Royals were never really in the chase against some excellent bowling led by Dominic Drakes
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 175 for 5 (Rutherford 53, Bravo 47*, Thomas 3-22) beat Barbados Royals 154 for 7 (Hope 44) by 21 runs
Rutherford and Bravo took some time to get settled on a sporting new-ball surface scoring just 11 runs off the bat in their first four overs at the crease. But Royals’ wayward bowling helped their cause no end with Hayden Walsh delivering a wide and a no-ball in consecutive deliveries allowing Rutherford to launch the free hit over the rope to start the charge in the final 10 overs.
Rutherford and Bravo clubbed eight sixes between them with Walsh, Jason Holder, and Thisara Perera copping the brunt of the punishment. Strangely, Ashley Nurse did not bowl in the innings.
Royals’ chase never really threatened. Johnson Charles struck three boundaries in the first over but was needlessly run out in the second. He failed to respond to Glenn Phillips’ call for two and both men ended up at the same end despite Phillips beating the initial throw comfortably.
Phillips fell in slightly unusual circumstances. Patriots keeper Thomas bobbled a difficult low catch to his right with replays inconclusive as to whether it touched the ground as he rolled over the ball. The third umpire upheld the on-field soft signal of out.
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo