While rain made a late entrance, Barbados Royals’ CPL 2023 campaign started on the wrong side of the shore as St Lucia Kings registered their first win of the season and ended a three-match losing streak against the Royals.

Earlier, the Kings won the toss and elected to bowl first. Their openers - Johnson Charles and Faf du Plessis - added 61 runs for the first wicket in the Powerplay until they were stopped in their tracks by a station master named Jason Holder.

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The Charles-Holder battle lasted four deliveries, starting with the St Lucia Kings opener surviving a one-handed catch on review. A couple of boundaries followed before Jason Holder drew the first blood with a short ball that broke through the sticks. The next batter - Sadrack Descarte - introduced himself with a boundary but made a quick exit as he pulled a shot straight to Justin Greaves at deep midwicket.

Qais shines on debut

Faf (46) and Sean Williams (47) played important cameos with the bat, but as they came close to registering half-centuries, Qais Ahmad put the brakes in the 12th and 16th overs. While the former gifted his wicket by shovelling a shot towards Joshua Bishop, Williams was outsmarted by a stumping Ferreira.

Holder added two more scalps to his tally as he finished with match figures of 4/38, as the Royals were handed a target of 202.

The Royals’ chase was far from easy. Rahkeem Cornwall, Justin Greaves, Kevin Wickham and Rovman Powell all fell to Matthew Forde inside the Powerplay. Kyle Mayers tried to resurrect the batting, but his wicket and a couple of runs meant the Royals finished the first six overs with a score of 49/5.

Wickets fell, rain entered, and then a boundary came after nearly 30 balls to see a late push in spirits. Nyeem Young fought until the end with his 39-ball 48, although it couldn’t take the Royals past the victory line.