The Trinbago Knight Riders have finished the group stages of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a win over the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots to give themselves a much needed boost in confidence going into their playoff match against the St Lucia Zouks on Thursday.
It has been a difficult season for the Knight Riders who have struggled for consistency, but they have made the knockout stages and they go into the business end of the tournament with a win thanks to the bowling of Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine and batting of Brendon McCullum and Denesh Ramdin.
Bravo is the leading wicket taker in the history of Twenty20 cricket, and that ability to dismiss batsmen in this form of the game was on show as soon as he came into the attack at the Central Broward Stadium. His very first over saw him claim the wickets of Evin Lewis and Faf du Plessis while conceding just one run. Du Plessis departed for a four ball duck as the Knight Riders took control.
Things got even worse for bottom of the league Patriots when Kieran Powell was brilliantly caught by Anton Devcich off his own bowling as they stumbled to 25-3. Powell had made 23 of those runs when he fell.
With the top three of the order back in the dugout it was left to Lendl Simmons who was batting down the order at four to get his team to a competitive total. He made 60 runs from 40 balls, top-scoring for the Patriots who made 137-6 from their 20 overs. Simmons was offered some support by Shamarh Brooks and Jonathan Carter, but neither man went on to make a significant contribution.
Sunil Narine was fantastic for the Knight Riders, bowling his four overs for the cost of just nine runs. His spell contained 17 dot balls, a maiden over and the wicket of Jonathan Carter. But it was that man Bravo that did the most damage with the ball.
At the death Bravo brought himself back on to bowl and claimed Brooks’ wicket on his way to outstanding figures of 4-13 off his four overs. It was the best bowling figures of the 2016 Hero CPL and puts Bravo at the top of the wicket taking list for the tournament.
Defending a paltry 138 the Patriots gave the new ball to 20-year-old debutant Jeremiah Louis who will never forget his first over in T20 cricket. Bowling to South African superstar Hashim Amla , Louis’ first ball was struck for four but three balls later he cramped Amla for room and he hit the ball into the hands of Krishmar Santokie at mid-on.
Despite the loss of Amla the Knight Riders never really struggled in the pursuit of a target that was never enough on this excellent Lauderhill pitch. They reached 48-1 off the six over PowerPlay bringing the required rate down to just about a run a ball.
The Knight Riders lost William Perkins for 29 off the bowling of Carter but it did little to slow up their progress towards victory. Denesh Ramdin was pushed up to three and New Zealand legend McCullum down to four and the two men put on 74 runs in 54 balls to guide the Knight Riders home. Ramdin finished with 52 and McCullum made 43, the highest score of Hero CPL 2016 for both men.
This loss means that the Patriots have won just two games in the tournament and finish last in the standings. For the Knight Riders they remain in the tournament and with a chance of winning back to back titles.
|Guyana Amazon Warriors (Q)||10||7||3||0||0||14||+0.120|
|Jamaica Tallawahs (Q)||9||6||2||0||1||13||+0.902|
|St Lucia Zouks (Q)||9||5||4||0||0||10||+0.275|
|Trinbago Knight Riders (Q)||10||5||5||0||0||10||-0.065|
|St Kitts and Nevis Patriots||10||2||8||0||0||4||-0.772|
UPCOMING HERO CPL FINALS WEEK FIXTURES:
Playoff 1: Wednesday 3 August – Guyana Amazon Warriors v Jamaica Tallawahs, Warner Park, St Kitts (7pm). Winner goes to the final.
Playoff 2: Thursday 4 August – St Lucia Zouks v Trinbago Knight Riders, Warner Park, St Kitts (7pm). Loser eliminated.
Photo caption: Dwayne Bravo (L) of Trinbago Knight Riders receives the player of the match prize from Venky Mysore (R) managing director of Trinbago Knight Riders – CPL/Sportsfile