An unbeaten 134-run third wicket partnership between Kyle Mayers and Glenn Phillips saw Barbados Royals close out a disappointing CPL campaign on a high, chasing down 190 and beating St Lucia Kings by eight wickets.
Mayers smashed 81 off 62 balls while Phillips blitzed 80 off 39 as they cantered to what looked a stiff target with seven balls to spare. The defeat for the Kings means they will have wait for the outcome of tonight’s matches to learn their fate, with net run rate likely to come into play to determine qualification through to the playoffs.
After being set 191, the Royals began shakily, shackled in the powerplay by Jeavor Royal, before a double-wicket maiden looked to have put them on the brink of defeat early. Johnson Charles holed out to cover-point the first ball of Roston Chase’s spell, while Shai Hope was run out at the non-striker’s end off the next one, dismissed without even getting the chance to get on strike. With Mayers struggling for fluency, it was Phillips who grabbed control of the game early on, setting the tone by smashing Chase for a six over cow corner in his next over. From that point onwards, the two continued to chip away at the runs, and as they began to draw closer, the asking rate always remained well under control.
Even when Wahab Riaz bowled a tight 18th over to crank the pressure up slightly, Phillips released it emphatically in the penultimate one. Three of the next four balls went for six as Alzarri Joseph’s horror day (0-49) came to an appropriately miserable end, and the side that will prop up the table finished with their most impressive batting display of all.
It looked like it might have been a different story when the Kings shrugged off the absence of Faf du Plessis. Rakheem Cornwall and Andre Fletcher blitzed through the Powerplay.
Cornwall struck a breezy 26-ball 40 to set the tone before the irrepressible Chase top-scored with 56 as the Kings began to eye up a big finish. With no Mohammad Amir, the Royals lacked a bit of guile both at the top and tail of their bowling effort, and Raymon Reifer and Mayers came in for hefty punishment towards the death. At that stage, the Kings looked like they had seized control of their own destiny. Phillips, and the Royals, ensure they will have to wait for the night games instead.