The Tridents made 148-8 from their 20 overs, perhaps slightly below-par, but they were magificent in the field, and once they had removed Andre Fletcher for 52 there was only ever going to be one winner as they reduced Darren Sammy’s side to 133-9.
The 2014 champions were keen to put their defeat at the hands of new boys the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots behind them, but they made a sluggish start after winning the toss and electing to bat, with Dwayne Smith – the man who usually gets them off to such a good start – particularly out-of-sorts.
Zouks’ pacemen Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards all bowled with good speed and accuracy – Gabriel’s first three overs saw him go for 0-5, such was his hold over the batsmen.
Smith and Dilshan Munaweera both got out in the 20s but it was Shoaib Malik who rescued the champions as wickets continued to fall throughout the innings, the Pakistan great keeping his cool superbly to hit 51 from 34 balls before he was out in the final over.
Edwards went for 1-25 from his 4 and Gabriel finished with 0-18, while captain Sammy (2-28), Roach (2-37) and Nathan McCullum (1-38) – making his first appearance after replacing Eddie Leie – all impressed with the ball too.
The Zouks were soon in trouble in their reply as Johnson Charles uncharacteristically got out early and Kevin Pietersen was crazily run out after a mix-up with Fletcher.
Fletcher did make partial amends with a fine innings of 52 off 35 balls including four sixes, but when he was out, Ross Taylor and Kyle Mayers soon followed, expertly dismissed by the crafty Sri Lankan spinner Jeevan Mendis.
The Tridents turned the screw and the run rate soared, and even though Sammy clubbed opposite number Kieron Pollard for a huge six, Rayad Emrit destroyed any lingering hopes the Zouks had with 3-20 from his 4 overs as they snuffed out the run chase in clinical fashion.