CPL

Trinbago Knight Riders all but seal playoff spot with dominant win

By September 01, 2018
St Kitts and Nevis captain Chris Gayle cuts a forlorn figure as the Trinbago Knight Riders celebrate his wicket in the background during their Hero Caribbean Premier League clash in Bassettere. St Kitts and Nevis captain Chris Gayle cuts a forlorn figure as the Trinbago Knight Riders celebrate his wicket in the background during their Hero Caribbean Premier League clash in Bassettere.

The Trinbago Knight Riders batted the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots out of their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) game at Warner Park in Bassettere on Friday, winning by 46 runs. 

The Knight Riders, sent into bat, scored a competitive 199-4 on the back of a steady 76 from Colin Munro and an 11-ball 37 from Dwayne Bravo. In response, the Patriots could only manage 153-8, Evin Lewis’ 58 marking the bulk of the batsmen’s contribution to the failed run chase.

Interestingly, the Knight Riders were slow out of the blocks, with Sunil Narine failing at the top of the order again, and Chris Lynn, 18, suffering at the hands of 21-year-old West Indies paceman, Alzarri Joseph.

Joseph would end with 2-43, but that was after Bravo struck five sixes from his final over to spoil his figures.

Brendon McCullum came to the crease and scratched around for 35 from 33 deliveries, he too feeling the heat from the searing pace of Joseph.

Darren Bravo tried to put some impetus in the innings when he came to the crease, playing some beautiful shots in his eight-ball innings of 18, which came to an end after a mistimed slog over long off nestled gently in the palms of Mahmudullah at mid off.

Then came Dwayne Bravo’s knock, a thing of beauty. All the while, Munro had kept scoring and upped the tempo, though he could not have been reasonably expected to match the feats of the fresher, swing-for-the-fences innings that his partner had been building.

Chris Gayle started his innings with a lovely leg glance past fine leg for four off the bowling of Ali Khan, and followed that up with a belter of a back drive through the covers, reminiscent of the magnificence the big left hander would show when still a Test player.

But there wasn’t to be much more as the Knight Riders, through Narine slowed his momentum after that. Ten balls later, Gayle was gone for a promise-filled nine. Gayle’s undoing came at the hands of debutant this season, Anderson Phillip.

Phillip was fast, really fast, and had Gayle square cutting straight into the hands of backward point, the length and pace getting the better of him.

Gayle grimaced as he rehearsed the shot before walking off, maybe knowing that his innings had to be big for his team to stand a chance at getting to 200.

But Lewis was still there, and looked good for patches, though he was still not at his fluent best.

When he tried to get outside the line of a delivery from Phillip dead on off stump, the successful appeal might have been the same sound as the game being over.

The pitch was not one where you could hit from the first ball and took getting used to, so losing the set batsman, was almost a certain killer.

Before that, Hendrik van der Dussen had gone for 11 and now Devon Thomas found the going really tough, though he played one particularly delightful cover drive that gave the briefest of hopes.

He would go for 23 from 22 deliveries, while Ben Cutting, who the Patriots would hold the most hope for with his hitting, scored a run-a-ball nine before he was run out, looking for two with Carlos Brathwaite.

Anton Devcich is also a hitter of some repute, but he toe-ended a slog sweep off the leg spin of Fawad Ahmed and fell to a good catch from Dwayne Bravo.

Brandon King, Mahmudullah, and Brathwaite all came to the crease with the situation too far gone and their attempts at hitting their way out of trouble was an effort in futility.

Narine bowled four wicketless overs but the 22 runs he went for told the story of the kind of pressure his spell put on the opposition, while Phillip, though he went for 40, had three wickets that kept the Patriots innings from really getting going.

Dwayne Bravo was good too, bowling his four overs for just 26 runs and getting the scalp of Brathwaite in the 20th to put the icing on the cake.

Fawad Ahmed’s 2-28, also from four overs, was devastating, while Ali Khan, again proved his worth with figures of 1-32.

The result means the Knight Riders, with 10 points from seven games, are atop the standings and almost guaranteed of a place in the playoffs.

They will now look to cement one of the top two spots to have two bites at getting to the final.

The Patriots have played eight games for their seven points and are a win away from getting to the playoffs on the back of Gayle’s promise to win the whole thing this season.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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