ST. JOHN’S — Sheldon Cotterrell disarmed the Barbados Tridents last night at North Sound in stirring fashion to set up a crucial victory for the Antigua Hawksbills and give them further hope of making the semi-finals of the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 Tournament.
It was a sterling performance from the well-built Jamaican soldier who has been gaining fans throughout the tournament with his infectious spirit and searing fast bowling. Cotterrell simply carried on from the Queen’s Park Oval where he also impressed against the T&T Red Steel.
His spell of 4-0-20-4 led the home team to chase a meagre target of 98 runs to win. And even it could be said the Antigua Hawksbills made more work of their target than it looked like it required at the halfway stage, they achieved their target relatively comfortably.
The first and most important result on the night was a victory for the hosts, then they could have looked at Net Run Rate. But Johnson Charles seemed to look at the latter first. In the first over, he smashed Shakib Al Hasan for 10 from two balls after getting off the mark with a couple.
He seemed in rush, but Kieran Powell was not on the same wavelength. Off the last ball, Charles called through for a quick single but was denied by Powell. It was too late. He was already halfway down the track and Pollard’s diving stop at short cover effected the run out.
Rakheem Cornwall was sent to replace Charles, perhaps in an effort to keep things moving. But it stalled for the Hawksbills. Midway through the Powerplay, they lost Cornwall for just 4. Powell at the other end batted slowly, waiting for bad deliveries to put away.
Shoaib Malik, who would eventually end with superb figures of 4-2-3-1, bowled 22 dot balls, some 12 of them to Powell, before trapping him leg before wicket. By that time the Powerplay had ended and the Hawksbills were 46 for 3.
Orlando Peters provided the stability the Hawksbills were looking for. Not only did he keep the strike turning over but he also hit boundaries at regular intervals. He had come in at 23 for 2 and taken the score to 65 for 4, scoring 31 runs from 22 balls. He hit two fours and three sixes. With half the innings left, the Hawksbills still had a comfortable equation but they needed a partnership to take the Tridents out of the game.
Skipper Marlon Samuels and Ben Rohrer provided that partnership. Together they put on 18 runs. It might seem like a small partnership but it was required at the stage to stop the flow of wickets. They batted slowly, with the runs coming from 37 balls, but at the end of it, they needed just 15 runs when Rohrer was out.
It was needless as well as the Australian walked out of his crease to Al Hasan, only to miss the ball. And yet, it could have still been a close game when Devon Thomas joined his skipper.
Emrit had been brought into the attack at a late stage. With 13 runs needed from the last three overs, Emrit was bowling a quite good over. His last ball let him down though. Short and wide, Samuels cut it away for four. Pollard and Samuels enjoyed some banter thereafter, but both knew the writing was on the wall.
That writing was mostly set up by Jamaican left-arm pacer Cotterell. Since the start of the season, he’s been catching a few eyes, so much so he was named part of West Indies A’s team in the series against visiting Sri Lanka A before the CPL. He broke the back of the Tridents batting, removing both openers in his first two overs with sharp, rising deliveries.
Both Dwayne Smith and Jonathan Carter were gone with 25 runs on the board. Three deliveries after getting Carter in his second over, he got Al Hasan, who cut a lifter straight to Kemar Roach at third man.
He saluted after every wicket, reminding his fellow Jamaican Defence Force soldiers they were on his mind even as he starred in front of millions. Before the Powerplay ended, Roach sprung to life, bowling Pollard with a quick, in-swinging delivery. The Tridents were in deep trouble at 26 for 4.
Shoaib Malik and Raymon Reifer tried to engineer a partnership, but that was cut short by the brilliance of Cotterell once again. Not with the ball this time but in the field. Malik pulled a short delivery from Samuels powerfully to the right of Cotterell at square-leg. It was supposed to go for four but somehow the livewire speedster dived to his right and plucked it out of the air. It was a jaw-dropping catch, and Cotterell’s fine night continued.
Reifer stuck around for the Tridents, trying to build an innings. He was slow, but he couldn’t afford to be any different. Together with Umar Akmal, he put on 38 vital runs that came off 40 balls.
When Akmal was bowled by Roach in the 17th over, the Tridents’ batting withered away. They lost a wicket an over thereafter. Cotterell returned in the penultimate over of the innings to complete his spell. He bowled Ashley Nurse to get his fourth wicket. Davendra Bishoo paddled swept his final delivery for four, but not even that could have taken away from the great job Cotterell had done for his team.
Thankfully for the Hawksbills, he wasn’t required to be the hero with the bat as well, but if he was, from the evidence against the Red Steel, he’s no mug with the bat. Peters picked up the Limacol Super Six award and the Digicel 4G Fastest Scorer.
Deservedly, Cotterell was named the Man-of-the-Match, and gave the world one last salute for the night at the presentation. From what was seen last night, Cotterell will be saluting a lot more in the future. (windiescricket/WG)
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