Red Steel down Zouks to remain in first
Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel 119 for 2 (Lewis 59, Taylor 35*) beat St Lucia Zouks 117 (Gabriel 3-20, Cooper 3-26, Bravo 3-33) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Evin Lewis' third consecutive fifty anchored a facile chase for the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, who eased to an eight-wicket win over the St Lucia Zouks on Saturday in Gros Islet. Lewis hit three fours and five sixes in his 59 off 39 as the Red Steel reeled in Zouks' 117 with 31 balls to spare.
The loss has officially eliminated Zouks from playoff contention. Red Steel, Tridents, Amazon Warriors and Tallawahs have secured the four playoff spots meaning the final eight games of the CPL 2014 regular season will decide seeding for the semifinals which don't begin until August 13.
Red Steel won the toss and elected to field first, with Shannon Gabriel putting the Zouks under pressure early by removing both openers inside the first three overs to leave the home side 5 for 2. Later on he dismissed Keddy Lesporis for 22 with a fantastic one-handed return catch and was eventually named Man of the Match after finishing with 3 for 20.
Dwayne Bravo and Kevon Cooper did just as much damage as Gabriel, claiming 3 for 33 and 3 for 26 respectively. Lesporis and Andre Fletcher (24) were the only two of the top six in the Zouks lineup to make double-figures as they struggled to bat 20 overs. Ray Jordan was last man out in the 20th, bowled by a Cooper yorker for 9, with one ball left in the innings.
Ross Taylor starred in the field, taking four catches including a one-handed screamer over his head at slip in the first over to give Red Steel an early lift. Later on he teamed up with Lewis for an 89-run second-wicket partnership to eliminate any hopes for a Zouks upset. Taylor eventually finished 35 not out at the non-striker's end as Nicolas Pooran hit a six over long-off to finish the match.