TAROUBA, Trinidad – Reckless batting by Barbados Tridents nearly cost them the opening game of their title defence but they bailed themselves out with a disciplined bowling effort, to beat St Kitts and Nevis Patriots by six runs on Tuesday night.
Sent in at the Brian Lara Stadium in the day/night contest, Tridents recovered from a perilous position of eight for three to tally 153 for nine with captain Jason Holder top-scoring with 38 and all-rounder Kyle Mayers getting 37.
Asked to score at just under eight runs an over in what should have been a straightforward run chase under lights, Patriots meandered for the most part and declined from 89 for two in the 13th over to 147 for five off their 20 overs.
They were suffocated by Tridents’ spinners especially inside the last 10 overs as New Zealand left-armer Mitchell Santner (2-18) and Afghan leggie Rashid Khan (2-27) did most of the damage, while seamer Holder produced a four-over spell that cost just 21 runs.
Joshua DaSilva, batting at number three, dithered 41 balls over an unbeaten 41, failing to find the acceleration that was required, especially inside the last five overs when Patriots required only 45 runs from 30 deliveries.
Australian Ben Dunk chipped in with 34 off 21 balls but no other Patriots batsmen displayed any enterprise in a lacklustre performance.
In 15 balls of madness at the start, Tridents quickly found themselves staring down the barrel, in the second match of the day’s doubleheader.
Johnson Charles missed an ungainly swipe at left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (2-16) and lost his off-stump for four in the second over and New Zealander Corey Anderson, struck on the head off the first ball he faced, tamely steered the next delivery to point where Evin Lewis took a simple catch at head height.
When Shai Hope (3) advanced to left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir (2-25) in the next over and skied a frustrated heave to cover, Patriots were on top.
However, Holder and Mayers combined to begin the rescue mission in a 61-run, third wicket stand, both batsmen choosing to counter-attack and managing to rattle the Patriots bowlers.
Holder faced 22 balls and belted two fours and three sixes while Mayers, who initiated the counter-attack, faced 20 deliveries with an identical boundary count.
Mayers and Jonathan Carter (0) perished off successive deliveries in the eighth over and when Holder holed out to long on with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi in the 13th over, it was left to Rashid Khan with 26 not out off 20 balls to salvage precious runs at the end.
In reply, Patriots forged a cautious start when Chris Lynn (19) and Lewis (12) put on 30 off 28 balls for the first wicket.
But Tridents hit back, Santner claiming Lynn to a catch at point in the fifth over and Rashid Khan running out Lewis at the non-striker’s end after the left-hander was guilty of backing up too far to a DaSilva straight drive.
DaSilva and Dunk then added 50 for the third wicket off 35 balls and when Dunk miscued Santner into the deep in the 13th over, Patriots were well poised to push on, requiring a further 65 from 46 balls.
However, Denesh Ramdin (13) and Jahmar Hamilton (0) fell cheaply and though DaSilva hit just three fours, he failed to find the boundary inside the last five overs, as Patriots’ run chase fell apart without so much as a whimper.