Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
Barbados Tridents 186 for 2 (Boucher 64*, Charles 52, Duminy 43*) beat St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 168 for 9 (Evans 64, Drakes 34*, Lamichhane 3-22, Walsh Jr. 2-33, Holder 2-37) by 18 runs
Barbados Tridents completed their first win of CPL 2019 after youngsters Leniko Boucher and Sandeep Lamichhane contributed with bat and ball respectively to hand the visitors a 18-run win over St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. In the first innings, Boucher was assisted by JP Duminy's 18-ball 43 to lift Tridents to 186, while Lamichhane was ably supported by captain Jason Holder and USA's Hayden Walsh Jr. in the second.
Patriots' Laurie Evans struck a quickfire 64 to keep the hosts in the hunt till the 12th over, but the team fell away after they lost four middle-order wickets in fifteen deliveries. Barring Evans, the Patriots batting performance was so poor that their second-highest run-scorer was their No. 11. Patriots eventually finished well short, for their third defeat of the season.
A wicketkeeper-batsman with a familiar surname
Playing only his second T20 game, right-handed batsman Boucher walked in after opener Alex Hales' dismissal in the fifth over. Trying to guide a Rayad Emrit delivery to third man, Hales could only find the keeper. Early signs showed that the pitch was similar to the one where 483 runs were scored on Wednesday.
The other opener Johnson Charles, however, having a difficult time rotating the strike at that point, and it was the 21-year old Boucher who sunk anchor in the post-Powerplay period. The first signs of Boucher's dominance came in the seventh over, when he confidently skipped down the ground to lift Emrit over his head. Boucher then made the most of a dropped chance to the keeper in the ninth over by upping the tempo off left-arm spinner Fabian Allen. He began the 13th over with a six and a four off Allen, and in Charles' company lifted Tridents into triple figures.
Charles, sluggish right up that point, moved from 38 off 39 balls to 51 in 41 on the back of two sixes as they got past hundred. It was legspinner Usama Mir who bore the brunt, but he took revenge two balls later when Charles holed out to deep midwicket.
That brought in JP Duminy at No. 4, and the South African swiftly found his timing by pulling his second ball over long-on. Two balls later, Boucher moved to 48 with a six over long-on to end the 16th over. Off the next ball, he brought up his fifty in 40 deliveries.
Tridents' triple-over blitz
A tidy three-run 17th over from Emrit seemed to have stifled Tridents' run-scoring, but the last three overs was where the batting team displayed the advantage of having so many wickets in hand. With a license to smash, Duminy and Boucher struck 51 runs in the last 18 balls to take Tridents to 186 for 2. The unbeaten stand of 73 in 36 balls saw Boucher finish on 62 and Duminy on an 18-ball 43.
After Tridents finished the first innings with such a flurry, Emrit - standing in as captain while Brathwaite was off the field nursing a knock - called the Patriots in for a huddle before walking off the field, perhaps to instill the same beliefs they had the night before when they chased 243.
Evans sizzles, others not so much
The chase began with Duminy's spin, and Patriots opener Evin Lewis enjoyed the ball coming into him from around the wicket. He swept Duminy twice for fours in the first over to give the hosts early momentum, but Tridents negated that advantage when the other opener Devon Thomas edged Holder to Boucher next over. Lewis ended the second over with a square cut for four, but Holder dismissed him next over when he sliced an attempted drive to cover.
At 28 for 2, Patriots were in trouble, but Evans' shot-making didn't make it appear so. He found his footing by driving left-arm seamer Josh Lalor for four and following it up with a punched shot over midwicket two balls later. Entering the game, Evans had gone past thirty in seven of his last eight T20 games, and he proceeded to do the same once more by making full use of a dropped chance on 21. Evans was especially brutal towards the on-side, taking on Walsh Jr. for consecutive fours, before reaching his 21st T20 fifty in the tenth over. By then, No. 4 Jason Mohammad was already out and Evans was building a partnership with No. 5 Shamarh Brooks, and with eight overs to go, Patriots needed 90 off 48 with seven wickets in hand.
Lamichhane triggers Patriots' downward spiral
But the final eight overs began poorly for Patriots. Brooks tried to take Lamichhane on the first ball of the 13th over, but he sliced a catch to Nurse at extra cover, who had to run back and put in a dive to complete a catch. Five balls later came the bigger blow when Evans looked to paddle-sweep the legspinner away, only to top-edge one to short fine leg. Evans fell for a 41-ball 64, but his dismissal meant there were two new batsmen at the crease with the run-rate continuously rising.
Walsh Jr. then prised out the dangerous Allen after the batsman failed to pick a slider that was aimed for the stumps, and when Lamichhane returned for his final over of the night, he trapped Brathwaite with a googly to send Patriots reeling at 106 for 7. Two balls later, the skies opened up, and the teams went off for close to 45 minutes with Patriots still needing 80 off 5.1 overs.
When the teams returned, Walsh Jr. claimed his second wicket by removing Usama Mir. No. 9 Emrit briefly entertained, but he too fell trying to clear the long-on boundary in the 17th over. No. 11 Dominic Drakes brought some respectability to the Patriots total by striking three sixes and three fours to score the highest-ever T20 score for a No. 11 batsman, a 34 off 14 balls. His last-wicket partnership of 49 with No. 10 Alzarri Joseph ensured Patriots' net run-rate took a much lesser hit than it could've at one point.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Tridents vs Patriots
Caribbean Premier League