Trinidad and Tobago comprehensively beat the St Lucia Zouks by nine wickets to remain top of the table in the 2014 Caribbean Premier League.
Led by a fantastic all-round display, the Red Steel proved why they have a chance of capturing the CPL title this year and, at the same time, exposed the frailties once again of their struggling opponents.
Batting first the St Lucia Zouks, having won the toss, were soon on the back-foot as both openers, Johnson Charles (15) and Andre Fletcher (4), were dismissed by star leg-spinner Samuel Badree. From this point onwards the Zouks were always up against it as their first six overs only yielded 33 runs for the loss of two wickets.
The Zouks constantly lost wickets throughout their innings and were thankful for their West Indian star Darren Sammy for hitting an unbeaten 46 from just 35 balls. If it wasn't for Sammy the Zouks would not have posted any kind of defendable total but with 136 on the board they still had a chance to do just that.
All Trinidad's bowlers performed well but especially Badree who leaked just 13 runs from his four overs, including the wickets of the two openers.
Trinidad's reply was ruthless as openers Kevin O'Brien (55) and man-of-the-match Evin Lewis (74) set about the St Lucia bowling with sheer brute force. Both openers took the game beyond their opponents during the six over power-play as they hit 62 runs in that period.
From that point onwards the result was never in doubt as O'Brien and Lewis both reached their half-centuries and showed the huge gap between the sides.
Lewis was eventually dismissed but not until the opening pair had scored 129 in just under 14 overs, a CPL first-wicket record. It was left to O'Brien to see his side home with 32 balls left, just one ball short of the fastest run-chase in this year's CPL.
The Red Steel are now clear at the top of the table with five wins from six games, whilst the Zouks remain winless from their four games and stay at the foot of the table with the also winless Antigua Hawksbills.
The St Lucia Zouks will now face the Barbados Tridents at Gros Islet on Thursday, as they search for their first victory, whilst the Red Steel must wait until Saturday for their return match against the Zouks.
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