The Barbados Royals played the ‘perfect’ game when it mattered the least but it means they would end their 2021 Hero CPL campaign on a high after they produced a remarkable run chase to defeat the Saint Lucia Kings by eight wickets at Warner Park on Sunday (September 12).
“Perfect game, I guess. Boys really stepped up today,” said Captain Jason Holder.
“I think the wicket today was really good. I think it’s a pitch where you’re never quite sure what is a par score. Lots of positives to take for us from the season. Everyone had spurts, but collectively not quite good enough.”
The Royals won the toss and Holder chose to field, as he did in their game on Saturday. Rahkeem Cornwall returned to the Kings lineup and made an instant impact, firing 40 runs off 26 balls before Roston Chase continued his fine form to score 56 and take his side to a mammoth total of 190-6.
Despite encountering problems with the loss of two wickets in the sixth over, Man of the Match Kyle Mayers and Glenn Phillips combined for a remarkable 154-run partnership to take their side to a comfortable eight-wicket victory with seven balls to spare.
Saint Lucia Kings were missing captain Faf du Plessis, who was out with an injury, but stand-in captain Andre Fletcher and a returning Cornwall got their side to an outstanding start taking the score to 54-0 by the end of the Powerplay.
Once Cornwall had been dismissed and Fletcher run-out after an outstanding bit of fielding from Mayers, it was up to Chase to lead with the bat. Chase’s rich vein of form in this year’s Hero CPL continued with a swift half-century that catapulted his side to an imposing total of 190-6.
The Royals encountered trouble in the sixth over when Chase bowled a double-wicket maiden, firstly getting Johnson Charles caught out, then Shai Hope falling the very next ball to a run-out.
However, Mayers and Phillips came to the crease and formed a memorable partnership to give Barbados Royals an unlikely win, scoring 22 boundaries between them. It was the highest successful run chase of this year’s Hero CPL. Other than Chase, none of the Saint Lucia Kings bowlers were able to take a wicket.
Fletcher was naturally disappointed with the loss.
“I think it was a very good total. It’s just that we didn’t execute as well as we had to,” he said.
“Kyle played very well. We wanted the right-hander to hit into the breeze and take it away from Kyle, but unfortunately, we didn’t execute well and that’s why we didn’t win.”
Mayers, meanwhile, was just happy to be able to get some runs after a very lean summer with the bat.
“(It) came together great today,” said the Barbadian all-rounder, who top-scored with an unbeaten 81 and also took three wickets when the Kings batted.
“Got an opportunity to bowl at the end of the innings and I really enjoyed the opportunity. It was a great partnership, great understanding between me and Glenn (80*). We kept our cool in the middle. Wanted to finish the game off in the penultimate over and we managed it.
“I think my favourite shot was the reverse sweep – the coach and captain came out in the break and told me to attempt it, it was good when it came off.”
With this victory, Barbados Royals ensured that Saint Lucia Kings would have to rely on other results to qualify for the Hero CPL semi-finals on Tuesday.
Scores: Barbados Royals 191-2 (Mayers 81*, Phillips 80*; Chase 1-35, Royal 0-3) beat Saint Lucia Kings 190-6 (Chase 56, Cornwall 40; Mayers 3-39, Thomas 2-32) by eight wickets.