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Fletcher, Pietersen lead St Lucia Zouks to big win

Fletcher, Pietersen leads St Lucia Zouks to big win
Andre Fletcher scored a 50-ball 77 as St Lucia Zouks defeated Barbados Tridents by 30 runs.
©REUTERS / Action Images

St Lucia Zouks 202-5 (Fletcher 77) beat
Barbados Tridents 172-7 (Holder 31 no) by 30 runs
12th Match, Caribbean Premier League, St Kitts

Andre Fletcher and Kevin Pietersen racked up aggressive fifties as St Lucia Zouks trounced defending champions Barbados Tridents by 30 runs in game 12 of the Caribbean Premier League at Warner Park.

After winning the toss and opting to bat, St Lucia Zouks lost Johnson Charles (7) in the second over of the innings, as he got a leading edge to square leg off Ravi Rampaul (1-30).

Fletcher (77) and Pietersen (73) then put together an amazing counter-attack that left the Barbados bowlers shell shocked, adding 138 runs off just 75 balls.

Pietersen announced his arrival in typical style as he crunched three successive boundaries in the third over of the innings off Jason Holder (0-47), who had an off day with the ball.

The 34-year-old kept dismissing the Barbados bowlers to all corners of the park with Rayad Emrit (1-31) suffering in the eighth over, as two sixes and a boundary came off successive deliveries.

Just when it seemed like a century was on the cards, Pietersen holed out to deep mid-wicket, to become the first of the three victims for Jeevan Mendis (3-33).

Mendis immediately removed Henry Davids (0) and Emrit sent Darren Sammy (4) packing as Barbados briefly clawed their way back into the match.

However, Fletcher played an anchoring role for a major part of the innings, before shifting gears in the 12th over when he smashed Robin Peterson (0-37) for consecutive sixes to break the shackles.

During his 50-ball innings, Fletcher cracked three boundaries and five massive sixes as he batted until the 18th over before being trapped leg before by Mendis. 

Mendis was the pick of the bowlers for St Lucia snaring three wickets while Rampaul and Emrit managed a wicket apiece.

With a big target to chase, Barbados started steadily through a 41-run opening stand between Dilshan Munaweera (23) and Dwayne Smith (16) off 34 deliveries.

Munaweera was the aggressor as he belted Edwards for successive boundaries off Fidel Edwards (1-39) in the second over before launching off-spinner Nathan McCullum (1-27) into the stands at long on.

Shane Shillingford (1-36) put an end to the partnership as Munaweera mistimed a lofted stroke straight to Sammy (3-35) at deep mid-wicket in the sixth over.

Sammy was into the action with the ball again as he grabbed a skyer off his own bowling to put an end to Smith’s 18-ball vigil.

Shoaib Malik (31) and Kieron Pollard (31) played attacking knocks that just about kept Barbados in the hunt although the required rate was too much to handle.

Malik was severe on Sammy as he struck him for back-to-back boundaries in the seventh over before hammering him for a maximum later in the innings.

However, Sammy had the last laugh in the battle as Malik’s efforts of clearing the fence one more time ended up at long-on where Charles held on to the chance.

Pollard was unusually quiet at the start of his innings as the pressure of the asking rate kept mounting on his side.

Although he took a boundary and a six off Shillingford in the 18th over, Pollard couldn’t go on to perform any heroics as he was run out in the 19th over while attempting to steal a bye. 

Holder (31 not out) played some confident strokes in his 19-ball knock that included two boundaries and two sixes while Shai Hope (15) also played a five-ball cameo to reduce the margin of defeat.

The massive target meant that Barbados were always behind the game and lack of good partnerships hurt their cause throughout.

For playing a controlled innings that took St Lucia to a match-winning total, Fletcher was given the man-of-the-match award.

CPL 2015 Points Table

P W L Pts
1 Barbados Tridents 6 4 2 8
2 St Lucia Zouks 6 3 2 7
3 St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 5 2 3 4
4 Jamaica Tallawahs 4 2 2 4
5 Guyana Amazon Warriors 3 1 2 2
6 Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel 2 0 1 1

© Cricket World 2015