Last season’s finalists Barbados Royals suffered a 54-run defeat to the St Lucia Kings (SLK) in their first match of the 2023 Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) yesterday.
Playing at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium, the hosts won the toss and chose to bat first, racking up a total of 201-6 in their allotted overs. That score was underpinned by the efforts of Sean Williams (47) and captain Faf Du Plessis (46). Barbados Royals struggled to make a contest of the chase, slipping to 21-4 inside the powerplay before closing on 147 all out.
The powerful opening pair of Johnson Charles and Du Plessis wasted no time putting the Royals under pressure, blasting their way to 53 without loss in the first five overs. An expensive over (12 runs) from experienced bowler Jason Holder would send the two-time World Cup winner and Shadrack Descarte (4) back to the pavilion but that would not ease the pressure.
Williams joined Du Plessis at the crease with the score on 65-2 at the end of the powerplay and proceeded to smash 47 runs from 30 balls with three boundaries and two sixes to set up the eventual score. There would also be cameos from Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza (23) and Barbadian Roshon Primus (21) as they finished on 201-6. Holder would end with 4-38.
Hilarity ensued from the onset of the Royals’ chase as Rahkeem Cornwall was comfortably run out on the first legal delivery of the innings. Things would only get worse from there as medium fast bowler Matthew Forde from Barbados castled Justin Greaves (0) and Kevin Wickham (10) before getting captain Rovman Powell (0) caught in the deep to leave the Royals 21-4 after three overs.
The only score of note came from Nyeem Young, who scored an impressive 48 runs to make the close of play respectable. Crashing four sixes and one boundary, Young took the attack back to the SLK bowlers, who had become comfortable hitting a length. He would become the last wicket to fall when he gave Raza a simple diving catch at long-on off the bowling of Descarte on the last ball. The game was long over as a contest by that point with 69 runs needed from the last over.
Barbados Royals face defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs on Sunday, August 20, at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium in a replay of last year’s CPL final. The St Lucia Kings take on Guyana Amazon Warriors on Saturday, August 19. (JC)
St Lucia King 201-6 from 20 overs (Sean Williams 47, Faf Du Plessis 46; Jason Holder 4-38, Qais Ahmed 2-35)
Barbados Royals 147 all out (Nyeem Young 48, Donovan Ferreira 19; Matthew Forde 3-12, 1-21)
St Lucia Kings won by 54 runs.