St Kitts and Nevis captain Chris Gayle has admitted to being taken aback by the St Lucia Stars meek capitulation after coasting to a seven-wicket win, with 72 balls remaining, in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) yesterday at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia.
The Stars looked to be on the rise after claiming their first victory of the season in 14 matches, with a convincing win against the Barbados Tridents in their last encounter. The Renaissance was, however, a shortlived one.
Against the Patriots, only Qais Ahmad (24) and David Warner (14) managed double digits as the Stars were dismissed for a paltry 69. Fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell did most of the damage for the Patriots by claiming 3 for 14 runs. In response, Devon Thomas had a cracking 38 runs off 21 balls as the Patriots easily chased down a target which was never likely to be a problem.
“Based on their last two games, I wouldn’t have thought there was a chance of that happening,” Gayle said in reference to the Stars’ sorry capitulation.
Despite their position at the bottom of the table the Stars have made over 200 runs in two of six matches and gone over 150 in one other.
“That’s the nature of the game of cricket, these things do happen. Not often as a captain do things go exactly to plan, very thankful it went according to plan from my point of view,” he said.
Kieron Pollard, who is playing for and captaining the Stars for the first time this year, said nothing went right for his team who suffered their fifth loss of the season.
In his post-match interview Pollard, responding to a question about what went wrong replied: “Everything. I had a conversation with the guys, we start at 0 for 0 and not from the last match. No batsman took the initiative and hung in there. I stress about not being complacent. That wasn’t the be all and end all of it and we’re back to square one. We need to win four matches, two home games in a row.”
Meanwhile, Cottrell could not believe his good fortune bowling on a pitch where 200 runs had become the norm so far this season.
“I did not expect this, but we all executed it well,” he said.
“Our plan to Kieron was to bowl hard lengths into the pitch and it worked out well. We know every game is tough, and we just try to execute our plans. It’s about being a step ahead of the batsman and preparation is the key for me.”