Medium-pacer Akeem Jordan made a dream debut while opener Evin Lewis struck his second half-century of the Hero Caribbean Premier League as the St Kitts Nevis Patriots beat the St Lucia Zouks by six wickets at Warner Park, St Kitts, on Sunday.
Jordan, a 24-year-old right-arm medium pacer, bagged four wickets for 33 runs, the second-best ever haul by a debutant player in the CPL, as the Zouks were restricted to 139 for nine in their 20 overs.
Lewis, back after missing out the last game against the Guyana Amazon Warriors after picking up an injury during warm-ups, blasted a 30-ball 65 as the Patriots chased down the target inside 15 overs.
The victory pushed the Patriots to four points and third on the six-team table behind joint leaders Amazon Warriors and the Trinbago Knight Riders, who each have eight points and are yet to taste defeat this season. Zouks, Barbados Tridents and the Jamaica Tallawahs, who won their first match of the tournament in the first of two matches on Sunday, are tangled on two points each in the bottom half of the table.
However, Patriots have already played six matches and will have to continue their form in their remain matches to ensure they get into the playoffs. They next welcome TKR on Tuesday at the same venue.
Under pressure to secure full points on Sunday night, Jordan gave the home side a brilliant start when he removed Zouks openers Andre Fletcher (1) and the dangerous and in-form Rakheem Cornwall with only 14 runs on the scoreboard. He got Fletcher to cut a short and wide delivery straight to Fabian Allen at backward point off his third official ball, having bowled a wide on his second ball. He returned in his second over to get the prized wicket of Cornwall for just five. Having been blasted by Cornwall over mid-off from his first ball, Jordan bowled the next delivery a little wider and Cornwall sliced his shot straight to Sheldon Cottrell at third man.
Jordan's third over also produced a wicket although he was hit for two consecutive fours by Kavem Hodge. Hodge got carried away by the early boundary successes and charged Jordan's fourth ball but holed out to Kjorn Ottley at deep mid-wicket as Zouks crumbled to 33 for three inside the Powerplay.
With their key top-order batsmen back in the pavilion early, the other Zouks players struggled to find runs and in between Jordan's initial burst, Usama Mir removed Roland Cato (10) and Colin de Grandhomme (30) to keep the pressure on.
Jordan then returned for his final over to remove Kesrick Williams for a duck, caught behind the wicket, although he had keeper Devon Thomas' brilliant diving catch to thank for it.
When Patriots took the field, Lewis showed he was in a no-nonsense mode by blasting his second CPL half-century. His five fours and six sixes, alongside partnerships of 45 with England's Laurie Evans and 62 with Mohammed Hafeez (26), made up for the early loss of his opening partner Devon Thomas for just one.
Along the way, Lewis became the second player to hit 100 CPL sixes, joining Jamaica Tallawahs' Chris Gayle (160) in that illustrious category. Spinner Kavem Hodge eventually dismissed Lewis as he tried to clear the deep mid-wicket boundary with a slog sweep but couldn't get it over Roland Cato with the score on 118.
By that time, however, the match was long done as a contest and it was only a matter of time before Brathwaite wrapped up the win in style with a towering six out the ground off pacer Obed McCoy with 31 balls to spare.
ST LUCIA ZOUKS 138-9 (20) (Colin de Grandhomme 30, Hardus Viljoen 28; Akeem Jordan 4-33, Usama Mir 2-13, Rayad Emrit 2-29) v ST KITTS NEVIS PATRIOTS 143-4 (20) (Evin Lewis 65, Mohammed Hafeez 26)
Result: Patriots won by six wickets
MoM: Akeem Jordan (STKNP)