Steve Smith scored 63 and took 2/19 in three overs as Barbados Tridents stole a remarkable two-run win in the 14th match of Caribbean Premier League against Jamaica Tallawahs in Florida.
The defeat also means three losses in three games for the Tallawahs after winning their first three games.
Chasing a target of 157, Tallawahs were comfortable at 80/0 in nine overs, until Steve Smith struck twice to remove openers Johnson Charles and Glenn Philips. Even when a few wickets fell around the midway point of the innings and the required rate began to climb the Tallawahs always appeared to have things under control.
Despite tight bowling from Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz and with nine runs to defend in the last over for Raymon Reifer, Tallawahs still looked on course with Ross Taylor and David Miller in the crease.
But the duo was only able to take five runs from the first five balls. Miller could only heave the final delivery down the ground for a single, prompting celebrations from the Tridents.
Before his two wickets to stop the Tallawahs running away with it, Steve Smith had been the chief architect of the Tridents’ recovery from 39/3, sharing an intelligent and increasingly assured 103-run partnership with Shai Hope. The Tridents’ 156/6 looked a few runs below par at the halfway stage, but it gave them something to bowl at which would prove so critical later in the night.
The Tallawahs had looked the likelier winners almost all night from the moment they reduced the Tridents from 36/0 to 39/3. A careless run out for Dwayne Smith at the non-striker’s end when Hashim Amla drove the ball to Rovman Powell at mid-on triggered that collapse. After the run out of Dwayne Smith, Samuel Badree struck to remove Amla before the pace of Oshane Thomas did for Guptill, who had his stumps rearranged by a full and rapid delivery.
But Steve Smith and Hope slowly and surely rebuilt the innings.
Smith fell in slightly bizarre fashion, dismissed twice in one ball looking for the boundary in the final over. Having miscued Russell to be caught at long-on, Smith also contrived to hit his stumps with his bat in the follow-through of his swing. Under the game’s laws, the catch takes precedence.