Fabian Allen was running out of partners and with 17 required from the last over he remained unfazed to hit two consecutive sixes followed by a four to hand the Patriots a hard fought victory over the struggling Barbados Tridents on Tuesday night at Warner Park in Match 26 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Man of the Match, Allen finished on 68 from 34 balls with six fours and four sixes to seal the two-wicket victory, with two balls to spare, to take last year’s finalists to the top of the points table heading into the playoffs which begin next Tuesday in Guyana.
As the Patriots wrapped up their leg of home matches and league matches on a winning note, it was at the expense of Barbados Tridents who have lost their last six matches including their five at home and will join the St Lucia Stars as the two teams eliminated.
The Tridents, asked to bat, were without injured batsmen Steve Smith and Martin Guptill but got to 168 for 5 with skipper Jason Holder and Roston Chase providing the last assault with a stand of 53 from 23.
Earlier Nicholas Pooran, who made a busy 44, got little support from the top order as just-arrived South African left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi immediately landed on a good line and length to tie down the visitors.
After a brisk start from openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis the Tridents fought back with some quick Patriots wickets that set up the match for the nail biting finish.
With Ben Cutting, Allen put on 52 for the seventh wicket but stuttered towards the end leaving Allen to express himself with level-headed batting.
Left-arm quick, Mohammad Irfan was once again the most destructive Tridents bowler with leggie Imran Khan bowling a tight spell as well.
However, debutante left-arm pacer Dominic Drakes who was asked to defend 16 in the final over finished with forgettable figures in a losing cause.
The Tridents will now travel to Port of Spain for their final match against TKR on Friday at the Queen’s Park Oval while the Patriots move on to Guyana for the playoffs.
The tournament continues tonight with a top of the table clash between defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders and Guyana Amazon Warriors in Trinidad from 20:00h with the winner set to reclaim the number one position on the points table. (John Ramsingh)