PRESS RELEASE – A brilliant all-round display from, South African legend, Jacques Kallis was not enough see the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel home against the St Lucia Zouks in a shortened game in the Hero Caribbean Premier League.
Persistent rain and a wet outfield meant that the match was reduced to just nine overs a side but they eventually got underway. Kallis top scored for the Red Steel with the bat and claimed three wickets, but the Zouks got home off the last ball in a thrilling finish at Queen’s Park Oval.
After the lengthy rain delay, the Red Steel batted first with Kallis opening the batting with, fellow South African, Cameron Delport. Nathan McCullum opened the bowling with the Zouks feeling that the spinner would do best with the ball still dry.
It was the quick man, Fidel Edwards, that got the first breakthrough when he bowled Delport with a perfect yorker that dismissed the opener for just nine runs. Edwards should have got the wicket of William Perkins two balls later when an LBW shout that looked very out was turned down by Umpire Mick Martell. Perkins did not make the most of his good fortune, he was out caught behind off the bowling of Delorn Johnson for a three ball duck.
It was Kallis who did the most of the damage for the Red Steel, the veteran all-rounder making 38 runs off 19 balls as his side made it to 90-4 off their nine overs. Javon Searles departed when he top edged a hook off Johnson for just six runs, as the Red Steel struggled to put together a really telling partnership.
Kallis couldn’t carry his bat, falling to the leg spin of Keron Cottoy when he skied a ball that was well caught by Kevin Pietersen.
The wicket of Kallis brought Darren and Dwayne Bravo together and the brothers finished off the innings with a flourish as they added 35 runs off 16 balls. It should have been far fewer, Andre Fletcher had the chance to dismiss Darren Bravo when the elegant left-hander was on one but he missed a simple stumping off Cottoy.
The Zouks chase got off to the worst possible start when they lost their leading run scorer for just three runs in the second over when Andre Fletcher was caught in the deep off the bowling of Kallis.
After Fletcher departed, Pietersen and Johnson Charles were keeping up with the required rate until an over for Sulieman Benn put them under real pressure. The tall left arm spinner conceded just two runs off the fourth over and that pressure told when Pietersen was dismissed going for a big shot off Kevon Cooper.
Benn was just as miserly in the first five balls of his second over having conceded just four runs when Henry Davids crashed a huge six off the last delivery to put the Zouks right back in the match. Davids departed for nine off six balls but Charles hung around to leave his side needing 24 runs off the last two overs.
Charles could not see his side home, dismissed by a brilliant Kallis yorker than uprooted his off stump. In a see-saw affair it looked as if the Red Steel were in front only for a Kyle Mayers six to bring the Zouks back into things. Mayers tried for another big one off Kallis and was caught on the boundary as Kallis finished with 3-15 off his two overs.
That left the Zouks needing 17 off the last over with Nathan McCullum and Ross Taylor at the crease. Two edged fours and a scrambled two left seven needed off three balls. McCullum tried to draw the scores level with a six but only managed to clip the ball to Searles off a Dwayne Bravo slower ball.
The Zouks needed seven from two with Taylor on strike. The New Zealander smashed the fifth ball of the final over for six to leave the St Lucian side requiring one to win off the final ball. Taylor made no mistake as he bunted the ball into the leg side to jog through for one run.
This last gasp win for the Zouks takes them to second in the table but they only have one match left to play. For the Red Steel the defeat means that they remain rooted to the foot of the table but they still have four matches to play, three of them at home. A sustained run of success in those matches could still see them qualify for the knock-out stages with relative ease.