Trinbago Knight Riders 78 for 1 (Webster 41*) beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 77 (Ramdin 19, Ahmed 4-21, Hosein 2-25) by nine wickets
Kieron Pollard has made a point to keep things very simple with this team. And that was enough to completely outsmart the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
The Trinbago Knight Riders choked a strong top order with spin. Ten overs into the game, the run rate was a woeful 3.6. Worse than that, half of the Patriots’ side were already back in the dressing room and none of them could blame the pitch.
Give it to ’em straight
Chris Lynn and Evin Lewis are power hitters. But neither got going on Sunday because of the immaculate control shown by the Knight Riders’ opening bowlers – and they weren’t even the first string players.
Akeal Hosein and Sikandar Raza concentrated on bowling straight. They were also careful to keep their length full but not so much that they gave away half-volleys. The plan was to tuck the batsmen up and give them no easy hits.
Lewis tried his best to wait it out. But he had no room to free the arms. He couldn’t get under the ball to loft it away. And whenever he tried moving around in the crease, he kept hitting it to a packed off side ring. The left-hander was trapped. Although he faced 24 of the first 33 deliveries of the innings, he could make only 12 runs and was dismissed playing a low-percentage cross-bat shot.
Leggies day out
Pollard could see spin was working; his plan was working. The Knight Riders captain was so confident that things were going his way that he asked for his helmet and virtually spent the entire powerplay at short leg or silly point.
And once the fingerspinners had done their job, he went for his wicket-takers. Fawad Ahmed and his googlies were unreadable. Pravin Tambe and his ultra-straight legbreaks were unhittable, though that may be forgotten given the 48-year old pulled off a scarcely believable catch, running full tilt to his right from backward point and leaping forward like the floor was lava to end Ben Dunk’s innings at just 2.
Just that kind of day
Rayad Emrit had won the toss and chosen to bat. Before he could realise what was happening, he was out in the middle. Eventually, he was sent back in a way that typified the struggles of his team.
It was a full delivery, angled into him. He had no room to hit out but still he went for it, swinging as hard as he could. All of that effort resulted only in the ball ricocheting off his pads and dribbling onto the stumps at such a slow, taunting pace. Emrit, who was miles out of his crease, could only watch as his castle was breached.
Knight Riders triumph
The Knight Riders bowled out the Patriots for the fifth-lowest total in CPL history with ten deliveries to spare. They didn’t concede a single four in the entire innings – that’s a first in this tournament – though the Patriots did hit five sixes. To think they could overpower a side with Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Colin Munro on the sidelines is scary.
The chase was utterly straightforward, the 21-year-old opener Tion Webster leading it with a composed 41 not out off 33 balls. Tim Seifert wrapped things up in the 12th over with a six over midwicket that would have given his coach Brendon McCullum massive deja vu. The Knight Riders’ perfect 10 couldn’t have been any more perfect.