By Peter Della Penna
Trinbago Knight Riders 162 for 3 (Munro 70* , Ramdin 42* ) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 156 for 7 (Walton 36, Shadab 4-28) by seven wickets
(ESPNcricinfo) At a rowdy Queens Park Oval, the home team Trinbago Knight Riders took the lead on the CPL points table with their third win in four matches. Their success was built on Colin Munro’s unbeaten 70 off 47 balls which ensured a chase of 157 went off without a hitch, leaving Guyana Amazon Warriors still looking for their first win this season.
On Friday evening, three players – Kesrick Williams, Wahab Riaz and Kevon Cooper – were tied for most wickets in CPL 2017. Shadab Khan spun his way past all of them with 4 for 28. The legspinner now has eight wickets from four matches at an average of 10.5 and economy rate of 5.25.
The Amazon Warriors had sprinted to 40 for 0 in three overs before Shadab slowed them down, with a wicket off his first delivery, and that too, of Martin Guptill’s, who was looking dangerous on 24 off 13 balls. His return to the XI after hamstring injury didn’t go according to plan, caught by Khary Pierre running in from long-on.
Pierre’s safe hands accounted for Shadab’s next two wickets as well. A half-tracker to start his second spell should have gone out of the ground but Pierre managed to keep his balance at the very edge of the midwicket boundary and send back Jason Mohammed. Then, fighting off the wind to nab a very difficult skier, he and Shadab dismissed debutant Roshon Primus in the 18th over to leave the Amason Warriors on 131 for 6.
Sohail Tanvir picked out Kevon Cooper at long-off next ball to put Shadab on a hat-trick and despite screaming his lungs out when Rayad Emrit was struck on the pads misreading a googly, Shadab’s lbw appeal was turned down with the batsman comfortably outside the line of off stump.
Tanvir’s near double-strike
Defending 156, Tanvir struck with the first ball when Brendon McCullum chased a wide delivery and was caught at cover point. Munro came in at No. 3 and Tanvir bowled a beautiful inswinger that slammed into the batman’s pads in front of middle stump. However, umpire Langton Rusere denied the lbw appeal, thinking it would have continued with the angle – the left-arm quick was bowling over the wicket to the left-hander – and missed the target.
The Munro mauling
Munro made the most of the benefit of the doubt given to him and scored the joint-fastest fifty of CPL 2017, equalling Darren Sammy’s 23-ball effort against Barbados Tridents 24 hours earlier. Munro followed one script to hit fours – backing away to cut over the off side – and another for his sixes – clearing the front leg to slog over the leg side.
Only one shot to the boundary strayed from this formula: while ducking a bouncer from Primus, the ball clipped the glove and lobbed over the wicketkeeper. Munro eventually finished with five fours and five sixes and now leads the season’s run-charts with 178 runs in four games.
Ramming home victory
There was a little period, after the halfway mark, that the Knight Riders had to weather. Rashid Khan made Darren Bravo look rather unsure at the crease, conceding only one run in two overs with his deceptive googlies. But before Bravo’s battle with the legspinner could resume, he was dismissed by Primus in the 14th over with the target still 51 runs away.
A slow pitch kept offering good turn, and as well as Rashid was exploiting it, Guptill felt he had to hold his trump card back for the end overs. That decision helped the new batsman Denesh Ramdin get into his stride. He bashed 42 out of a partnership of 56 with Munro and sealed the chase with a six over point.