Red Steel romp to nine-wicket win over Zouks
Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel 137 for 1 (Lewis 77, O'Brien 55*) beat St Lucia Zouks 136 for 9 (Sammy 46*, Badree 2-13) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Evin Lewis and Kevin O'Brien flayed a hapless St Lucia Zouks bowling unit as the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel recorded a nine-wicket win at Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain. The pair erased the CPL first-wicket partnership record set 24 hours earlier by Martin Guptill and Lendl Simmons of the Guyana Amazon Warriors by adding 129 at the start of the Red Steel chase.
The Red Steel reached the target of 137 with 32 balls to spare, just one ball short of equaling the fastest chase of CPL 2014 made by the Jamaica Tallawahs who were set 97 to win against the Antigua Hawksbills on July 17. Lewis and O'Brien came within eight runs of notching the first 10-wicket win in CPL history before Lewis fell for 77 in the 14th over to a catch in the deep off Shane Shillingford.
O'Brien brought up his own half-century two balls later and should have been dismissed with three needed to win when he was stumped giving Garey Mathurin the charge only to be called back to the crease when replays revealed the left-arm spinner had overstepped and a no ball was called. O'Brien sealed the match with a two off the free hit that followed and finished unbeaten on 55 off 44 balls.
The brief chase was set up by a disciplined bowling and fielding display in response to the Zouks decision to bat first upon winning the toss. Legspinner Samuel Badree set the tone by removing both openers, Johnson Charles stumped for 15 after being beaten in flight coming down the track and Andre Fletcher for 4 swinging across the line to a full delivery to mark Badree's 100th wicket in Twenty20 matches. He finished with a typically tidy 2 for 13 in four overs including a maiden.
The Zouks struggled to piece together a decent partnership with their best stand of the day coming courtesy of Tonito Willett and Darren Sammy, who added 27 runs for the fifth wicket. Sammy's efforts to provide a late surge were stunted by three runouts in the final overs. He still motored ahead to finish with an innings-high 46 not out off 35 balls including four sixes but the final total of 136 for 9 was never going to be enough against a stacked Red Steel batting lineup on a pitch that held few demons.
The Red Steel reclaimed sole possession of first place with the win, moving two points clear of the Amazon Warriors with 10 points on five wins. Meanwhile, the Zouks remain entrenched in the winless column and will be aiming to turn their fortunes around on July 31 when the CPL caravan arrives at Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia. The Zouks play their first home game of the season that evening against the Barbados Tridents.