In what was a rain-affected encounter at the Kensington Oval, St Lucia Kings registered their third win of CPL 2023 with a 90-run win over Barbados Royals. Earlier, the Royals won the toss and elected to bowl first. The Kings’ opening pairing of Colin Munro and Johnson Charles stitched together a 97-run partnership, of which 69 runs came in the powerplay.

Van der Merwe brings some ‘relief’

The game was nearing the halfway mark, and SLK were closing on the 100-run mark without losing a wicket, but Roelof van der Merwe had a different plan. The spinner got rid of Munro (33, 9.6 overs) and Sean Williams (5, 11.4 overs) to ease the situation for the hosts.

Hold the door!

Jason Holder + Kensington Oval = Wickets. Today was just another instance where we got to see the love affair between the two. The towering all-rounder’s double-wicket over - with the wickets of Sadrack Descarte (8) and half-centurion Charles (78) - relaxed the tension around the ground and invited a possible new twist to the first innings.

McCoy’s first, Merwe’s third and a record target

Obed McCoy broke his drought for wickets in CPL 2023 with the dismissal of Sikandar Raza (18) in the 18th over. His short and wide off delivery nudged Raza to go for the pull, but it inadvertently took top-edge and was successfully caught by Kyle Mayers at short third.

Roelof bagged his third scalp of the evening, with Roshon Primus (19) scooping his delivery to Alick Athanaze at backward point.

A cameo from Roston Chase at the end set the Royals a target of 196 to win their second home game on the trot.

A tough powerplay

With the weather gods' intrusion and the pitch's wearing down, the Royals found themselves in muddy waters as they ended the powerplay at 40/5. Barring a short blitz from Rahkeem Cornwall (18), Kings’ Alzarri Joseph (2/2) and Primus (2/8) were inflexible and they laid down some heavy roadblocks to deny us a positive headstart in the opening six overs.

Nyeem Young (20) and Roelof (11) offered some confidence just as wickets kept tumbling until St Lucia Kings got the hosts bowled out for 105 in 17.3 overs.

Up next, we host St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the Kensington Oval. With our opponents yet to notch a win on the board and the recent memory of a memorable six-wicket triumph still fresh in our minds, the Royals will look to return to winning ways on Sunday.