A pyrotechnics show by Rahkeem Cornwall (102, 2/27) and Rovman Powell (49 not out) engineered Barbados Royals to beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots by eight wickets on a night they scripted their highest-ever successful run chase.
Earlier, the Patriots won the toss, elected to bat first, and scored 114 in the opening 11 overs. While both openers - Andre Fletcher and Will Smeed - reached their respective half centuries…
Cornwall breaks the resistance
Rahkeem Cornwall’s introduction in the 12th over brought a significant breakthrough. His second delivery in the over, short ball, saw Fletcher (56) pull it away towards deep where Nyeem Young accepted the package. WICKET delivered.
Jimbo got his second victim, the other half-centurion in Smeed (63), in his second over. This time, the SKNP batter went for a slog sweep, but it went flying towards deep square leg. Alick Athanaze took a leap of faith to complete the catch just before the ropes and the delighted home support.
Retired out, wicket and 221 to chase
78 runs off the last five overs, Jyd Goolie’s unexpected call to retire out, an expensive 18th over for Carlos Brathwaite and redemption with a wicket in the final over, Sherfane Rutherford’s fifty and a score of 220/4 brought St Kitts and Nevis Patriots’ innings to a close.
The counter-attack Rakh-attack is on!
After Kyle Mayers was dismissed at the end of the fourth over, Cornwall got his engines revved up. Moving forward, it was a walk of fury as Jimbo touched the 50-run mark in just 23 balls, including THAT no-look 110-metre rocket SIX off Oshane Thomas in the fifth over.
Come the ninth over, Cornwall improved his missile launch in the powerplay by a metre - 111 metres - off a George Linde delivery he muscled out of the Kensington Oval. His carnage ensured that the Royals would head for a drinks break with a score of 120/1 on the board.
The second Barbados centurion in CPL
Over 14.2, say hello to the second-ever centurion from Barbados in the Caribbean Premier League - RAHKEEM RASHAWN SHANE CORNWALL.
The all-rounder entered the 15th over with 93 in 43 balls. A SIX off the first ball and then a single off the next meant Cornwall earned his maiden T20 hundred.
Jimbo called off his carnage in the following over by retiring hurt after feeling uneasy. His innings card read 102 runs in 48 balls - four boundaries, 12 sixes and a strike rate of 212.50.
Power Powell joins the party
Although he played sidekick to Cornwall, Royals skipper Rovman Powell took charge of the chase as he remained unbeaten till the end.
With five boundaries and three sixes in his 26-ball stay, Powell ended the night one short of a well-deserved fifty but was happy to witness Alick Athanaze (13 off 10) put the finishing touches to a carnival of a night at the Kensington Oval.
With this magnificent result, the Royals finish their home leg of CPL 2023 on a high and move fourth on the points table with seven points in seven games.
What’s next? A couple of days to recover from what transpired today, and the team will be back in action against Trinbago Knight Riders on Wednesday, September 6. This will be the first of the final three group-stage games, and maximum points from these games will help assure a top-four finish and a place in the playoffs.