Trinbago Knightriders captain Kieron Pollard has defending bowling a struggling Jimmy Neesham at the death in a thrilling super over loss against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on Tuesday night.

The New Zealand cricketer had a night to forget, his four-over spell going for a record most runs conceded with 68.  On his birthday, the 29-year-old got off to horrid start after being punished with 31 taken off his first over by top-order Patriots batsman Evin Lewis.  Lewis and the Patriots were in pursuit of 216 and got within touching distance of the target, largely in part to a 64 runs 30 balls cameo from Carlos Brathwaite.  

 The Patriots needed 19 from the final over and Neesham, who bowled at the death for the Black Caps during the Cricket World Cup earlier this year, bowled it but conceded 18 runs as the home side's Rayad Emrit (21 off 11 balls) and Alzarri Joseph (7 off 3 balls) forced a Super Over.

Needing five to win from the last ball, Emrit was fortunate with a four that flew to the boundary after a leading edge and the scores were tied after a dramatic final over that featured misfields, overthrows and a no-ball for height from Neesham.

“Obviously in hindsight, I could have bowled that last over, bowling two overs with sweat on my back but couple games before that he had done it for us bowling the last over.  Yes, he wasn’t having a great day but sometimes you have to back your players and I backed him to do it,” Pollard said.

Pollard also had high commendation for man-of-the-match Brathwaite, who scored 17 in the super over, before taking the ball to restrict the Knightriders to 5 for 1.

“I could have easily backed myself and taken the initiative like Carlos did but it’s great to see Carlos stepping up and taking that mantle and taking the team on his shoulders."

 

 

Carlos Brathwaite was the all-round hero in a stunning St Kitts & Nevis Patriots Super Over victory as Trinbago Knight Riders’ winning start to the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) came to an end in the most dramatic possible way.

Brathwaite first made 64 from 30 balls to get the Patriots’ pursuit of the Knight Riders’ 216 for 4 back on track after they slumped to 80 for 4. When the scores ended level after 20 overs each, Brathwaite then smacked two sixes and a four to take the Patriots to 18 for 0 from their Super Over before bowling six nerveless deliveries as TKR mustered only 5 for 1 in reply.

In regulation time, Lendl Simmons had continued his run of fine form with a 45-ball 90 that set the Knight Riders on their way to another big total.

But another explosive contribution from Evin Lewis at the top of the order and Brathwaite’s spectacular intervention got the Patriots within striking range.

Veteran all-rounder Rayad Emrit then flayed an unbeaten 21 from 11 balls with two Hero Maximums and, most importantly, a four sliced down to third-man from the final ball of the innings to bring the scores level and send the match into the first Super Over of the 2019 Hero CPL.

A required rate that had approached 15 at one stage had been brought right down to 62 runs from the last 30 balls by Brathwaite before Ali Khan made what seemed the telling contribution with the wickets of Brathwaite and Fabian Allen to end with 2 for 27 from four overs on a night when bowlers generally took a pounding.

None more so than James Neesham, who bowled the fateful final over of the regular match and conceded a record-breaking 68 from his four overs in all.  And on his 29th birthday.

Ali Khan, so impressive in his four regular overs, couldn’t quite nail his yorkers in the Super Over and with Brathwaite, in the mood, it proved oh so costly. The first ball was smoked back past the bowler for six, with another following over square-leg three balls later. The final ball was again hit back past the bowler with interest for a one-bounce four.

The Knight Riders never got close in reply, Darren Bravo edging the second ball behind having made no contact with the first. By the time Pollard dispatched ball five to the boundary the game was up.

 

 

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots skipper Carlos Brathwaite was quick to play down what appeared to be a heated disagreement between players and coaching staff, as to who should bowl the crucial super over, in the CPL battle against Trinbago Knightriders on Tuesday night.

In the end, Brathwaite went on to bowl brilliantly, restricting the Knightriders to 5 for 1, having dismissed Darren Bravo in the super over and finding some impressive wide and Yorker deliveries.

Initially, it had seemed that pacer Alzarri Joseph was set to bowl the super over having been seen warming up on the sidelines only minutes before.  With the game on the line, however, it was Brathwaite who took ball in hand, much to what seemed like annoyance from some members of the coaching staff who hurriedly called Joseph to the sideline.

Having scored 17 of 18 runs in the super over and 64 from 30 in regular play, Brathwaite, however, took the responsibility of silencing the Knightriders and his critics.

“I was warming up and just getting ready but the guys gave me the final decision and said ‘tonight is your night so you need to step up and do it’,” Brathwaite said after the game.

“I was ready and willing and to have that kind of confidence from my teammates just made the job a little easier.”   

Akeem Jordan took 4 for 33 on his Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) debut to set St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on their way to a six-wicket victory over St Lucia Zouks.

Jordan’s are the second-best figures ever for a Hero CPL debutant, and the best since the very first year of the tournament.

He took a wicket in each of his four overs as the Zouks were restricted to 138 for 9 from their 20 overs, a total the Patriots chased down with minimal fuss thanks largely to Evin Lewis’ ferocious 65 from 30 balls.

The Patriots recovered quickly from the early loss of Devon Thomas for just a single, with Lewis and Laurie Evans adding 45 for the second wicket either side of a short rain delay.

Evans was bowled by a beauty from Fawad Ahmed that spun past the edge into off stump, but Lewis was on a mission.

Having set the record for the fastest ever Hero CPL half-century earlier in the tournament he became just the second man to score 100 career Hero CPL sixes with the first of his six sixes here. Chris Gayle has 160.

Lewis dominated a 62-run stand with Mohammad Hafeez that finished the game as a contest, reaching his 50 in just 26 balls with his fifth six, hit high and handsome off Kavem Hodge.

That started a run of 20 runs in four balls before Hodge exacted a measure of revenge, Lewis finally miscuing one to be caught by Roland Cato on the boundary.

The Patriots were just 14 short of their target when another flurry of rain forced another short stoppage, but the home side’s celebrations were not delayed for long.

Mohammad Hafeez fell for a measured 26 with the finishing line in sight, but Carlos Brathwaite finished the job with a huge six - and with a whopping 31 balls to spare – to seal a victory that had looked on the cards ever since that dramatic first Hero CPL spell from Jordan reduced the Zouks to 33 for 3.

Jordan struck a key blow in the very first over of the night as Andre Fletcher slapped a short ball straight to Fabian Allen at point. In his next over he picked up an even bigger wicket as the in-form Rahkeem Cornwall sliced one down to third-man where Sheldon Cottrell took a smart catch.

Hodge got a couple of boundaries away in Jordan’s third over inside the Power Play but then picked out deep midwicket looking for a third.

Usama Mir got to work in the middle of the innings, dismissing Cato and Colin de Grandhomme while giving up just 13 runs in four expert overs of leg-spin.

De Grandhomme made 30, while Daren Sammy unleashed a couple of huge Hero Maximums in his 18.

But Sammy and Kesrick Williams fell to stunning diving catches in successive balls from keeper Thomas – Williams the fourth victim for Jordan – to leave the Zouks 100/8.

Hardus Viljoen and Obed McCoy added an enterprising 35 for the ninth wicket, but the damage had been done.

Victory for the Patriots lifts them to third in the Hero CPL table, behind only the unbeaten heavyweight pair of Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders.

 

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots captain Carlos Brathwaite has hailed the team’s bowling effort as the most complete to date following a 6 wicket win over St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Sunday.

Patriots home team debutant Akeem Jordan was the star of the show as his four-for rattled the visiting Zouks, particularly early on.  Crucially, Jordan dislodged both openers Andre Fletcher (1) and Rahkeem Cornwall (5) who have proven to be dangerous scorers on several occasions this season.

 For Brathwaite, who also saw Usana Mir and Rayad Emrit claim two wickets each, the performance could not have come at a better time.

“This is probably the most complete bowling effort we’ve had so far,” Brathwaite said following the match.

“One of the things we asked for was wickets at the top, that’s why we brought Akeem Jordan in and he delivered, so congrats to him.  As a team, we executed as well as we wanted to and obviously, in the end, we got the result we wanted as well.”

For his efforts, Jordan was named the player of the match

 

Jamaica Tallawahs top-order batsman and stand-in captain Chadwick Walton insists the team had no choice but to battle for a win, after getting their first of the season against Barbados Tridents at Sabina Park on Sunday.

Walton took on the mantle of leadership to help the team secure a four-wicket win, the team’s first in five attempts.

“We found ourselves with our back against the wall, so we had to find a way to come up trumps and fortunately we did,” Walton said after the match.

Having conceded and eyewatering 875 runs in four prior game, the Tallawahs made changes to their bowling attack and opted to go with spinners at the top of the order.  The ploy worked as extra bounce and turn from George Worker quickly removed openers Johnson Charles and Alex Hales. 

From there the variation never allowed the Tridents to settle as they were eventually left short at 140 for 9.  What should have been an easy runs chase, however, looked any but despite solid starts from the opening duo of Glen Phillips and Chris Gayle.  Walton, who scored a match-winning 51 from 42, stuck around to deliver the win.

“It was a lot of pressure, but I knew that if we batted the full 20 overs, we would win the game.  The aim was just to bat the 20 overs,” he added.

“It’s nice to get your campaign off and running, it’s a bit late but we will take it nonetheless and hope that we can move strength to strength from here.”

St Lucia Zouks captain Darren Sammy has revealed the team will be looking to its overseas imports for a much-needed boost, following a slow start to the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

The struggling Zouks lost back-to-back encounters against the Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders to start the season.  The St Lucian-based franchise would have been hoping for fast start to the season after losing six games last season and finishing in 5th place.

In five seasons the highest place St Lucia has managed is fourth, making the playoffs on just one occasion.  Hoping to buck that trend in this current season Sammy is hoping newcomers

“We have more experience coming in with Colin de Grandhomme who is batting really well for New Zealand.  He can bring that experience.  We also have Hardus Viljoen who just had a good T20 blast in England,” Sammy said.

The former West Indies captain was, however, quick to admit that the team needed to improve its overall effort.

“At the end of the day, it takes a total team effort to win cricket games…So far it’s only been Cornwall giving us that start but we need different people in the line-up to come out and perform.”

 The Zouks will take on the Jamaica Tallawahs at Sabina Park on Thursday.

 

Barbados Tridents skipper Jason Holder believes the availability of quality leg spinners could be a critical component for the team if it is to successfully challenge for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

After a record-setting night against the Jamaica Tallawahs, the Trident brought a high-scoring St Kitts and Nevis Patriots back to earth with an 18-runs win at Basseterre.  Sent in bat first, Leniko Boucher led the way with 62 from 47 as the Tridents put 186 for 2 on the board before dismissing the Patriots for 168.

Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, proved to be the chief tormentor of the Patriots as he claimed 3 for 22, including the prized wicket of the dangerous Laurie Evans, who was dismissed for 61.  Hayden Walsh, who claimed 2 for 33, also made life difficult for the Patriots batsmen.

“It’s really good to have two quality wicket-taking leg spinners in the middle for us.  I think that is one of the things we really missed last year,” Holder said, following the match.

“To have Sandeep coming in and bowling as he did for us was a plus and also Hayden coming back to finish off expertly,” he added.

The win was the first of the campaign for the Tridents.

   

Jamaica Tallawahs stand-in captain Ravmon Powell insisted the bowlers did not stick to the plan on the back of a deflating four-wickets loss to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, in a record-setting CPL encounter on Tuesday.

The Tallawahs, on the back of Chris Gayle’s majestic 116 from 62 balls and 73 from 36 from Chadwick Walton, seemed poised for victory after putting 241 for 4 on the board.  The innings was the highest ever recorded in the CPL and one of the most in T20 history.

In response, however, a savage opening spell from openers Devon Thomas and Evin Lewis and solid contributions from Laurie Evans, Fabian Allen, and Shamar Brooks, saw the two-hour record total eclipsed in fairly comfortable fashion.  The Patriots got to 242 for 6 with 7 balls to spare.

The figures were as expected particularly brutal for the Tallawahs bowlers.  Oshane Thomas, the best of them, went for 53 after taking 4 wickets.  Russell who claimed the other two, was blasted for 54. 

Jerome Taylor went 0 for 36, Steven Jacobs 0 for 30, Christopher Lamont 0 for 32 and Shamar Springer 0 for 36.  All failed to make any significant inroads or even significantly slow the Patriots.  After scoring 85 for 0 in the Power Play, the Patriots were 133 for 1 at the halfway mark.

“I think the bowlers did not execute according to the game plan that we set out but credit has to be given to the Patriots, they did fantastic,” Lewis said following the match.

“We just didn’t go to our skillset early enough, we did not bowl enough yorkers, did not bowl enough slower balls, as you can see the pitch was gripping but it is just for us to learn,” he added.

 

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots captain Carlos Brathwaite insists the team never lost belief during a miraculous runs chase of historic proportions, against Jamaica Tallawahs, in the Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

Spearheaded by 116 from 62 balls from talisman Chris Gayle, his 22nd T20 century, the Jamaica Tallawahs posted what seemed to be an unassailable 241 for 4, which was the highest total in CPL history. 

The hosts, however, had other ideas and led by a blistering 50, in just 17 balls, from explosive opener Evin Lewis, reached to 242 for 6 with seven balls to spare and 4 wickers in hand.  Lewis' knock was the fastest half-century in CPL history.

“Actually, before we got off the field we got into a small huddle and we said this is the bullring, any total is chaseable,” Brathwaite said following the match.

Lewis and Devon Thomas got the Patriots off to a blistering start and the duo got to 85 for 0 inside the Power Play.  After he was surprised by extra bounce and caught behind by Glenn Phillips off Andre Russell, his opening partner took point.

Thomas got to 50 off 30 balls and new arrival Laurie Evans from England also made a strong contribution, his 41 coming from just 20.

“We just planned to get a good start, keep the run rate manageable and then close off the game.  Evin is in fantastic form, Fabian Allen as well, Devon Thomas, it's his second back to back 50.  We thought they got about 20 runs too much but it was a fantastic track, the wind wasn’t blowing and it was a small outfield.”

The runs chase, which was carried home by Allen’s 37 from 15, was the second-highest total chased in T20 history.

  

 

Big-hitting Nicholas Pooran has admitted that at times he even surprises himself with his uncanny ability to clear the boundary rope, after another scintillating display in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Sunday.

Against the Barbados Tridents, Pooran treated the crowd at the Providence to some impressive hitting as his unbeaten 61 from 30 balls anchored the Amazon Warriors 47-runs win.  In total Pooran banged the ball into the stands on six occasions, while hitting four boundaries.  His 78 runs partnership with Sherfane Rutherford, who had 32 from 14, accelerated the Warriors’ innings at the end pushing the projected score from around 160 to a solid 180.  In response, the Tridents were bundled out for 133.

“Sometimes I even surprise myself with the way I hit the ball.  Somehow God gave me the strength and I’m thankful and happy for the talent I’m blessed with,” Pooran said.

“Tonight, was my night.  You have some nights when it won’t go your way, then you have nights like this,” he added.

Pooran had a slow start to the tournament after being dismissed for a duck against the St Lucia Zouks and not batting against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.  The team has, however, won all three games to start the season.

“It was just my day Shoib was out so I just took the responsibility to bat until the end.”

 

Defending Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) champions Trinbago Knight Riders made it three wins from three in their season-opening home stint after cruising past St Lucia Zouks’ 167 for 5 with seven wickets and 13 balls to spare.

Very different yet equally impressive half-centuries from the explosive Lendl Simmons and ice-cool Denesh Ramdin ensured a mid-range target never really posed much of a threat. Simmons set the tone with a six straight back over Thisara Perera’s head from just the second ball of the innings, with Sunil Narine adding another Hero Maximum as 14 came from the opening over.

With the boundaries coming so regularly, even the loss of Narine and Tion Webster in the space of nine balls, the latter caught at point from Fawad Ahmed’s first ball of the day, did nothing to stem the flow.

Ramdin had been understandably content to play second fiddle to Simmons for the most part but he cut loose once the partnership reached 50, taking Fawad Ahmed for 10 in two balls as 17 runs came from the 11th over of the innings.

Simmons continued the boundary spree with his fifth Hero Maximum, powered down the ground off Kavem Hodge, but the bowler had instant revenge as Simmons ran past a wide to be comprehensively stumped by Andre Fletcher.

The target was by now down to 62 from 52, though, and with Kieron Pollard striding to the middle to join Ramdin there was little reason for optimism from the Zouks.

All that remained to be determined was whether Ramdin could complete his 50 before Pollard finished the game, and back-to-back fours through midwicket and point took him to 47 and the victory target down to seven at the start of the 18th over.

He duly got to the landmark with a clip for two that brought the scores level, and the Zouks’ day to forget ended with a wide outside off to hand TKR the winning run.

The Zouks innings, just as in their opening match against Guyana Amazon Warriors, was given a stunning start by Rahkeem Cornwall. He followed up a 14-ball 36 in that game with 33 from 12.

His departure, trapped plumb in front on the sweep by Narine, brought an inevitable slowing of the rate.

Fletcher struggled to cut loose in a frustrating 32-ball stay that brought him 26 runs while Najibullah Zadran’s promising cameo was ended at 26 from 17 balls when he picked out Javon Searles on the long-off boundary from a Mohammad Hasnain slower ball.

Daren Sammy smashed back-to-back sixes in his 16 from 13, while John Campbell did start to find the boundary towards the back end of the innings but once again it felt like the Zouks had failed to take full advantage of the early momentum the innings had been given by their big opener.

 

 

Trinbago Knight Riders all-rounder Jimmy Neesham hailed the contribution of newly minted team captain Kieron Pollard in a narrow 11-runs win for the defending champions over St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) opener on Wednesday night.  

The in-form Pollard crafted a responsible 47 off 32 balls, as the Knight Riders managed a par score 152 for 7 in their time at the crease.  Man-of-the-match Neesham also made a steady contribution for the Knight Riders, with 33 from 30 balls before claiming 3 for 18 as the Patriots eventually crumbled for 141 in pursuit.  Fabian Allen did his best to get what seemed a makeable target, accumulating 30 from 14 runs to push the Patriots.  His dismissal by Mohammad Hasnain, however, triggered a late collapse with Neesham closing out the game with the dismals of Rayad Emrit and Sheldon Cottrell.

“Obviously we wanted to get off to a strong start here in front of the home fans.  The way Poly batted was exceptional in the first innings to get us up to what was probably just above the par score and then our spinners especially did a great job in defending it,” Neesham said.

Having come up big at crunch time for the Knight Riders, Neesham was quick to admit it was the type of role he had learned to appreciate and hoped to flourish in it for the team this season.

“It’s something I had to learn to love.  I think as an all-rounder batting six and bowling death you are going to be involved in the crunch time and you either shy away from it or you enjoy it.”

 

A power-packed 47 from new skipper Kieron Pollard and all-round heroics from New Zealand star Jimmy Neesham helped two-time defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders start the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a thrilling 11-run win over St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on Wednesday.

Pollard, leading the side after the finger injury suffered by Dwayne Bravo, powered his side to 152 for 7 after Neesham and Denesh Ramdin’s 60-run partnership began the champions’ recovery from an early slump at 24 for 3.  The new captain crafted a responsible 47 from 32 balls.

After his vital 33 with the bat, Neesham then made the crucial first breakthrough with the ball to end a 47-run opening partnership, having Kjorn Ottley caught and bowled off a slower ball for 25, before catching Evin Lewis for 36 off the impressive Khary Pierre to trigger a decisive collapse of four wickets for six runs.

Neesham later returned to defend 13 from the final over of the match, taking the last two wickets with a pair of low full-tosses zeroing in on the stumps to seal victory.

The Patriots’ pursuit of 153 appeared to be well in hand at 70 for 1 but three overs later, the scoreboard read 76 for 5 after Pierre and spin twin Seekkuge Prasanna ripped the heart out of the middle-order.

Jason Mohammed fell for a duck and Devon Thomas just 1, while a horrible mix-up saw Carlos Brathwaite run out for only 2.

That appeared to be that, but Fabian Allen rekindled the visitors' hopes by blasting four sixes off Prasanna’s third over - an assault made all the more astonishing by the fact just three runs, a wicket and that run out had come from the Sri Lankan’s first two.

 Allen, though, was superbly caught at third-man by Prasanna himself off Mohammad Hasnain in the next over for 30 from just 14 balls. Usama Mir bravely took up the charge with an enterprising 24 from just 10 balls, including one astonishing ramped six over fine-leg off Hasnain, but ultimately he had just too much to do.

He was bowled by Neesham in the final over and was swiftly followed by last man Sheldon Cottrell, who had been the early star of proceedings at the Queen’s Park Oval with superb figures of 3 for 13 from his four overs.

 

 

Newly-appointed St Kitts and Nevis Patriots skipper Carlos Brathwaite has admitted that star player Chris Gayle will be a big loss both on and off the field for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) franchise.

After two years with the Patriots, the 39-year-old Gayle will head back to his home country to join the Jamaica Tallawahs.  In two seasons with the franchise, Gayle led the team to the final in 2017, before being eliminated in the playoffs the following year.

In addition to his presence on the pitch, Brathwaite believes the player will also be missed in the team’s dressing room.

“Chris is now gone so we need to find a replacement for Chris, probably not in the same style that he would play, but with the results that he would normally bring to the team. Obviously, that’s another big character gone in the dressing room as well, so we have to manoeuvre slightly differently, but we need the same results where we challenge for the top four and then once we get to the top four, we challenge for the title,” Brathwaite said.

“I think people look for the shouting and the ‘hurrah’ and Chris is not necessarily that. He’s more calm, collective, cool. He leads by example. He has the respect of everyone in the dressing room, so whenever he speaks you know his words are worth the weight in gold. I think a lot of people take his coolness and his calm persona for granted but there’s very much a whole heap of respect in all the dressing rooms I’ve been fortunate enough to play alongside him in, everyone in the dressing room gives him maximum respect.”

 

 

 

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