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CPL 2021: Du Plessis’ century stops Bravo’s Patriots short, gives rising Kings big boost

A sparkling, free-spirited, two-runs-a-ball century partnership between Faf du Plessis and Roston Chase on Saturday gave Dwayne Bravo’s St Kitts and Nevis Patriots little chance to extend their unbeaten run to six games. The margin of defeat was a massive 100 runs.

On a flat Warner Park track, the St Lucia Kings skipper (120 not out off 60 balls, 5 x 6, 13 x 4) and his WI Test batsman team-mate (64 off 31, 3 x 6, 7 x 4) took advantage of an arguably overconfident home side and battered them here, there and everywhere until they got to 200. Then they beat them some more before the overs ran out at 224 for 2.

Photo: St Lucia Kings captain Faf du Plessis attacks a delivery during his unbeaten century against SKNP at Warner Park in St Kitts on 4 September 2021.
(via CPL T20 Ltd 2021)

Predictably given first strike by Bravo, the SLK openers, du Plessis and Andre Fletcher (23 off 19), set the tone for the rest of the innings by racing to 71 in the Powerplay. Fletcher’s contribution was a mere 19 off 12 balls and he only managed to add four of the additional runs scored by the partnership before Fabian Allen had him caught on the boundary as he tried for a straight six.

Coming together at exactly 100 in the 11th over, the pair never allowed the momentum to slow, peppering the boundaries no matter who had ball in hand. Man-of-the-Match du Plessis reached 50 off only 25 balls and brought up his individual 100 off just 51, with the team 100 coming up in 63 balls.

Chase needed all of 28 balls to get to his fifty but the pair needed only 24 to raise their 50 partnership, taking the total from 100 to 150 in exactly four overs. There were powerful on- and off-drives, many of them aerial, and pulls and square cuts aplenty as the Patriots bowlers could not keep a consistent line. Du Plessis also enjoyed himself with the scoop shot, even contriving to ferry one all the way over fine-leg for six.

Only Fawad Ahmed, who had Keron Cottoy easily stumped by wicket-keeper Devon Thomas to claim the second wicket, returned decent figures of 1/23 off his four overs. Naseem Shah’s four cost 45 and Sheldon Cottrell’s three 39.

Photo: St Lucia Kings batsman Roston Chase (right) hits out for six  while GAW wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran looks on during CPL action at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts on 2 September 2021.
Chase scored 64 not out today as SLK hammered SKNP.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

The Patriots skipper for all his undoubted acumen, could find no way to staunch the flow nor could he find any place to hide. The two Kings batsmen eventually battered him into submission, his 3.2 overs costing 50 before he retired, perhaps his hamstring and certainly his feelings and his pride hurt.

Called up to complete Bravo’s fourth over, Dominic Drakes eventually conceded 40 off his 2.4 overs.

When the Patriots started their reply, only opener Evin Lewis (73 off 42, 6 x 6, 5 x 4) looked to be in the mood for a fight. He matched the Kings pair for pace, reaching 50 off just 25 balls. But by then, he had already lost his opening partner Thomas (2 off 4) and Chris Gayle (14 off 10). The 36-year-old Ravi Bhopara then showed his age rather than his class, scratching around for 13 balls to get only four runs.

Sherfane Rutherford, the Patriots best batsman so far this season, got to 11 off 9 balls before he perished, caught at long-off by Cottoy. At that stage, only nine overs were left and the deficit was 127.

Photo: St Lucia Kings wicket-keeper Andre Fletcher (left) tries to take a catch off GAW batsman Nicholas Pooran while team-mate Roston Chase looks on during CPL action at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts on 2 September 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

Given the heroics of Thursday’s game which the Patriots won from the Barbados Royals coming back from a virtually impossible position, maybe some still believed. But after Fletcher caught Allen at the wicket off Wahab Riaz at 116 for 6 and Lewis soon followed, trying to force the pace, the chase petered out—the final score 124 and the deficit still all of 100 runs.

Keemo Paul (3/23) was the best of the Kings’ bowlers while Alzarri Joseph finished with 3/27, not one of the six bowlers used by du Plessis being required to complete his four overs.

The Kings now sit in second spot on the table, six points in the bag from their five completed games. If they can repeat the feat in Sunday morning’s return game, the afternoon game between Rovman Powell’s Jamaica Tallawahs and Kieron Pollard’s TKR takes on much greater significance since the losers are certain to find themselves—even if only temporarily—in fifth place, with only four moving ahead to the semis.

In the afternoon game, Man-of-the-Match Chandrapaul Hemraj (105 not out off 56 balls, 5 x 6, 14 x 4) scored the second unbeaten century of the day and of the season.

Photo: Guyana Amazon Warriors batsman Chandrapaul Hemraj acknowledges his century against the Barbados Royals at Warner Park in CPL action on 4 September 2021.
(via CPL T20 Ltd 2021)

It was his maiden CPL century and it saw Guyana Amazon Warriors coast home to a comfortable 9-wkt victory over the demoralised Royals. GAW easily reached their target of 131 with just five and a half overs remaining after their opening pair of Hemraj and Brandon King (19 off 17, 2 x 4) saw them to 103 in the tenth over.

After skipper Jason Holder opted for first use of the strip, four of the Royals batsmen, openers Johnson Charles (23) and Shai Hope (22), and Raymon Reifer (22) and Azam Khan (28), all got starts. But none could convert a 20-odd score into a more substantial contribution, leaving Nicholas Pooran’s men a relatively simple task.

Imran Tahir, who claimed the first three wickets in his second over, finished with 3/34 and Romario Shepherd 2/33.

The win pushed GAW up to fourth on the table and left Holder’s Royals marooned at the foot of the table with their solitary win against the Jamaica Tallawahs on 28 August.

So they find themselves still in a must-win situation when they take on GAW again in the return game on Tuesday.

Photo: Guyana Amazon Warriors bowler Imran Tahir milks the moment during CPL 2021 action at Warner Park, St Kitts.
(via CPL T20 Ltd 2021)

Match Summary

Toss: St Kitts and Nevis Patriots

St Lucia Kings: 224 for 2 (Faf du Plessis 120, Roston Chase 64, Andre Fletcher 23, Fawad Ahmed 1/23, Fabian Allen 1/26,)

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots: 124 all out (Evin Lewis 73, Keemo Paul 3/23, Alzarri Joseph 3/27)

Man-of-the-Match: Faf du Plessis (SLK)

Result: SLK win by 100 runs

Points: SLK 2 SKNP 0

Photo: St Lucia Kings batsman Andre Fletcher pulls to leg for four runs during CPL action against TKR at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts on 31 August 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

POINTS TABLE

TEAMS                         P          W        L         T         NR      Pts

SKN/Patriots             6          5          1          0          0          10

St L/Kings                   5          3          2          0          0          6

GA/Warriors              6          3          3          0          0          6

J/Tallawahs                4          2          2          0          0          4

TKR                                5          2          3          0          0          4

B/Royals                       6          1          5          0          0          2

About Earl Best

Earl Best
Earl Best taught cricket, French, football and Spanish at QRC for many years and has written consistently for the Tapia and the Trinidad and Tobago Review since the 1970's. He is also a former sports editor at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express and is now a senior lecturer in Journalism at COSTAATT.

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