MOHALI – Jonathan Carter’s brilliant, unbeaten hundred was in vain as critical errors in the field proved Barbados Tridents’ undoing, as they went down to Cape Cobras in a tense Super Over in the Champions League Twenty20 today.
The left-handed Carter romped his way to a T20 career-best 111 not out, an innings that powered Tridents to a competitive 174 for eight off their 20 overs and helped them overcome a terrible start and middle order collapse at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
He faced 68 balls and lashed ten fours and five sixes, adding an all-important 75 for the third wicket with opener Dilshan Munaweera whose 42 came from 21 balls, to lift Tridents from the doldrums of seven for two in the third over.
With Jeevan Mendis the only other batsman to reach double figures with ten, Carter carried the Tridents innings admirably as wickets tumbled around him.
He put on 27 for the fourth wicket with James Franklin (3) and added another 42 for the fifth wicket with Mendis. His century surpassed his previous best of 61.
In reply, opener Hashim Amla was amazingly gifted three lives en route to a top score of 59, as Tridents fluffed their lines at key points of the game.
He added 56 for the first wicket with Richard Levi who scored 39, and another 43 for the second wicket with Omphile Ramela who got 14, partnerships that propelled Cobras to 99 for one in the 11th over.
Seemingly running away with the game, Cobras were pegged back by a brilliant spell from leg-spinner Mendis who finished with four for 27. Three quick wickets for 17 runs in the space of 14 balls led to a slump and left the South African outfit requiring 13 from the last over.
Captain and seamer Rayad Emrit restricted Cobras to 12 runs but Tridents squandered a golden opportunity to win the game of the last ball.
With three runs needed for victory, Sybrand Engelbrecht whipped Emrit to deep square leg where Raymon Reifer collected and sent a return just wide of the stumps. With Engelbrecht well short of his ground, wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich fumbled the take, allowing the batsman to get home and tie the game.
In the Super Over, Cobras tallied 11 runs as seamer Ravi Rampaul proved accurate and Tridents then lost Munaweera in scoring eight from the first five balls. Requiring four from the final delivery, Tridents gathered only two as Carter was unable to deliver this time, inside-edging a full toss from off-spinner Engelbrecht to fine leg.
The loss was Tridents’ second following a similar narrow defeat to Kings XI Punjab last Saturday, and it left them needing to win their two remaining games to have any chance of advancing to the semi-finals.
For the second straight game, Tridents bowlers were loose up front and Cobras capitalised to race to 52 without loss off four overs.
Levi was the main catalyst, smashing four fours and three sixes off his 18 balls. He helped himself to 26 from seamer Jason Holder’s second over, the third of the innings – twice finding the boundaries and thrice clearing the ropes.
He was undone by one from left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein which ripped from leg to rattle off stump in the fifth over.
Amla, dropped by Munaweera before he had scored off the fifth ball of the innings by Holder, took charge for Cobras, striking seven fours and a six off 42 balls.
The right-hander reached his half-century with a six over wide long-on off Mendis and then enjoyed a huge slice of luck on 52 in the next over, the 14th, when he holed out to deep-square only for replays to show that Hosein had over-stepped.
Mendis put down Amla in the next over off a low caught and bowled chance but had him stumped off the following delivery.
Mendis, who had four overs earlier, lured Ramela from his crease and had him stumped off a googly at 99 for two, then spun Tridents back into the game by drying up the runs and taking key wickets.
However, Engelbrecht, who finished 19 not out and Justin Kemp, 12 not out, held their nerve in an unbroken 31-run, sixth wicket stand to set up a grand finish.
Carter had earlier generated his own fireworks in a knock of the highest quality. Striding to the crease after Dowrich fell caught at the wicket without scoring to the fifth ball of the match and Reifer was run out for one in the third over, he proceeded to dominate the Cobras attack in partnership with Munaweera.
He managed just one run from his first four deliveries but exploded with successive leg-side boundaries off the last two balls of seamer Kemp’s first over, the fourth of the innings.
Dropped on 26 in the deep off Kemp in the ninth over, Carter carried on unfazed, clearing the sight-screen with off-spinner Justin Ontong to move into the 40s before whipping the same bowler to the square boundary three balls later, to reach his fifty from 40 balls.
He needed only 24 more deliveries to reach three figures, top-edging pacer Charl Langeveldt to fine leg for four to move to 99 before taking a single to mid-wicket.
Munaweera, meanwhile, struck five fours and two sixes before being run out in the 11th over, attempting a second run with Carter.