever CPL hundred and the second fastest in T20 history, when he reached 97.
However, with the scores tied and Lewis needing three runs to complete his feat, captain Kieron Pollard delivered a no-ball, frustrating the player’s hopes and bringing an anti-climactic end to the contest.
Sent in earlier, Tridents once again struggled and could only muster 128 for nine off their 20 overs, with Tion Webster top-scoring with 32 and opener Nicholas Pooran getting 21.
Seamer Carlos Brathwaite was the best bowler, claiming career-best figures of four for 15 while left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi finished with two for 14 also from four overs.
Entering the contest needing a massive win in order to overtake Guyana Amazon Warriors on net run rate for the last playoff spot, Tridents showed little sign of being up for the task.
But the left-hander missed a pull at off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez and was bowled at the end of the fifth over and Smith popped a catch to the keeper off Brathwaite off the first ball of the next over, to further set the Tridents back.
Webster then put on 31 for the third wicket with Kane Williamson who struggled 20 balls over his 14 without a single boundary before holing out to long on in the 11th over off Shamsi at 74 for three.
With two runs added in the 12th over Englishman Eoin Morgan, was bowled by off-break bowler Mohammad Nabi, completing a miserable run that brought him nine runs from four innings.
The innings then quickly ran out of steam as five wickets tumbled for 46 runs, with Brathwaite making key strikes.
Lewis then quickly got stuck into the Tridents bowlers, smashing three massive sixes off the second over bowled by seamer Wayne Parnell which cost 18 runs before ripping into off-spinner Ryan Wiggins to plunder 24 runs from the fourth over.
Patriots were in full flight by then and they set a record for the most runs in a power-play in CPL history when they raced to 105 off six overs.