THREE wickets in an over from Hayden Walsh Jr. and a superb spell from Harry Gurney turned the Barbados Tridents’ whole season around as they defended 141/6 to defeat St Lucia Zouks and grab the final 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in a winner-takes-all clash at the Kensington Oval.
The Tridents looked to be heading out of the competition when the Zouks got the target down to 31 runs from 28 balls with six wickets in hand, but Gurney then dismissed Hardus Viljoen before Walsh Jr’s three-wicket burst in the next over made it four wickets in eight balls and turned the match on its head.
Their total looked slightly short at the halfway stage, but with the pressure of a win-or-bust situation, and a pitch offering some assistance to the bowlers, it always promised to be a nervous run-chase for the Zouks.
Nevertheless, the Tridents’ hopes were already fading fast when the asking rate for the Zouks dropped below a run a ball within the Powerplay despite the loss of openers Andre Fletcher and Rahkeem Cornwall.
Colin Ingram and Colin de Grandhomme kept the hammer down and got the Zouks so far ahead of the rate that even when they fell in successive overs, control of the chase was still firmly in the visitors’ hands.
But first Gurney, and then most dramatically, Walsh Jr. changed that with dizzying speed. Viljoen had smashed Gurney for six the ball before his dismissal, making the English left-armer’s slower- ball bouncer an even bolder choice. But it did the job with Viljoen early on his shot and gloving through to Johnson Charles.
That triggered a startling collapse, with the Zouks losing their last six wickets for six runs in barely three overs to tumble out of the tournament.
Walsh Jr. had Chris Barnwell, Daren Sammy and Krishmar Santokie caught on the boundary in his third over, while Gurney returned to finish off a superb spell of bowling in which he used the helpful conditions expertly by having Kesrick Williams caught on the fence from another deceptive slower ball. He finished with 3/17 from four high-quality overs. It was Walsh Jr. who had the last word, bagging his fourth wicket of the night and tournament-leading 14th of the 2019 Hero CPL to finish off the game and send the Tridents into the playoffs.
It was a fine effort from the Tridents after the heartbreak of the one-run defeat to St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 24 hours earlier that had turned this game into a must-win. Even on a pitch offering a bit for the bowlers, 141/6 still felt short of what the Tridents would have hoped for after getting over the loss of Alex Hales to Santokie’s slower ball for a duck to post 48/1 in the Powerplay. With Charles looking in imperious form and the classy Shakib Al Hasan another major headache for the Zouks, a total in excess of 160 looked on the cards.
Shakib, though, fell just as he was starting to really get going, drilling a slog-sweep off Fawad Ahmed but picking out Ingram who held a stinging catch at deep midwicket. Charles fell three short of a half-century, having hit four fours and two sixes in a 36-ball stay. No other Trident was able to match his ball-striking.
JP Duminy, a record breaker earlier in the week, made 13 from 18 here before edging the excellent Santokie behind, while there was to be no repeat of last night’s Raymon Reifer
fireworks as he holed out for just 3. Ashley Nurse lifted the total beyond 140 with a six from the final ball of the innings, and thanks to Walsh Jr. and Gurney, that proved more than adequate.
Cricketwindies is the leading voice for Caribbean and International cricket news, information and opinion. We’re a community of cricket fans who follow all cricket. In other words, a bunch of high-strung, fanatical cricket enthusiasts who have far too much time on their hands.
For many years the West Indies team ruled the cricket world, playing undefeated in a Test series for over 15 years. Recently the West Indies team has suffered several losses but with the emergence of new high-calibre players the future for the West Indies cricket team looks very good!
West Indians are passionate about their cricket, quick to cheer when the team performs well but also quick to criticize a poor performance. Thousands of West Indians always turn out to watch their team play .... and hopefully win!
Cricket is seen as a unifying force in the West Indies, bringing together players (and supporters) from across the region. This gentleman's game has brought considerable exposure to the islands of the Caribbean, with the West Indian cricketers being remembered not only for their incredible talent and skills but also for their deportment and sense of fair play.