CPL 2016: AB de Villiers’ 82 helps Barbados Tridents climb to second
A brilliant innings from AB de Villiers helped the Barbados Tridents to victory in their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) match against the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots. His innings of 82 was his second half century in his last two innings and his highest score this season, leaving him just one more fifty short of making it into the top ten list of players with most 50+ scores in T20s.
When the chase got under way the Patriots got off to a decent start but disciplined bowling from the Tridents prevented them reaching their target as they fell 26 runs short of victory. Faf du Plessis attempted to hold things together while also scoring quickly but his 42 was not enough to secure victory for his team.
An excellent start with the ball from the Patriots in the Tridents batting PowerPlay saw them take control of this match before de Villiers ripped it away from them. Alzarri Joseph, one of the stars of the West Indies Under-19 World Cup triumph, bowled brilliantly with the new ball. He beat Ramon Reifer for pace with a shorter ball that ballooned up for a catch for Lendl Simmons.
Two more wickets fell inside the first six overs; USA international Steven Taylor trapped lbw by Sheldon Cottrell and Shoaib Malik caught mistiming a pull off Samuel Badree, as the Tridents found themselves 29-3 and in real trouble on an excellent Kensington Oval pitch.
From there de Villiers proved why he is considered the best batsman across formats in world cricket as he steadied the Tridents ship. He began slowly but accelerated brilliantly throughout his innings. He finished with 82 from 54 balls, the highlight being the giant six that he smashed over the roof of the grandstand off Cottrell.
He was dropped three times during his innings, the last of which involved a sickening collision between JJ Smuts and Kieran Powell. It was a bone-crushing impact and it was upsetting to see Powell leaving the ground in an ambulance. Powell suffered a concussion and he is being closely observed by the medical staff, and was unable to bat.
De Villiers was well supported by Nicolas Pooran and Kieron Pollard as the Tridents managed 180-6 off their 20 overs, a formidable target for a misfiring Patriots team to chase down.
Smuts had recovered well enough from his impact with Powell to open the batting for the Patriots and he didn’t seem to be showing any lasting after-effects as he struck Wayne Parnell for back-to-back fours in the first over. Smuts looked to be well set to make a decent contribution when he attempted to cut a wide ball from Akeal Hosein and only succeeded in chipping the ball straight to Reifer at point.
Proteas batsman du Plessis made a significant contribution, but he lacked any real support from his colleagues as the required rate began to rise. Jonathan Carter made 47 but he struggled to make those runs at a decent lick, as a result heaping more pressure on du Plessis.
The required rate was up to 14 an over when du Plessis attempted a cross-batted swipe to a delivery from Reifer that he edged onto his stumps. Carter swung manfully to try and catch up with the rate, but it just kept climbing.
The Patriots are not mathematically eliminated from the Hero CPL, but their chances of making the knockout stages rest on them winning their remaining four matches and hoping for other results to go their way.