Jason Holder’s decision to bowl Ashley Nurse for the final over came back to haunt him
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 163 for 8 (Gayle 42, Young 3-26) beat Barbados Royals 160 for 8 (Patel 54, Bravo 4-26) by two wickets
Sheldon Cottrell pulled off a stunning heist with a six off the final ball of the match against Ashley Nurse to help St Kitts and Nevis Patriots defeat Barbados Royals and remain undefeated in this season’s CPL.
Needing four runs to win off the final delivery, Cottrell launched Nurse over long-off to finish with 20 not out from seven balls and spark wild celebrations from his team-mates. Cottrell claimed Player of the Match honours but he could not have done it without Dominic Drakes‘ contribution, having smashed 28 from 15 to give Patriots a chance.
Royals snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Patriots were 98 for 5 chasing 161. After brilliant spells from 20-year-old Nyeem Young and uncapped Englishman Jake Lintott had all but iced the game. Young bagged 3 for 26 while Lintott picked up 2 for 28 from four overs, including the key wickets of Chris Gayle and Sherfane Rutherford.
But Drakes and Cottrell kept the game alive with some superb striking. Patriots needed 28 from 12 balls when Cottrell took hold of Jason Holder. He and Drakes took 18 from the over as Royals’ skipper missed his lines and lengths and he was fortunate not to be called for a no-ball for a full toss above waist height.
Holder then gambled with Nurse for the last over with just 10 runs needed to win, despite Raymon Reifer and Oshane Thomas both having one over left. Drakes nearly holed out but Holder couldn’t get to the catch at long-on and it went through him for four. Drakes was then bowled with five needed off three balls trying to hit the winning runs. Naseem Shah could have taken two off the penultimate ball but Cottrell turned down the second run putting the game on his shoulders. And he carried his side home with one of the best strikes of his career.
Earlier, Dwayne Bravo claimed 4 for 26 with the ball for Patriots. Former India Under-19 Smit Patel held Royals’ innings together with half-century on CPL debut. He walked out at No. 3 after Shai Hope’s troubles continued. Patel struggled for fluency early on striking at less than a run-a-ball for the initial part of his innings, although he did produce a beautiful lofted on-drive for six in the Powerplay.
Paul van Meekeren proved particularly difficult with his extra bounce while Bravo produced some masterful slower balls. But in the 15th over Patel’s graft paid off when struck three boundaries off Drakes. One came via an inside edge but he also manufactured a glorious drive and a reverse scoop.
Patel fell to Bravo in the 17th over but Royals piled on 60 in the final 36 balls, with Holder and Young clearing the rope three times between them in important cameos. It could have been more if Holder hadn’t been run out by a Naseem’s direct hit from cover, and in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo