CPL 2018: St Kitts record thumping win after Stars fold for 69
Sheldon Cottrell was declared Player of the Match (Getty Images)

An abysmal performance with the bat saw St. Lucia Stars plummet to their fifth loss of the CPL 2018. The Stars, after registering their record totals – 212 against Trinbago Knight Riders and 226 against Barbados Tridents at Gros Islet, plunged to 69 all out – the third lowest total of the league – against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on Wednesday. St Kitts made no mess of the target and went on to win the game by seven wickets.

The opening combination of Andre Fletcher and David Warner once again failed to take off. Fletcher’s dismissal off the fourth ball of the innings was the beginning of the slide, following which no other batsmen showed even a semblance of fortitude. Only two players got to double figures – Warner (14) and Qais Ahmad (24), with lack of partnerships hurting Stars during the course of the proceedings.

Sheldon Cottrell, who removed Fletcher for his first wicket, ended up taking two more, including the big wicket of Stars skipper Kieron Pollard for 4 and No. 11 Obed McCoy. Bangladesh allrounder Mahmudullah and Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane sharing four between them. Lamichhane now has seven wickets from four games.

Stars’ innings lasted a total of 12.3 overs, and while Warner’s sorry plight in this IPL has been a bane for the side, the fact that the likes of Pollard, Lendl Simmons, and Darren Sammy combined resulted in scoring six runs was what kicked down the door on the Stars’ innings. Only Ahmad, who turned 18 last week, showed some resilience in holding his end. He took two sixes and a four off spinners Mahmudullah and Lamichhane before the legspinner foxed him with a flighted delivery.

A target of 70 was going to be no sweat for St Kitts, although they did suffer a few bumps along the way. Evin Lewis and Brandon King lost their wickets to Mitchell McClenaghan and Kavem Hodge, but Devon Thomas remained unbeaten on 38 of 21 with five boundaries and a six to guide St Kitts home. The win now places them fourth on the standings, elevating their net run-rate to 0.86. The Stars on the other hand continue to dwell at the bottom on the table with just one win in six games and an alarming NRR of -1.59.

“From the start, everything went wrong today. I was telling the guys that in every match we start at 0-0. None of the senior players decided to bat a couple of overs and see if we can get a fighting total of 120 runs. That was the most disappointing part,” a frustrated Pollard said after the game.

“I stressed about winning the first game. We wanted to get that monkey off our bag but it is not only about one victory. I stressed about complacency in the dressing room too. We should have capitalised on the momentum.”