Zouks mauled

Barbados Tridents’ captain Kieron Pollard shone with both bat and ball last night. (LCPL)
Barbados Tridents’ captain Kieron Pollard shone with both bat and ball last night. (LCPL)

CASTRIES — Barbados Tridents made it four wins out of four games as they crushed the St. Lucia Zouks by 83 runs in last night’s latest match-up of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 Tournament at the Beausejour Stadium.

The Barbados Tridents dominated in every aspect of the match, scoring 175 for 6 and dismantling their hosts for 92. They were also masterfully led by captain Kieron Pollard who later took the Man-of-the Match award.

In the first half of the Powerplay, Dwayne Smith got the Tridents off to a rousing start. The same couldn’t be said for Jonathan Carter though, as he struggled to five from nine balls before edging to point. It was a rare failure for the Barbadian in a tournament he has so far enjoyed.

But his early wicket wouldn’t cost the Tridents a great deal. It brought together Smith and Shoaib Malik. The two batsmen combined in a 63-run stand over the course of 8.1 overs and scored at just under eight runs an over.

Smith looked in fine touch for the first time in the competition, hitting three sixes and three fours in his knock of 48. It had come from just 38 balls. Most of his shots came off the middle of the bat and he looked destined for a big score, much bigger than the 48 he made.

That was before Albie Morkel was brought back into the attack. The South African’s first ball of his second spell was slightly short but the ball didn’t get up as much as Smith anticipated and his pull shot only hit a wave of air. Morkel’s delivery crashed into the top of middle stump.

In the very next over, Umar Akmal got a fine edge through to Andre Fletcher and was well caught. He was Garey Mathurin’s only wicket but the spinner was exceptional on the night, finishing with figures of 1 for 20.

Malik too, departed shortly thereafter for 31. Still, with over five overs left in the innings, it looked like the wheels could yet fall of the Tridents’ good foundation of 97 for 4. Shakib, who has been brilliant with the ball but awful

with the bat didn’t do much to change his luck. He made a quick 12 from nine balls before Tino Best accounted for his wicket.

It was then Pollard who would again lead his team from the front. Together with Kyle Mayers, he put on 57 runs from just 23 balls to finish the Tridents’ innings on the high their start merited. Pollard ended unbeaten on 34 from 21 balls while Mayers was out off the penultimate ball of the innings for 14. Ashley Nurse struck a six off the last ball to end the Tridents innings on the highest score of the tournament so far.

The Zouks’ tough task of scoring at 8.80 runs an over was made even tougher when they lost Tamim Iqbal early in the second over. He has yet to give the Zouks that great start his reputation suggests.

The first six overs were designed for them to capitalize on but by the end of the Powerplay, the Zouks were 27 for 1, some 25 runs off where the required run rate suggested they should have been.

Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel came on directly after the Powerplay and had an immediate impact. He struck on his first and last ball of his first over to reduce the hosts to 30 for 3. First ball, Devon Smith edged through to Akmal trying to pull a delivery with a little bit of extra pace. Last ball, Fletcher cut a short delivery right into the lap of Malik at third Man. Zouks had gone from 27 for 1 to 30 for 3 in six deliveries.

The experienced pair of Herschelle Gibbs and Misbah-ul-Haq came together, trying to rebuild the innings in the fastest way possible. They had some measure of success, sharing in a 43-run partnership from 33 balls.

Gabriel was too short in his second over and he was pulled for a six and a four by Misbah and Gibbs respectively. The pressure mounted though. In captain Pollard’s first ten overs, he has the armoury of Al Hasan and Nurse. In the second ten overs, he has Rayad Emrit in his arsenal and the Trinidadian medium-pacer has been brilliant in the tournament with his mixture of pace and variety of deliveries.

He tore through the Zouks’ batting line-up. He first got Gibbs, then Darren Sammy, then Tino Best, all in successive overs. Pollard brought himself on also and got the wickets of Misbah and Morkel, in successive overs as well.

Nurse returned in the 18th over to end the match prematurely. He had both Shane Shillingford and Mathurin in the over as the Zouks collapsed from 73 for 4 to 92 all out. The last six wickets added just 19 runs. (windiescricket/WG)

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