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Smith’s show

Wayne Holder

Smith’s show

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This was the Dwayne Smith show.
And Barbadian cricket fans loved it, and lapped it up last night.
A superb, career-best 110 not out by the swashbuckling opening batsman sent a crowd of over 6 000 into raptures, as the Barbados Tridents inflicted a 29-run defeat on the St Lucia Zouks, as the local leg of the 2014 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 Championship bowled off at Kensington Oval.
From the time he slapped the first ball of the match bowled by South African left-arm spinner Roelof Van der Merwe to the deep point boundary for four, until the last over by Pakistani Sohail Tanvir when he smashed the last two deliveries for massive sixes, Smith totally dominated the St Lucia Zouks bowling as he carried his bat to pilot the Tridents to an imposing 186 for two in their 20 overs.
In their reply, the Zouks got off to a good start but were held to 157 for four. They were in trouble as early as the 14th over when captain and talisman Darren Sammy fell for a duck with the score 79 for four.
The match was virtually over as a contest after that.
But Sohail Tanvir and Keddy Lesporis kept the enthusiastic fans entertained in an unbroken 78-run fifth-wicket partnership.
Earlier, Sammy had little hesitation in inviting the Tridents to bat after he won the toss in overcast conditions, amidst intermittent showers.
Smith immediately blasted Van der Merwe out of the attack, taking 18 (3 fours, one six) out of his sole over before a heavy drizzle forced the players off the field after one ball from Tanvir with which the lanky left-arm pacer had Shane Dowrich caught at the wicket.
Smith then picked up from where he left off on the resumption, roughing up all the Zouks bowlers as he peppered the boundary with a number of superlative shots, none more so than a memorable on-drive off fellow Barbados and West Indies player Tino Best that sped like a scud missile to the ropes.
Pakistani Shoaib Malik, who replaced Dowrich at the wicket, joined in the free-scoring as the pair rocketed the total past the 100 mark in the 13th over.
The second-wicket stand was worth 110 when Malik, one short of an anticipated half-century, moved too far inside the line of a delivery from Best that took the leg stump in an over that brought 16 runs.
Altogether Smith’s innings occupied 69 balls with six fours and eight sixes, the seventh of which brought up his second T20 century, his main scoring shots.
Malik faced 37 balls and struck four fours in his knock, and was even involved in a heated verbal debate with Best after having his stumps rocked.
The Zouks lost West Indies T20 specialist Johnson Charles in the third over but recovered to go past 50 without losing another wicket, compliments South African Henry Davids (22) and in-form Andre Fletcher (27), but the latter’s dismissal, quickly followed by Sammy’s demise within two runs and six balls of each other, turned the match decisively in the home team’s favour.
Tanvir and Lesporis made merry in the losing effort with the former striking a couple of the biggest “maximums” of the game off youthful left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein on the way to 38 not out (18 balls, 1 four, 4 sixes).
Lesporis recorded a maiden T20 fifty, his knock coming off 38 balls with six fours and a six.
The win was the Tridents’ second in three matches while the Zouks slipped to their third defeat in as many matches.
The Barbados leg resumes tomorrow when the Tridents tackle the winless Antigua Hawksbills at 4 p.m.

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