North Sound (Antigua), July 20 (IANS/CMC) Marlon Samuels stroked a classy half-century but was outshone by an equally fine one from Shoaib Malik, as Barbados Tridents beat Antigua Hawksbills by five wickets to post their first win in the new Caribbean Premier League campaign.
The right-handed Samuels's high quality 84 off 54 deliveries propelled the hosts up to 172 for six off their 20 overs after they were sent in at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground Saturday, reports CMC.
However, Shoaib responded with an intelligent 72 off 50 balls, to help guide the Tridents to a much welcome victory, with four balls left to spare.
The Pakistani right-hander was supported by captain Kieron Pollard and seasoned opener Dwayne Smith who both got 21, while Jason Holder finished unbeaten on 19 from nine balls.
Holder struck two sixes - the last of which was a straight hit off exciting left-arm quick Sheldon Cottrell which ended the game.
Tridents were given a flying start by Smith and Shane Dowrich, the Barbadian pair adding 31 off just 15 balls for the first wicket. But it was Shoaib who held the innings together forging a series of small partnerships even as he batted superbly.
The former Pakistan captain put on 30 for the second wicket with Smith, 36 for the third wicket with Jeevan Mendis (16) and a further 45 for the fourth wicket with Pollard.
Tridents were 97 for three in the 12th over and in need of a lift.
Shoaib came to the fore, striking four fours and four sixes and dominating his partnership with Pollard.
In the penultimate over with 16 still required, Hawksbills were still in with a chance.
But Holder whacked the very next delivery over long off for six to ease the tension before finishing off the game in the next over.
Earlier, Samuels ended a run of poor form to help Hawksbills post a challenging total. He counted seven fours and four sixes and shared 83 for the second wicket with Australian opener Ben Dunk who scored 33 off 28 balls, and a further 64 for the third wicket with another Aussie, David Hussey, who smashed 32 from 16 deliveries.
Once Samuels holed out to long-off fast bowler Ravi Rampaul at the start of the 19th over, Hawksbills lost four wickets for just nine runs as the innings ran out of steam.
Antigua Hawkbills 172 for six off 20 overs (Marlon Samuels 84, Ben Dunk 33, David Hussey 32; Ravi Rampaul 4/32)
Barbados Tridents 176 for five off 19.2 overs (Shoaib Malik 72, Dwayne Smith 21, Kieron Pollard 21; Carlos Brathwaite 2/37)