T20 cricket has welcomed a new hero – Fabian Allen who single-handedly won the match for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots against Barbados Tridents. This was a game of no importance in terms of the points table. BT is already in the bottom position. They also missed the services of star Australian batsman Steven Smith due to an injury.
Irrespective of all the criticism T20 cricket takes in terms of having a negative impact on Test Cricket and skills of batsmen to play long innings – this form of cricket is a pure entertainment to the crowd. The match between SNP and BT was another example of that.
Batting first Barbados Tridents posted a total of 168/8 in 20 overs. Dwayne Smith and Sohal gave them a decent start of 45 runs in powerplay before Smith getting out. Wickets fell in quick succession and they were restricted to 67/4 in 10 overs. Rostan Chase and Pooran managed to rebuild their innings with a partnership taking them to 115 in 16 overs before Pooran was caught by Khaleel of Alzarri Joseph. Captain Jason Holder played a cameo of quick 11 ball 30 to help Barbados post 168/5 on board. Shamsi was SNP’s best bowler returning a 16/2 in his four overs. He had shown great discipline, kept the batsman fighting for runs, bowled at great line and length to make it very difficult for batsmen to score. After all, it’s always wonderful to see spinners controlling the batsmen dominated T20 games, isn’t it?
SNP started well with their chase scoring a quick 37 for the opening wicket. They maintained the run rate well but lost wickets at regular interval. Irrespective of their run rate above 8, they were looking in all danger with 6 wickets lost for 92 in 11 overs. All the fun of T20 has just begun after that. Fabian Allen had decided to play that wonderful inning to take SNP over the finishing line. He found an able ally in Ben Cutting with a partnership of 52. Alzaari Joseph hung around for a while leaving SNP 23 runs to win the match 12 balls. Wahab Riaz bowled the penultimate over beautifully – just giving 6 runs. Riaz showed his class and experience to control the run flow. Well, he has done it many times for Pakistan. Who can forget this fantastic bowling against Australia in 2015 World Cup especially his spell against Shane Watson?
17 runs, 6 balls – always an equation which can go either way. A first ball wicket or a six. That’s what usually each team tries to get rid of the pressure of the situation. The onus was on young Drakes to defend the target. Fabian Allen had other plans to take his home over the line. Drakes fell for the pressure – the young man had his inexperience causing further trouble. Allen hit the first two balls for huge sixes followed by a boundary on third. The game was sealed. He hit the winning run with 2 balls to spare.
What a joy for the home crowd. T20 cricket at its best once again. For Barbados, Holder, Imran Khan, and Irfan all bowled well but was not enough to help them with a win.
Holder backed his young bowler Drakes and confident that the bowler will learn more and perform well in future. SNP captain couldn’t have been happier on their win – they have found another Hero in Fabian Allen.