A bizarre non-call by the television umpire returned to haunt the Barbados Tridents as they were beaten by one run by the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in their Hero Caribbean Premier League clash at Kensington Oval tonight.
Batting first after being inserted, Patriots reached 143 for 8 in their 20 overs, with Orlando Peters’ 27 off 22 balls that included a boundary and two sixes being the best score. In reply, the Tridents led by captain Kieron Pollard’s CPL best 82, finished on 142 for 7.
In a tightly contested match and with the importance of every run scored being magnified with each ball, the third delivery of the penultimate over bowled by left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir proved crucial. Pollard dug a delivery out of the block-hole which raced to the boundary and was stopped by a diving Shahid Afridi. However, he touched the boundary while effecting the save but the boundary was not called with two runs going to Pollard.
The Tridents had faced their sternest challenge of the tournament so far when they lost three early wickets in pursuit of the Patriots’ par score. The opening attack of Tanvir and the left-handed Jamaican fast bowler Sheldon Cotterrell made quick inroads with Tanvir dismissing opener Dilshan Munaweera for 2 off the last ball of the fourth over with the score dawdling at 14 for 1.
Cotterrell then struck twice in the fifth over, having opener Dwayne Smith caught at point by Martin Guptill for 10 off a loose drive, and two balls later having Jonathan Carter caught and bowled off the top edge for a duck to leave Tridents stumbling at 14 for 3.
But then an excellent 93-run partnership between the consistent Shoaib Malik and captain Pollard saw Tridents claw their way back into the match, even though the asking rate remained in double figures – such was the efficiency of the Patriots’ bowling with Tanvir, Cotterrell and Carlos Brathwaite all bowling very economically.
Pollard played outstandingly and brought up his fifty in the 16th over bowled by Canadian off-spinner Nikhil Dutta with a six over long-on. His 50 came off 40 balls and included four sixes and a boundary. Their partnership was ended in the 17th over bowled by Afridi when Malik after hitting his Pakistani compatriot for a six, attempted a repeat but missed a faster, wider delivery and was stumped by Devon Thomas for a 28-ball 35 that included three fours as well.
Malik departed with the score on 107 for 4 with 37 still needed off 18 balls, a stiff asking rate but reachable with Pollard still at the crease. The 18th over bowled by Peters went for nine runs with the Tridents losing Jason Holder for four, caught in the deep by a diving Brathwaite.
Twenty-eight runs were now required from two overs. Tanvir bowled the penultimate over which also went for nine, but should have conceded eleven with the correct third umpire’s call. Navin Stewart had joined Pollard whose frequent boundary hits and occasional six kept the Tridents very much in the victory chase.
Captain Marlon Samuels entrusted the final over to Peters who persisted with his slow bouncers, bowling three in the over, one of which Pollard top-edged for six after pulling the previous ball through square leg for four. Crucially, Pollard lost the strike to Stewart on the fourth ball of the over with seven runs required for victory off two balls.
Peters edged a slog to third man off the penultimate ball to collect a boundary and bring the equation to three runs needed off the final delivery. However, Stewart could only get Peters’ full-toss as far as mid-wicket where they scrambled a single and Pollard was run-out on a desperate attempt at a second, by a strong throw to the keeper from Cotterrell. Tanvir finished with 2 for 15 and Cotterrell 2 for 13 from their four overs respectively.
Pollard was named Man of the Match for his 58-ball knock that included four boundaries and five sixes, and he also captured 2 for 27 when the Patriots batted.
Pollard complained after the game about the boundary call as well as for Peters not being no-balled more than once for three bouncers in his final over, when one is only allowed. (WG)