An exceptional display by the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots bowlers tendered the St. Lucia Stars their fifth defeat in six games at the Darren Sammy International Stadium on Tuesday night. The Stars were demolished for a measly 69 in 12.3 overs with Sheldon Cottrell, Mahmudullah and Sandeep Lamichhane combining for seven wickets. The win will without a doubt improve Patriots’ overall run rate as they move into fourth place on the points table, staying afloat at .500 after 4 games. The Stars will have to run the table and win all 4 of their remaining games in order to have a chance at the playoffs.
St. Lucia amassed a CPL record 226 for 6 in their previous encounter against the Barbados Tridents, which no doubt had them oozing with confidence especially being sent to bat after back to back 200 run outings (the first coming in a shocking defeat to the Trinbago Knight Riders). The confidence was short lived however as the Patriots’ decision to bowl first proved fruitful and Sheldon Cottrell (3-14) and Mahmudullah (2-20) struck twice each in the opening five overs to reduce the Stars to 24-4. Ben Cutting then took an excellent catch as Nepalese sensation Sandeep Lamichhane (2-13) took down Warner. From there, wickets toppled at an extraordinarily rapid rate; the Stars proceeded to cough up their final six wickets for only 20 runs as they were dismissed for the third lowest-ever CPL total in just 12.3 overs. It was Cottrell’s collection of three wickets from 2.3 overs, including the big dismissal of Kieron Pollard, that had the most significant impact and he was rightly awarded Man of the Match to show for his efforts.
Once the bowlers dismantled the home team, the chase was an easy one. Devon Thomas played the lead role with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 21-ball 38 to help the Patriots overhaul the total in just 7.4 overs enroute a clinical seven-wicket win. Evin Lewis (13) and Devon Thomas put on 30 for the away side’s first wicket before Mitchell McClenaghan took Lewis to the cleaners and the Patriots lost two more quick wickets when Brandon King was shelved for 17 and Tom Cooper was run out looking for a second run in quite comedic fashion.
As much as Chris Gayle was happy with his side winning their second out of four games, the Patriots captain was equally shocked by the tame surrender of the opposition, particularly after they had amassed over 200 in their last two games. “Based on their last two games I didn’t expect this at all. I sent them into bat, they have been batting really well and that is the nature of this game. It went according to the plan for us. Our bowlers did brilliantly well to restrict them to 69,” said Gayle. “Leadership is key in T20 cricket as players look up to the leader. Devon Thomas batted well and took the pressure off Lewis. Hopefully, Lewis can get some form too. We have one more game against Barbados. Hopefully we would win one more game and then give ourselves a chance at home.”
Patriots play their next game against the Barbados Tridents on Saturday August 25th at 4PM at the Kensington Oval.