AB de Villiers starred and Alzarri Joseph caught the eye, as the Barbados Tridents defeated the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots by 25 runs in their Hero Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 clash at Kensington Oval Wednesday night.
de Villiers smashed 82 which was his second consecutive half-century and highest score for the tournament to lead the Tridents to 180 for 6. In response the Patriots were restricted to 155 for 8.
An excellent start with the ball from the Patriots in the Tridents batting PowerPlay saw them take control of the match before de Villiers ripped it away from them. Joseph, one of the stars of the West Indies Under-19 World Cup triumph, bowled brilliantly with the new ball. He beat Ramon Reifer for pace with a shorter ball that ballooned up for a catch for Lendl Simmons off Reifer’s attempted pull shot.
Two more wickets fell inside the first six overs; USA international Steven Taylor trapped lbw by Sheldon Cotterrell and Shoaib Malik caught mistiming a pull off Samuel Badree, as the Tridents found themselves 29-3 and in real trouble on an excellent Kensington Oval pitch.
In his initial spell Joseph beat the batsmen consistently with his pace and one bouncer in particular crashed into de Villiers’ helmet as he was late on an attempted hook. The Kensington Oval crowd was abuzz.
From there however de Villiers proved why he is considered the best batsman across formats in world cricket as he steadied the Tridents ship. He began slowly but accelerated brilliantly throughout his innings. His 82 came off 54 balls, the highlight being the giant six that he smashed over the roof of the grandstand off Cotterrell.
He was dropped three times during his innings, the last of which involved a sickening collision between JJ Smuts and Kieran Powell. It was a bone-crushing impact and it was upsetting to see Powell leaving the ground in an ambulance. Powell suffered a concussion and he is being closely observed by the medical staff, and was unable to bat.
de Villiers was well supported by talented Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard as the Tridents reached a formidable target for the misfiring Patriots team to chase down. Cotterrell had the best figures of 3 for 25.
When the chase got under way the Patriots got off to a decent start but disciplined bowling from the Tridents restricted them throughout their response. Captain Faf du Plessis attempted to hold things together while also scoring quickly but his 42 was not enough to secure victory for his team.
Smuts had recovered well enough from his impact with Powell to open the batting for the Patriots and he didn’t seem to be showing any after-effects as he struck Wayne Parnell for back-to-back fours in the first over. Smuts looked to be well set to make a decent contribution when he attempted to cut a wide ball from Akeal Hosein and only succeeded in chipping the ball straight to Reifer at point.
du Plessis looked the part in his innings but he lacked significant support from his colleagues as the required rate began to rise. Barbadian left-hander Jonathan Carter made 47 but he struggled to make those runs at a decent rate, as a result heaping more pressure on du Plessis.
The required rate was up to 14 an over when du Plessis attempted a cross-batted hoick to a delivery from Reifer that he edged onto his stumps. Carter swung manfully to try and catch up with the rate, but it just kept climbing.
de Villiers, predictably, was named Man-of-the-Match
The Patriots are not mathematically eliminated from the Hero CPL, but their chances of making the knockout stages rest on them winning their remaining four matches and hoping for other results to go their way.
The victory took the Tridents to second position behind tournament leaders, Guyana Amazon Warriors.