Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel romped home to a nine-wicket victory over Antigua Hawksbills in the Caribbean Premier League on Sunday, extending the latter's winless streak.
Irishman Kevin O'Brien thumped an unbeaten 90 of 49 deliveries to bring victory for the men in red, after Marlon Samuels' Hawksbills could only manage 151. Kiwi batsman Ross Taylor notched up a handy 51 not out of 46 deliveries as well. Together, O'Brien and Taylor went on to set a new record for the highest partnership in the history of the Caribbean Premier League, with a blistering 145-run stand.
Red Steel lost opener Kennar Lewis early to off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall. Thereafter, it was carnage as Red Steel's Irish import O'Brien hammered the ball to all parts of the ground. The Irishman clouted seven sixes and five fours. He was particularly severe on the spinners.
Ben Laughlin, the Aussie seam bowler, was not spared either as he was hit for a four and a six in the 12th over. O' Brien reached his half-century in the same over.
By now, Samuels was having a hard time as his bowlers were disappearing to all corners. While following the old cricketing adage 'when in doubt go for spin', he thought he would have some solace but instead it was more carnage.
Cornwall, the wicket-taker offie, was given the ball. However, he could not force a change in the way O'Brien batted as he too took a beating. The Irishman came down and hammered Cornwall for two sixes in a row in over number 13. This onslaught continued on Brad Hogg as well.
Taylor provided O'Brien with good support. He hit a six and three fours and reached his half-century in over number 16. Victory came Red Steel's way in the next over.
Earlier, Red Steel skipper Dwayne Bravo's decision to field paid off as his bowlers and fielders did very well to restrict the Hawksbills to 151. The only notable partnership in the Hawksbills' innings was a 66-run stand between keeper Devon Thomas and Australian David Hussey, who made 38 and 30 respectively. The two could not build on their starts, hindering the boys from Antigua from posting a bigger total.
Amongst the bowlers, Kevon Cooper with three scalps was the highest wicket-taker. He was ably supported by Bravo who bagged two wickets. Pacer Fidel Edwards and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn chipped in with a wicket each.
1) Jamaica Tallawahs 6 points
2) Guyana Amazon Warriors 6 points
3) Red Steel 4 points
4) Barbados Tridents 2 points
5) Antigua Hawksbills 0 points
6) St.Lucia Zouks 0 points