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Late Pollard flourish breaks Zouks’ hearts
GROS ISLET, St Lucia—Inspirational captain Kieron Pollard lashed the winning runs as Barbados Tridents won a last-over thriller on Thursday night, condemning winless St Lucia Zouks to their fifth straight loss in the Caribbean Premier League. Chasing 168 for victory at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium, Tridents overhauled their target with two balls remaining, with Pollard providing a late flurry to finish unbeaten on 37 off 22 balls.
The game remained open once Tridents entered the last over requiring 15 to win. Left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir sent down a wide first ball to hand the advantage to Tridents and Pollard clobbered the first legitimate delivery over mid-wicket for six, to reduce the equation to eight runs from five balls. He gathered a couple off the next delivery and scrambled two byes off the third, leaving the Tridents with the straightforward task of getting four runs from three deliveries. Pollard, who has been short of runs in the tournament, left nothing to chance, however, as he smashed Tanvir to the mid-wicket boundary to seal victory and spark celebrations among the visiting Tridents side.
The win was Tridents’ fourth and it put them on eight points alongside title-holders Jamaica Tallawahs and last year’s losing finalists Guyana Amazon Warriors. However, the Bridgetown-based franchise sit fourth in the tables on net run rate. Overall, Pollard crunched two fours and three sixes, and put on a crucial 38 off 23 balls for the seventh wicket with Kyle Mayers who made 13. His captain’s innings was required after Tridents, cruising at 85 for two in the ninth, suddenly lost four wickets for 30 runs to lose their way.
Man-of-the-Match Jason Holder punched a top score of 48 after being promoted to number three while Shoaib Malik chipped in with 22, as Tridents made a strong start. Talismanic opener Dwayne Smith hammered a four through long on off the first ball of the run chase but succumbed to the third ball of the over from fast bowler Tino Best, trapped in front with the score on ten.
Holder and Dowrich then added 56 for the second wicket to repair the innings, with Holder striking five fours and two sixes off 30 balls and the diminutive Dowrich getting just nine. The right-handed Holder provided a glimpse of his batting talent, with two back-to-back off-side sixes off pacer Ray Jordan's first over, the fifth of the innings. Jordan finished with three for 39. Dowrich perished in the sixth over, top-edging a pull to Henry Davids at mid-wicket off Tanvir and Holder and Neil McKenzie (0) followed in successive deliveries in the ninth over from Jordan, to set up a tense finish.
Earlier, opener Johnson Charles and Tanvir both scored even fifties as Zouks rallied to 167 for seven off their 20 overs, after choosing to bat. Charles faced 40 balls and struck four fours and three sixes while Tanvir provided a blinder at the end, lashing six sixes in an unbeaten innings off a mere 19 balls. Liam Sebastien weighed in with 33 from 39 balls while Pollard (2-30) and Mayers (2-39) finished with two wickets apiece.
ST LUCIA ZOUKS 167 for seven off 20 overs (Johnson Charles 50, Sohail Tanvir 50, Liam Sebastien 33; Kieron Pollard 2-30, Kyle Mayers 2-39)
BARBADOS TRIDENTS 168 for seven off 19.4 overs (Jason Holder 48, Kieron Pollard 37 not out, Shoaib Malik 22; Ray Jordan 3-39, Tino Best 2-42)