By Nikhil Kalro
Trinbago Knight Riders 208 for 6 (McCullum 91, Munro 42) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 172 for 7 (Sangakkara 53, Simmons 32, Searles 3-27) by 36 runs
(ESPNcricinfo)Trinbago Knight Riders used terrific batting conditions – a surface with even bounce and short boundaries at Sabina Park – to rack up 208 for 6, the joint-highest score of this season’s CPL, setting up a 36-run victory against Jamaica Tallawahs. It was the Knight Riders’ eighth win in nine games this season. Brendon McCullum led Knight Riders’ charge with 91 off 62 balls, while Colin Munro and Darren Bravo made rapid contributions again.
An 85-run, second-wicket stand between Kumar Sangakkara, who struck his second consecutive half-century, and Lendl Simmons pushed Tallawahs ahead at one stage. However, both batsmen were dismissed off consecutive deliveries, and the Tallawahs never recovered. The Tallawahs remained at third spot on the points table with 10 points.
(P)acing T20 batting
The T20 format is relatively new, but McCullum has enough experience – he had played 295 T20s before today – to know how to pace an innings. On a surface with even bounce and good carry, he was aware of the need to take a calculated risk, but also ensured he retained a passive-aggressive approach. He struck five fours and six sixes, all of them were followed by an intention to get a single. Of his 11 boundaries, five were followed by a single and six by dots. Still, he finished with a strike rate of 146.77.
Sixes v fours
The shorter the duration of a game, the higher are the chances of marginal plays influencing the game. Teams consume plenty of time and finances to maximise returns. On a ground with small boundaries, the Knight Riders were willing to take the risk of hitting the ball in the air to hit more sixes than fours. The marginal utility of two extra runs per ball earned them at least 10 additional runs. The Knight Riders struck 10 fours and 14 sixes.
Falling behind the required rate
Chasing 209, the Tallawahs needed to stay abreast with the required rate while also keeping sufficient resources in hand for the end overs. Sangakkara and Simmons followed that template for 52 balls in an 85-run stand, but were removed off successive balls either side of the end of the ninth-over mark.
That meant the Tallawahs had to consume valuable time trying to stabilise their chase. Eventually, they fell behind the asking rate, which in turn resulted in more wickets. Suddenly, a strong reply collapsed quickly.