Saint Lucia Kings will be hoping to up the momentum for the remaining two matches at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground [DSCG] in this season’s Hero CPL T20 series – after some mixed fortunes in their previous encounters.
After defeating the Jamaica Tallawahs, on Wednesday, the Kings’ luck changed Thursday night as they went down to the Barbados Patriots in a sometimes-challenging affair.
Saint Lucia Kings will tonight take on the Amazon Warriors, before closing out their campaign at the DSCG tomorrow (Sunday night) against the St Kitts/Nevis Patriots.
And barring any weather disturbances the atmosphere at the DSCG is expected to go up a few notches with exuberant fans hoping to see the Kings pull through victoriously.
Johnson Charles was the star player as the Saint Lucia Kings beat the Tallawahs, Wednesday, to register their first win of the tournament.
With the Kings losing out by close defeats in their opening two games – it was time for a resurgence. And the ‘homeboy’ Charles, did not disappoint the vociferous fans as he propelled his innings with deft defiance, smooth composure and a measure of his stylish belligerence to good effect to take his team closer to the target.
The Kings put in a disciplined performance with the ball and took wickets at regular intervals to ensure the Tallawahs were restricted to 163/8.
In reply, the Tallawahs played the Kings at their own game by taking regular wickets.
Mohammed Amir’s early double-wicket over rocked the Kings but Charles’ excellent half-century kept the home side in the game. There was still plenty to do when David Wiese strode to the crease but he marshalled the chase superbly to get the Kings their first win of the tournament.
Roshon Primus and the wily Wiese kept the Kings in the game going into the final few overs. When Primus departed, Wiese guided the chase into the final over and hit the winning run to rapturous celebration in the stands.
The Tallawahs had stumbled earlier to be perched at 62/4 in the Power Play, with batters Kennar Lewis, Shamarh Brooks and captain Rovman Powell and Brandon King all back in the hut.
However, Imad Wasim and Raymon Reifer put in some rear guard action and some late plundering in the final four overs to ensure the Tallawahs set an intriguing 164 to win.
On Thursday, the tables turned as the Kings failed to restrict the Royals from getting past the 170 runs target. Sent in to bat, the Kings began on a steady course and were at 50/1 after the six overs –Power Play.
And though not emulating his previous performance on Wednesday night, Charles struck a forceful 29 (25) at the top of the innings to help lay the platform for the incoming batters. At 90/5 the Kings batting appeared a bit shaky, but a late resurgence from Wiese and Tim David got the team to a challenging score of 169/6.
David hit 40 (23) with 4×4, 2×6, while Wiese got 28(21) with 4×4 to share in a partnership of 79(43) and set a 170 run target.
The Kings got an early reward to send back Quinton De Kock for a duck with the score at 7/1, but Tim Bosch and Kyle Mayers had other ideas as they attacked the bowling ferociously.
The two batters chalked up an 84 run partnership off 48 balls to tilt the balance heavily in their team’s favour. At the halfway mark, the Royals had raced to 101/2, needing 69 off the last 60 balls for victory.
And though the Kings put on a spirited fight back with Alzarri Joseph as the strike bowler steaming in to deliver a fiery spell and the fans cheering on; it left a little too much to hold back the Patriot batters in a quest for their fourth consecutive win in the tournament, so far.
Though statistics show that the Saint Lucia Kings franchise- amid title changes –at the DSCG is registered as 11 wins from 29 matches, nonetheless, the electrifying frenzy at the grounds is one to behold when the Kings players are in full flow with boisterous fans cheering on.
The stage is set as the Kings players seek out better fortunes, to leave their fans with some more joyful moments as they close their campaign at the DSCG.