Tridents fall again

Cobras consoles Jonathan Carter after failing to hit the final ball for a boundary.


Cobras consoles Jonathan Carter after failing to hit the final ball for a boundary.
Cobras consoles Jonathan Carter after failing to hit the final ball for a boundary.

[] – It was the second time Jonathan Carter was sprawled on his knees in Mohali. He hammered his bat into the turf and flung his head down in agony. The Cape Cobras were lined up beside him, having broken free from their celebratory hugs, to pat his back.

Carter had bludgeoned his way to a maiden T20 century, but his team-mates toppled around him. Still Barbados Tridents had managed a total of 174. Their bowlers rallied to enforce a Super Over and it was down to Carter again with four needed of the last ball. A last ball that was a full toss. A full toss bowled by little-known offspinner Sybrand Engelbrecht. But when Carter needed his power the most, it was nowhere to be found as an inside edge dribbled away behind the keeper and Barbados Tridents had lost.

While he was swallowed in grief, Cobras’ dressing room erupted. Had they lost this game, they would have been out of the CLT20.

There were seven single-figure scores strewn amid Carter’s effort. The Tridents suffered two early jolts and their run-rate was below six by the end of the Powerplay. That lack of foundation meant every bottom-handed bludgeon from Carter was highly necessary.

Many times, he looked set to swing himself off his feet, the bat swirling back towards the base of his spine during the follow through. The straight boundary received significant attention, as he razed 58 of his runs in the V, including all five of his sixes. He gave the run-rate a much needed boost. He offset the loss of a few late wickets, and his unbeaten 111 was nearly 64% of the Tridents’ eventual 174 for 8.

However, the desperation he showed with the bat took a long while to match. Cape Cobras had the luxury of a Richard Levi blitz as a precursor to a Hashim Amla fifty that was dragging the match away. Tridents needed a stranglehold with the required rate a manageable 8.33 in the final six overs.

Jeevan Mendis’ canny leg spin provided just that. Three wickets across eight of his deliveries, followed by a stellar 19th over that cost only five from Ravi Rampaul complicated the chase. Cobras diluted an equation of 13 from six to three from one. Engelbrecht slogged a slower ball to deep square leg and was haring back for an ambitious second.

Tridents could have taken the match then, but a less-than accurate throw from Raymon Reifer and a fumble from the wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich pushed it into a Super Over.

Rampaul fronted up again and rarely erred in finding the leg-stump yorker. There of them hit their marks, but Levi and Dane Vilas managed to string together 11 runs from the Super Over.

The responsibility of defending that fell on Engelbrecht. Cobras had decided pace off the ball was their best chance. But offspinner Dane Piedt was injured and Robin Peterson’s left-arm spin can often be a lottery. So Engelbrecht, who’s acclaim as a fielder outstrips his skills with the ball, was tossed the ball.

Carter managed a flat-batted thump to the long-off boundary that had Dilshan Munaweera, who’s 42 was the next best effort in their innings, skipping. Tridents needed seven from four.

However, Engelbrecht kept bowling slow. He kept forcing the batsmen to reach outside off and finally stymied Carter on leg stump to steal the game. Something he enjoyed quite a bit considering the way he took off running. It was the first Super Over game he was involved in. It was the first Super Over he has ever bowled. It was a gamble from acting captain Vilas. It worked.



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