Bridgetown, Barbados: The Barbados Tridents made it three wins in three as they brushed aside the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel by eight wickets in the Hero Caribbean Premier League. The Red Steel never recovered from four early wickets inside the first six overs as they stumbled to 95-9 in the face of some superb bowling from a rampant Tridents side who have already set the early pace in pursuit of automatic qualification for the Hero CPL final.
The undefeated Tridents began brilliantly yet again as Jason Holder produced a fantastic spell of quick and aggressive bowling to leave the Red Steel in serious trouble inside their batting Powerplay. Holder dismissed three players - Cameron Delport, Darren Bravo and Kamran Akmal.
All three batsman struggled to cope with the extra bounce that Holder extracted from this Kensington Oval pitch. Ravi Rampaul also chipped in with a wicket inside the first six overs, dismissing South African legend Jacques Kallis who mistimed a hook shot to lose his wicket for just one run.
Things only got worse for the Red Steel when William Perkins took off for a single only for Jason Mohammed not to respond to his call. He scampered back to the bowlers end but not quick enough to prevent him being run out by a yard. At the end of the Powerplay the Red Steel were 26-5. In last year’s CPL the Tridents bowled the Red Steel out for just 52 in this same fixture and for a while it looked like they might make even fewer runs this time.
Holder bowled all four of his overs in that one opening spell picking up outstanding figures of 3-11. His standing as an all-round talent continues to grow.
The rain arrived in Barbados and the umpires did their best to keep the players on the park but when a steady drizzle became a more consistent downpour they called a halt to proceedings with the Red Steel needing to regroup to get a total that they could hope to defend. Thankfully the delay was a brief one and when the game got underway the Red Steel managed a small rebuilding job as Dwayne Bravo and Mohammed put on 46 runs at a run a ball.
The stand was broken when Dwayne Bravo drilled the ball into the hands of Navin Stewart in the covers having made 30 off 28 balls. Mohammed didn’t last much longer, dismissed in the very next over. He had made 20 off 27 balls when he hooked Kieron Pollard to the waiting hands of Dwayne Smith.
Johan Botha looked to get the side up over 100 while attempting to bat out the overs. He made it to 14 off 22 balls before he was run out. He should have been dismissed for 13, caught on the boundary, but the catch was dropped by Holder. A decent throw from Holder saw the South African spinner run out off that very same ball.
The Red Steel finished on 95-9 off their 20 overs. It always looked a long way from enough to beat a Tridents team that are riding high in this year’s Hero CPL.
The Tridents made an absolute mockery of this target as Smith and Dilshan Munaweera found the boundary with ease in an opening stand of 72 off just 56 balls. The Red Steel’s lack of pace options was exposed early on as none of their seamers could find the bounce that had so troubled their top order in the first innings.
The Red Steel opened the bowling with Samuel Badree’s legspin and Munaweera was brutally dismissive as he drove them down the ground for two fours and a six in one over. While Munaweera was playing lovely drives Smith was pulling and hooking anything that was dropped short.
The Red Steel had a chance to end this opening stand when Kallis dropped Munaweera when the Sri Lankan was on 25. Even if that had been taken the Tridents were already halfway to their victory target with 14 overs to go.
Munaweera finished on 39 and Smith made 33 to demolish their opponents.
Although the Tridents lost both openers in successive deliveries to the bowling of Sulieman Benn they still progressed towards victory serenely as they made this chase look incredibly straightforward.
Barbados now have one more game at their home ground before they move on to St Kitts. If they win that they will be brilliantly placed to go a long way in this event.