The Saint Lucia Kings earned an emphatic victory over the St. Kitts/Nevis Patriots in a Hero CPL T20 match, played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground [DSCG], Sunday, to complete their campaign at the venue for this season.
The Kings won two and lost two of the games played at the DSCG, to finish with a somewhat balanced performance.
On Sunday, the Kings struck a score of 161/9 as obtained on the previous day (Saturday) versus the Guyana Amazon Warriors after being sent in to bat on both occasions.
The Kings were off to another blistering start after homeboy Johnson Charles 41 (32) and skipper Faf Du Plessis had set a platform at 1/86, before Charles departed in the ninth over.
But, in an all –too similar fashion as they did on Saturday, the Kings middle order batting again faltered.
After a solid opening stand, the next good partnership was a stand of 22 (17) between Charles and David Wiese. The Patriots pegged back the Kings batters as wickets fell at will, and when Du Plessis fell in the 13th over the slide continued.
In the process the Kings lost 6/37, with the South African seam bowler Dwain Pretorius the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/37 (4) .
However, with the vociferous fans strumming up the support, the Kings struck back to bowl out the Patriots for a meagre 100 (19) and a 61 run victory.
Matthew Forde, 20 a Barbadian player of Saint Lucian parentage put on a superb bowling effort 3/19 (4) to take away three important wickets to remove the dangerous top order, which included stand-in captain Evin Lewis and Andre Fletcher.
Forde’s three early scalps set the tempo; as Wiese 3/17 (4) was among the wickets while Alzarri Joseph and Roshon Primus shared two wickets each. Tim David who failed with the bat, was excellent in the field and took five catches.
Joseph was in a no-nonsense mood and continually roughed up the opposing batters, including the wicket of Daren Bravo, as he unleashed another fiery spell of seam bowling.
In a most intriguing turn of the events, fans in the Johnson Charles Stand were kept on their toes for the duration of that time; and the young Forde responded by running to the JC stands every time he took a wicket.
Last Saturday’s match was a rather disappointing one for the Kings and their fans. The Kings had put on a brilliant start, as Charles 87*(59) 6×4, 5×6 and Du Plessis 31(20) 4×6 set up some ‘fireworks’ in the opening overs to be 1/93 (8.1). But another middle-order batting collapse, saw the Kings muster 161/7, with Tim David 23(17) the next in line batter.
The combined spin bowling of Tabraiz Shamsi 2/14 (4) and
Imran Tahir 1/26 (4) conceded just 40 runs off 8 overs, with 3 wickets between them to keep the Kings batters in check.
The Warriors batted sedately and were able to weave in some good partnerships. Heinrich Klaasen 61(46) and skipper Shimron Hetymer 32 (21) kept the runs flowing to help their team earn their first win in the series.
As the next leg of the series moves across to Trinidad and Tobago – the Kings next play STKP on Saturday, at 10.00a.m.
The Kings will definitely have to readjust their middle-order batting to be better able to contend with their opponents, as they enter a crucial stage of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Saint Lucia Kings have roped in English batter Adam Hose, as a replacement for Tim David, who is set to make his T20I debut for Australia in India later this month, in the lead-up to the World Cup. Hose, 29 made 557 runs at 55.70 and a strike rate of 160.98 in this year’s T20 Blast and also had a strong Hundred season for Northern Superchargers.
In the meantime, cricket analysts say the tournament is ‘wide open’ and interestingly poised at this stage with the points standing as follows;
Barbados Royals – Matches – 5, Points – 10,
Jamaica Tallawahs – 5, 6,
Saint Lucia Kings – 6, 4,
St Kitts /Nevis Patriots – 6, 4,
Guyana Amazon Warriors – 4, 3,
Trinbago Knight Riders – 4, 3.