Smith powers Tridents to victory
A second century of the season for Dwayne Smith (103 not out) set up a crucial 29-run victory for the Barbados Tridents against St Lucia Stars in Match 27 of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Thursday night at Kensingston Oval in Barbados.
Scores: Barbados Tridents 195 for four (20 overs); St Lucia Stars 166 for four (20 overs).
The victory kept the Tridents in the hunt for a finals-week spot and ensured the Stars end their season without a win.
After winning the toss, the Tridents promoted Nicholas Pooran to open the batting for only the third time in his T20 career, and he justified their decision with an explosive 20-ball 36. While Smith struggled for fluency early on, Pooran's power and timing was on full display as he struck two sixes and four fours. When he was dismissed with two balls remaining in the Powerplay - duped by a well-disguised slower ball from Obed McCoy - he had scored more than 80 per cent of the Tridents runs.
In the six overs after the Powerplay the Tridents began to lose their way and slipped to 83 for 3 after 11.3 overs.
Having struggled for timing in the Powerplay, Smith then started to find his range, striking his first six in the 12th over.
The Stars have failed to restrict run-scoring in the death overs this season, and their weakness was once again exposed as Smith punished some wayward lines. Twenty-eight runs came from the 18th and 19th overs before a 42-minute stoppage due to a floodlight failure delayed the bowling of the last over. When they eventually returned Shane Watson struggled to bowl the right length and Christopher Barnwell and Smith took 22 from the over. Smith reached his century with consecutive sixes.
The Stars innings started in frenetic fashion when AndrÈ Fletcher hit a six and a four in the opening over before mistiming a short ball from Ravi Rampaul to Eoin Morgan in the deep. Watson briefly threatened to get going, scoring 22 before pulling a Wahab Riaz short ball to midwicket. Three Cornwall boundaries helped the Stars to 54 for two after six overs.
The relaxing of the field restrictions did nothing to slow Cornwall, who cleared the ropes three times in the two overs after the Powerplay and moved to his 50 in the 11th over, off just 26 balls.
With five overs remaining and 59 required Cornwall begun to show signs of tiring, complicat-ing the Stars strategy. Running between the wickets ceased to be an option, and after the equation had been reduced to 48 off 16 balls Cornwall decided to retire on 78, allowing Darren Sammy to come in. Two balls later Marlon Samuels picked out Pollard on the boundary. In the face of a spiralling run rate and some tight death bowling the Stars were unable to stay with the Tridents and eventually fell short by 29 runs.