Tridents and Red Steel come out on top

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Tridents and Red Steel come out on top
Pollard inspires his Tridents to victory.
Pollard inspires his Tridents to victory.
Pollard inspires his Tridents to victory.

BARBADOS TRIDENTS beat GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS by 16 runs

Captain Kieron Pollard took four wickets and led his team with intelligence and enthusiasm as Barbados Tridents defended what looked a modest total against Guyana Amazon Warriors to win by 16 runs in a top-of-the-table clash at Providence Stadium.

The Tridents won the toss and elected to bat but never looked in control in the first innings, with several players making starts but failing to make a telling contribution. Allrounder Jason Holder hit 30 from 17 balls in a fine lower-order knock, but that was as good as it got for the visitors as they struggled in an Amazon Warriors stranglehold.

David Wiese only made his debut in this competition two games ago but the South African claimed 5-30 and the best bowling figures in this year’s tournament. Sunil Narine was typically economical, while fellow spinner Devendra Bishoo also put in a fine spell during which he removed Pollard cheaply with a fantastic delivery.

The Amazon Warriors had put themselves in a strong position but made a modest effort in chasing down the 126 required to win, despite the explosive Brad Hodge being moved up to order to open the batting.

The hosts were 43/0 after 9 overs, but this solid if unspectacular start was speared by the Tridents with some quick wickets. Hodge dragged on to his stumps and departed first and Lendl Simmons followed, who scored at a barely believable strike rate of less than 50 for his 15 runs.

Umar Akmal hit some big shots in an enterprising knock, but his time at the crease was cut short by Pollard and, despite losing only five wickets in their innings, the Amazon Warriors could only score 111 runs.

The collective bowling performance of the Tridents is one which should receive due credit – only Pollard went for more than six runs per over – but the conservative batting of the Amazon Warriors must be a concern in comparison to their feared bowling line-up as they look to go one better than last year’s runner-up berth.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO RED STEEL beat ST KITTS AND NEVIS PATRIOTS by 18 runs (D/L method)

Earlier at Queen’s Park Oval, the drama of an enthralling encounter was not diminished by two significant rain delays as Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel continued their rise up the Hero CPL standings to beat St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

The Patriots, a newly-formed franchise, are now eliminated from the tournament in their debut season after missing out on a top-four place.

The Red Steel won the toss and batted first, and Jacques Kallis profited from the decision by hitting a flurry of fine fours as he racked up the runs with minimal risk.

Yet with the benefit of hindsight, captain Dwayne Bravo would likely have made a different decision at the start of the game as two significant rain delays arrived within the first ten overs which seriously affected the momentum of his team.

The introduction of Tabraiz Shamsi, back in the side after injury, was a boon for the Patriots and the bowler immediately applied pressure on the batsmen with a maiden in his first over. But Kallis was removed with the first ball after a second sustained rain delay, and the Red Steel only had five more overs to bat as 14 overs per side were called for under revised playing conditions.

Yet a fine finish put the Red Steel back in command, as Darren Bravo scored a fantastic 40 from 15 balls and Cameron Delport struck 20* from six deliveries as the hosts plundered four sixes and 33 runs from the final over.

The Patriots made a good start of what would be an exacting run chase in a must-win game, but the loss of Evin Lewis in the sixth over for a score of 40 was a big blow. Shahid Afridi again flattered to deceive with the bat and departed for 21 – his highest score of the tournament so far.

Four wickets were lost for 10 runs at the end of the innings as the Red Steel homed in on another win in front of their fans – and, with a play-off place looking increasingly likely, a potential dream final in Port Of Spain.

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