3 out of 3 for Tridents
A PHENOMENAL bowling performance by Shakib Al Hasan inspired Barbados Tridents to a four-wicket victory over the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in their final home match of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League at Kensington Oval on Saturday night.
Spurred on by an energetic capacity crowd, the Bangladeshi left-arm spinner took six wickets for six runs in four overs, one of which was a maiden. The amazing feat sent the Red Steel crashing to 52 all out off 12.5 overs and sent media personnel scampering for the record books.
The Tridents then withstood a hostile spell of fast bowling from Fidel Edward to nervously reach 53 for six off eight overs with Edwards taking five for 22.
Ashley Nurse hit the winning runs for the Tridents, flicking the last ball of Edwards’ allotted overs through mid-wicket for four.
The paltry 52 by the Red Steel was the lowest score at Kensington in a regional Twenty20 match Shakib’s spectacular bowling effort fell just short of Somerset’s Arul Suppiah’s six for five against Glamorgan at Cardifff in the Friends Provident Tweenty20 tournament two years ago.
With the measly score eked out by the Red Steel, the match turned out to be more of a contest than seemed likely when Dwayne Smith and Jonathan Carter marched out to start their reply for the home side.
Red Steel left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn conceded 20 runs from the first over of the innings including two sixes from Carter that landed on top of the Greenidge and Haynes stand.
Smith smashed the first ball from Edwards to the long on boundary but the atmosphere changed dramatically when Carter played across the third ball of the over and was bowled by Edwards to make the score 25 for one.
By the time the over had ended, Edwards had also removed Smith, caught low down by 17-year-old wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran.
Shoaib Malik steered Benn to Ross Taylor at gully and when Umar Akmal edged to Taylor at second slip off the pacy Edwards, the Trinidad and Tobago based franchise seemed optimistic of bowling themselves back into the contest.
Shakib’s poor run with the bat continued when he played on to Edwards and when umpire Billy Bowden belatedly upheld an appeal for a catch at the wicket against Kyle Mayers off the same bowler, Barbados Tridents had remarkably slumped to 39 for six.
Four overthrows that resulted from an attempted run out when Ashley Nurse and Kieron Pollard could not agree on a second run eased the tension and the Tridents maintained their perfect home record without any further alarms.
But it was the brilliant work of Shakib that made it possible and the stuttering that occurred during the run chase underlined the importance of the clinical bowling performance by the former Bangladesh captain.
Even before he picked up his first wicket, the left handed all-rounder was well into the game, holding a catch at mid-off from the bowling of Shannon Gabriel to send back Justin Guillen for a duck.
Shakib also caught Davy Jacobs to give Jason Holder the first of his two wickets and reduce the Red Steel to 15 for two after they opted to bat.
Pollard again showed his brilliance in the field when he jumped to pluck a firm hit from Darren Bravo out of the air. It was the first of three catches in the innings that brought him level on 114 with Mike Hussey, making them joint leaders in the Twenty20 format.
When Shakib trapped Ross Taylor lbw with the first ball of his spell leaving the Red Steel 29 for four it started a terminal decline that left the Tridents firmly in control.
That first over took the visitors to the end of the power play period at 30 for four. Dwayne Bravo and Kevin O’Brien somehow managed a further ten runs over the next three overs but Shakib then squeezed Red Steel into submission with major strikes just prior to and immediately after the refreshment break.
Dwayne Bravo was lbw off the first ball of the tenth over and the refreshment car had hardly finished parking before Pooran followed his captain back to the pavilion, well caught by Pollard at forward short leg. Kevon Cooper was lucky to survive an lbw appeal but played on off the pads trying to sweep the next ball.
The loss of three wickets with the score on 40 seemed to knock the fight out of the Red Steel and the end came swiftly.
It was fitting that after the superb display from the home side they showed appreciation for the supportive crowd with a lap of honour following a compelling home ground display.