Red Steel send Zouks packing

Kingston, Jamaica - The Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel put in a clinical performance to see off the St Lucia Zouks, keeping their Limacol Caribbean Premier League campaign alive, and ending their opponents’.

It started off as a crucial Saturday morning for both teams, and at the end of it, one would have been eliminated and the other merely surviving to fight another day.

The Red Steel did their bit in the field to ensure that they had the upper hand at the halfway stage. A tight bowling performance along with some good fielding saw them chase 100 runs for victory at Sabina Park.

Andre Fletcher was again the highlight of the Zouks’ innings, but this time his strike was less impressive than two days ago. He hit an unbeaten 46 runs from 59 runs, but only managed two fours and a six. The Zouks merely limped to 99/5 from their 20 overs.

In response the T&T Red Steel made fairly light work of their chase, only getting themselves in a tangle at the end. Opener Adrian Barath and Kevin O’Brien gave the chase a solid reply with an opening stand of 56 runs.

Both batsmen played their shots and often found the boundary. O’Brien though had more of the strike, and he made good use of it, striking three fours and two sixes. By the end of the Powerplay, the Red Steel were 41/0.

Tino Best got the much needed breakthrough for the Zouks, bowling O’Brien in the 9th over. The wicket triggered a mini collapse for the Red Steel.

Without a run being added, it was 56/2 in the next over as Barath was given out Leg Before Wicket to Shane Shillingford. He had made 17, though was a tad unlucky as the ball struck his thigh pad.

All eyes were on the Red Steel’s new signing, Mahela Jayawardene, and the Sri Lankan got to 11 before he was well caught behind by Darren Sammy, filling in as wicket-keeper for Andre Fletcher, who was off the field. At that stage, the Red Steel were 75/3, with the Zouks trying to create a late scare in their opponents’ camp.

It would get a little tense two overs later when Mathurin also sent back Ross Taylor, who made a patient 13 from 21 balls. But the Bravo brothers combined to ensure the victory.

It was virtually assured when Taylor was out at 84/4. It didn’t take the Red Steel long thereafter. As the 18th over ended, Darren Bravo struck Liam Sebastien for a four and a six to seal the match.

Mathurin had bowled well, picking up 2-24, so too did Best (1-18) and Shillingford (1-20), but 100 runs were never going to be enough.

The Zouks’ score was quite surprising as well. Only a couple of days ago they had registered the tournament’s highest total. But it was a different ball game today.

The Red Steel bowlers seemed to come out with a plan, and they executed it quite well. Midway through the Powerplay, Tamim Iqbal was sent back for five.

Fidel Edwards was fired up, and disrupted his stumps. Edwards’ first spell was quick and he generated good bounce. Dwayne Bravo mixed himself up with Samuel Badree at the other end. The result was a slow start for the Zouks.

Early wickets didn’t help either. Fletcher stood firm at his end, but wickets fell around him. One run later, Smith misread the pace of the wicket and offered up a catch to Jayawardene at cover to give Badree his first wicket.

Misbah struggled to three runs from eight balls, but he never got going. Badree would return to bowl him. Herschelle Gibbs and Fletcher put on 20 runs together to try to stabilize the innings, but it came from 33 balls.

As Kevon Cooper entered the attack, he fooled Gibbs with a slower ball, taking an easy caught and bowled opportunity.

Sammy offered some late strokes, hitting three fours in a knock of 16 runs. But that’s as much fireworks as there was at the end. The Red Steel bowlers didn’t fall away. They kept a tight line and length and offered few gifts.

All eyes turned to Fletcher to see when he would change gears in his innings, but it never came. In the last ten overs, Fletcher faced 25 balls, and did not hit a boundary.

The Zouks in a must win game had handed the Red Steel not only the perfect opportunity to win and keep their hopes alive, but also to enhance their Net Run Rate. As a result, they lost quite comfortably by six wickets, and it was all over.

The Red Steel copped all the prizes. O’Brien earned both the Limacol Super Six and Digicel 4G Fastest Scorer awards, while Badree for his figures of 4-0-18-2 got Man of the Match. Three on the trot now for the Red Steel; are they peaking at the right time?

Summary Scores:

Saint Lucia Zouks: 99-5 (20 overs). Andre Fletcher 46 not out, Darren Sammy 16, Herschelle Gibbs 10. Samuel Badree 2-18.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel: 105-4 (17.5 overs)  Kevin O' Brien  37, Adrian Barath  17, Darren Bravo 15 not out  Ross Taylor 13, Dwayne Bravo 10 not out. Garey Mathurin 2-24.

Saint Lucia Zouks

Tamim Iqbal b Fidel Edwards 5

Andre Fletcher+ not out 46

Devon Smith c Mahela Jayawardene b Samuel Badree 0

Misbah Ul-Haq b Samuel Badree 3

Herschelle Gibbs c & b Kevon Cooper 10

Darren Sammy* b Dwayne Bravo 16

Albie Morkel not out 7

Extras: (lb2 w10) 12

Total: 99/5 (20 Overs)

Did not Bat: Liam Sebastien, Garey Mathurin, Shane Shillingford, Tino Best

Fall of Wickets: 1-16, 2-17, 3-36, 4-56, 5-84

Bowling: Fidel Edwards 5-0-22-1 (3w), Dwayne Bravo 4-0-28-1 (4w), Samuel Badree 4-0-18-2 (2w), Sulieman Benn 4-0-11-0, Kevon Cooper 4-0-18-1

Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel

Kevin O' Brien b Tino Best 37

Adrian Barath LBW Shane Shillingford 17

Ross Taylor b Garey Mathurin 13

Mahela Jayawardene c Darren Sammy+ b Garey Mathurin 11

Darren Bravo not out 15

Dwayne Bravo not out 10

Extras: (w2) 2

Total: 105/4 (17.5 Overs)

Did not Bat: Kevon Cooper, Samuel Badree, Nicholas Pooran+, Sulieman Benn, Fidel Edwards

Fall of Wickets: 1-56, 2-56, 3-75, 4-84

Bowling: Garey Mathurin 4-0-24-2, Darren Sammy 3-0-22-0, Tino Best 4-0-18-1 (2w), Shane Shillingford 4-0-20-1, Liam Sebastien 1.5-0-17-0, Albie Morkel 1-0-4-0

Toss: T&T Red Steel won the toss and elected to field

Result: T&T Red Steel won by 6 wickets

Man of the Match: Samuel Badree (Red Steel)

Points: Red Steel 2, Zouks 0

Sat, 08/17/2013 - 10:55