A handy all-round performance from Sohail Tanvir and a crucial innings from Henry Davids were the main ingredients that propelled St. Lucia Zouks to their first victory of the Caribbean Premier League over Antigua Hawksbills by five wickets under the Duckworth-Lewis Method on Sunday.
Tanvir followed up his typically miserly left-arm swing bowling with 20 not out to make him a shoo-in for the Man-of-the-Match award and Davids hit the top score of 43, as the Zouks broke their dry spell and successfully chased a victory target of 106 in their rain-affected match at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
Tanvir fittingly formalised the result with 15 balls remaining, when he launched Hawksbills captain and West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels, bowling his off-spin darts, for successive sixes over deep midwicket.
The result meant that the hosts collected two points, following six successive losses like their opponents, who are now the only winless side in the six-franchise competition, which now moves to St. Kitts for its ultimate conclusion over the next two weeks.
Tanvir grabbed three for 15 from his allotted four overs, as the Hawksbills posted an unthreatening 103 for six from their rain-reduced 16 overs.
After the start was delayed for close to half-hour, there was a second interruption during the ninth over of the Hawksbills innings that forced the reduction in the maximum number of overs for each side.
Danza Hyatt led the way for the Antigua-based side with 26, Samuels was not out on 21 and with all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, not out on 20, added 32 from the last three overs to get the Hawksbills over the 100-run threshold.
Tanvir trapped Ben Dunk for a two-ball duck in the first over and Mervyn Matthew had Devon Thomas caught at mid-off for two, leaving the Hawksbills six runs for two wickets in the second over.
Shacaya Thomas came to the crease and with fellow Jamaican Hyatt started to make the scoreboard tick over, but he was caught at deep midwicket off Shane Shillingford’s off-spin for 10 to trigger a period of instability in the batting.
Hawksbills wobbled to 71 for six in the 13th over, and they required Samuels and Brathwaite to bat out of their skins in the closing overs to get a respectable total.
Gavin Tonge then set the Zouks back early, when he had Andre Fletcher caught at mid-off for two in the second over and Keddy Lesporis taken at third man for one. In between, Brathwaite trapped Johnson Charles for 11 and the Zouks were under pressure on 21 for three in the fourth over.
Sunil Ambris was joined by Davids and eased the tension with a cool stand of 46 for the fourth wicket before he was run out for 17 in the ninth over.
Davids then took charge, striking three fours and one six from 35 balls to put the Zouks firmly on track before he was caught at long-on off left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell with 10 needed – but Tanvir made sure there was no need to panic.
The Zouks face Jamaica Tallawahs in their penultimate match this coming Saturday at Warner Park, where the Hawksbills meet Guyana Amazon Warriors two days earlier for their penultimate match.
ANTIGUA HAWKSBILLS 103 for six off 16 overs (Danza Hyatt 26, Marlon Samuels 21 not out, Carlos Brathwaite 20 not out; Sohail Tanvir 3-15)
ST LUCIA ZOUKS 108 for five off 13.3 overs (Henry Davids 43, Sohail Tanvir 20 not out; Gavin Tonge 2-12)
--St Lucia Zouks won by five wickets under D/L method.