Win #4 for Tridents

BASSETERRE – Another quality innings from their most prolific batsman Shoaib Malik and a mesmerizing spell of leg-spin bowling from Jeevan Mendis propelled the Barbados Tridents to a 15-run victory over the St Lucia Zouks in St Kitts last night.

It was the Tridents’ fourth win in five matches and they opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table over the second-placed Zouks.

Shoaib Malik led the Tridents' batting yet again.
Shoaib Malik led the Tridents’ batting yet again.

Batting first after winning the toss, the Tridents made 148 for 8 with Malik making a 34-ball 51 including five boundaries and a six.

The Zouks imploded in their chase of 149, losing seven wickets for 53 runs, as they slumped from 80 for 2 to 133 for 9. Rayad Emrit had 3 for and 20 in his four overs and Mendis captured 2 for 15 with his accurate mix of leggies and googlies.

Zouks’ chase started off poorly as Johnson Charles and Kevin Pietersen were dismissed by the fourth over, the latter run-out for 1.

Andre Fletcher on his way to a half-century.
Andre Fletcher on his way to a half-century.

A 56-run partnership between Andre Fletcher and Ross Taylor steadied the innings briefly, with Fletcher completing a brisk 50 off 35 deliveries. It was his wicket in the 13th over that started the slide for Zouks as Emrit drew Fletcher into playing a shot to Kieron Pollard at long-on.

Captain Kieron Pollard (right) discussing field placement with Jeevan Mendis.
Captain Kieron Pollard (right) discussing field placement with Jeevan Mendis.

In the next over, Mendis dismissed Taylor and Kyle Mayers off successive deliveries to leave Zouks struggling at 83 for 5 and their position worsened after Henry Davids was out two overs later.

With 49 required off the last 24 deliveries, Zouks were largely reliant on their captain Darren Sammy, but his wicket in the 17th over, followed by two more in the 18th and 19th overs, left Zouks with 25 to get off the last six balls which proved too stiff a target. Left-arm spinner Robin Peterson chipped in with 2 for 32.

The Tridents innings was held together by Malik. The opening pair of Dwayne Smith and Dilshan Munaweera had given the side a solid start, adding 45 in 7.4 overs, but they suffered a blip, losing four quick wickets to reach 76 for 4 in the 13th over.

Malik added crucial runs with the lower order, to boost the innings on the way to another Man-of-the-Match performance.

He is to return to Pakistan to join his national team and will be sorely missed by the Tridents.

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