Zouks stay second after battering Patriots
St Lucia Zouks captain Darren Sammy (left) and Mohammed Nabi (right) dance a jig during their match against the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on 27th August 2020 at the Queen's Park Oval. (Photo by Randy Brooks - CPL T20/Getty Images)
The St Lucia Zouks battered the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to stay second in the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League table with a six-wicket victory on Thursday at the Queen's Park Oval
Mohammed Nabi took 5/15, the third best figures in CPL history, including four wickets in the Power Play as the Patriots were reduced to 11/4 after three overs.
Ben Dunk (33) and Sohail Tanvir (13) restored a semblance of order before Alzarri Joseph (21 not out off 13 balls) finished strongly to push the Patriots to 110/9 in their 20 overs.
With rain threatening the Oval, and possibly because of net run-rate considerations, the Zouks started in overdrive with Rahkeem Cornwall hitting 26 of 11 balls.
Imran Khan snared three wickets in his spell of 3/23 to reduce the Zouks to 54/3 before Zadran (33 0ff 24) and Roston Chase (27 not out off 27 balls) clinched victory.
Despite victory with 38 balls to spare, the Zouks stay in second place behind the Knight Riders, while the Patriots say rooted to the bottom of the table with only one win in five games.
Nabi was named Player of the Match for his figures of 5/15.
After Zouks’ captain Daren Sammy put them in, the Patriots had yet to score when Nabi dismissed both Chris Lynn and Nick Kelly.
Lynn continued his run of being dismissed by spinners, pushing a simple catch back to the bowler, and Kelly edged to the safe hands of Rakheem Cornwall at slip.
Nabi soon made it four. Denesh Ramdin sought to follow a Hero Maximum over long-on with one over square leg but top-edged to Najibullah Zadran, and next ball Patriots leading scorer of Hero CPL 2020, Evin Lewis, spooned a sweep to Roston Chase at square leg to leave the Patriots 11/4 off just 3 overs and Nabi on a hat-trick.
Chase’s introduction with the ball was not a surprise, and he went for just three off his first over.
Jahmar Hamilton just about survived the hat-trick ball, but he and Ben Dunk managed no further boundaries as the Patriots reached the Powerplay at 22/4.
Another tight over came and went, this time from Zahir Khan. Dunk finally broke the drought as Chase overpitched, sending the off-spinner high over the sightscreen.
Oddly, after eight overs the Patriots had hit two Hero Maximums but no fours.
That block-block-slog approach brought Hamilton’s downfall, as he prodded at a Zahir googly and edged behind.
Cornwall closed out the first half of the innings well, and at drinks the Patriots were 43/5 with a lot resting on Dunk once more.
Dunk hit Zahir straight for a third Hero Maximum, but should have been stumped in the same over.
After 13 overs, Dunk had 32 of the Patriots’ 59/5, and the pressure on him finally told as Cornwall’s extra bounce saw the Australian splice a pull to deep midwicket.
Even a Mark Deyal full toss didn’t result in the match’s first four. After 15 overs the Patriots were 66/6, and it got worse as Nabi returned to complete his five-for - remarkably, the first of his 10 year and 264 game T20 career - as Tanvir scooped a sweep to Zahir at short fine-leg.
Kesrick Williams came on for the 18th, off which captain Rayad Emrit took for 14 including, at long last, a four. Emrit fell next over, Deyal taking a running catch at long-on, but Kuggeleijn dropped short off his last ball and Alzarri Joseph sent him into the stands.
Imran Khan sacrificed himself to get Joseph on strike, and the Antiguan responded with a second Hero Maximum. 37 off the last 3 overs, all bowled by seam, only delayed the inevitable.
The Patriots surprisingly started with seamer Tanvir, who Cornwall hammered for two fours and two towering Hero Maximums.
Emrit gave Jon-Russ Jaggesar an aggressive field, but Jaggesar’s first ball was poor and Fletcher cut it easily for four.
Cornwall smashed Imran clean over the roof, and while he was bowled two balls later, the fact that he alone hit more fours and almost as many boundaries than the entire Patriots team told the story.
After a brief shower, the Zouks resumed needing just 81 at well under 5 an over, which made Deyal’s hoick first ball all the stranger.
Emrit took a good catch to leave Imran on a hat-trick, which the ever-calm Chase denied him comfortably.
With Cornwall having taken the pressure off, the Zouks found strike rotation easy, and that relaxed feel gave Fletcher confidence to smash Jaggesar into the top of the Carib stand to end the Powerplay at 47/2.
The opener’s dismissal was a surprise when it came with a pull straight to midwicket, giving Imran a third wicket.
Najibullah reverse-swept two fours and good running meant Imran’s last over went for seven. Emrit brought himself on, but Chase and Najibullah took him four a boundary apiece, and the Zouks cruised to 79/3 at halfway.
A desperate Emrit turned to Dunk’s part-time off-spin - so part-time Dunk bowled in his sunhat - which Najibullah smashed for four as the over went for eight.
Najibullah dished out further punishment in Dunk’s next over, lifting him for a Hero Maximum over long-off, but Dunk got a small measure of joy as the Afghan top-edged to deep midwicket.
It was Dunk’s first Hero CPL wicket, just the third of his T20 career, but it was scant consolation as the Zouks sealed victory with 32 balls to spare without even needing Nabi to bat.
Summarized scores: St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 110/9 off 20 overs (Dunk 33, Joseph 21 not out: Nabi 5/15, Cornwall 1/14) vs St Lucia Zouks 111/4 in 14.4 overs (Zadran 33, Chase 27 not out, Cornwall 26; Khan 3/23, Dunk 1/29). Zouks won by six wickets.