The four teams for the 2019 Hero CPL play-offs have been finalised after the Barbados Tridents defeated the St Lucia Zouks by 24 runs last night in another mad finish at the Kensington Oval to take the final spot.
Set a meagre 142 runs to win the clash and move into the play-offs themselves, the underbelly of the Zouks batting was instead cruelly exposed by leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr and they fell for just 117 runs.
The win pushed the Tridents to fourth place on the six-team table with eight points but more importantly denied the Zouks or earning any more points than the seven they ended their round-robin campaign with.
The teams involved in the play-offs will thus be the Guyana Amazon Warriors (14 pts), Trinbago Knight Riders (10 pts), St. Kitts/Nevis Patriots (10 pts) and the Tridents.
In fact, the only thing to resolve now is which of the team will finish in the top two spots to earn themselves to chance at making the October 12 final.That battle will start in earnest on Monday when the TKR hosts the Warriors at the Queen's Park Oval, port-of-Spain, from 7 pm
Earlier Sunday, after Johnson Charles smacked 47 to lead the Tridents to 141-7 off their 20 overs in an otherwise sorry batting effort, that score looked inadequate to give them the edge they needed to surge to the playoffs.
But the Tridents bowlers were too clever on their home ground on the night. As soon as the ball grew softer, the bowlers, using clever change of pace and a disciplined line and length, were able to stifle the Zouks batting.
The Zouks had run quickly out the block and at one stage the crowd at Kensington grew very quiet with the score at 77-2 after eight overs and Colin Ingram hitting the ball cleanly about the ground.
Tridents skipper Jason Holder then brought on the experienced Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and he struck immediately with the wicvket of Ingram (25) to spark a collapse that saw the Zouks fall short.
Bowling well in tandem with Al Hasan in the middle overs was the left-arm medium-pacer Raymond Reifer. He was excellent in his three overs, where he was able to grab one wicket for 13. The spells by Al Hasan and Reifer stalled the Zouks but with wickets in hand, they still stood a great chance.
This was when tridents skipper Holder played his last cards in Englishman Harry Gurney and American leg-spinner Hayden Walsh.
Gurney finished with figures of three for 17 off his four overs, while Walsh was again brilliant with four for 26. Walsh has had a brilliant last three games here in Barbados, claiming 11 wickets, including a five-wicket haul against the TKR on Thursday night.
BARBADOS TRIDENTS 141-7 (20) (Johnson Charles 47, Justin Greaves 27*, Shakib Al Hasan 22, Krishmar Santokie 2/25, Hardus Viljoen 2/26) v ST LUCIA ZOUKS 117 all out (18.4) (Hayden Walsh 4/26, Harry Gurney 3/17)
Result: BARBADOS TRIDENTS WON BY 24 RUNS
Man-of-the-match: Hayden Walsh (BT)