Trinbago Knight Riders 180 for 5 (Ramdin 51, Imran Khan 2-25) beat Barbados Tridents 171 for 5 (Pooran 44, Fawad 3-28) by nine runs
ESPNcricinfo-Denesh Ramdin’s second half-century of the season was backed up by a tight bowling effort to guarantee Trinbago Knight Riders’ top-two finish in CPL 2018, as the defending champions held on for a nine-run win over Barbados Tridents at Kensington Oval.
Fawad Ahmed’s three wickets catapulted him to the top of the tournament’s wickets chart and increased the Knight Riders’ lead at the top of the table to three points. The Tridents, meanwhile, suffered their seventh consecutive loss to finish with the CPL’s wooden spoon for 2018.
Chart busting Munro
Colin Munro had a modest night overall, comfortable enough to let his partners do the work after the New Zealand international has done most of the heavy lifting for the Knight Riders through the season. Chris Lynn blasted 29 off 10 balls in their 35-run opening stand while Ramdin did the bulk of the scoring in a 75-run partnership that gave the Knight Riders a fantastic platform through the 11th over.
Munro’s 28 off 29 balls served as his third-lowest score of the season, and he had a pair of lives in the fifth over as well, dropped on 1 and 2 off Mohammad Irfan by Shai Hope and Dominic Drakes respectively. But his good fortune meant he went on to break Chadwick Walton’s single-season CPL scoring record of 458 runs set in 2017; Munro now has 464 runs on the season with a minimum of three more games to go, in what is shaping up to be a Player-of-the-Tournament campaign for the top-order batsman.
The Knight Riders wicketkeeper was hidden down the order earlier in the season with limited opportunities to contribute in the final overs. But Sunil Narine’s extended slump in form triggered a reshuffle that has seen Ramdin move up to No. 3 in an effort to rekindle the batting flair of both men. Ramdin responded with 90 runs over the last two matches, including 51 off 31 balls against the Tridents.
Ramdin took over from Lynn to keep the Knight Riders momentum going early by bashing Roston Chase for two fours and a six over deep midwicket at the start of the fourth, then cracked Jason Holder for a pair of boundaries in the sixth to round off the third-highest Powerplay of CPL 2018 at 68 for 1. Another maximum off Chase took Knight Riders past 100 to end the 10th over and put Ramdin three away from his half-century.
His departure in the 13th at the hands of Imran Khan came not long after Munro’s exit and the Knight Riders innings soon stalled, going a stretch of 33 deliveries without a boundary. It took a late burst, however, from Dwayne Bravo – with three fours and two sixes from the 16th to the 18th overs – to ensure Ramdin’s effort wasn’t wasted.
All crossed up
Teams bowling second at the Queen’s Park Oval have typically had difficulty gripping the ball with the nighttime dew, which is why Fawad’s three wickets stood out in a Man-of-the-Match performance.
Not for the first time this season, Fawad struck with his first delivery of the night to bowl Tion Webster with a googly in the fifth over. Another googly cleaned up Sunny Sohal to end the seventh after he had cracked a pair of sixes off American team-mate Ali Khan in the Powerplay. Fawad capped off his haul in the 13th, beating Shai Hope’s charge to make it 92 for 3. The Australian said afterwards that he resorted to bowling with a scrambled seam all night in order to be able to get a handle on a very wet ball and the strategy paid off.
For the third time in five matches, Nicholas Pooran made it into the forties but once again failed to cross fifty, run out by a direct hit from Bravo at extra cover at a critical moment with three overs to go. It ended a 50-run stand with Holder, but the whole scenario was emblematic of the Tridents’ lack of a finishing kick that has contributed to their seven-match losing streak.
With 39 needed from 18, the onus was on Holder to get the Tridents home. But Ali Khan claimed the Tridents captain by inducing a skier to long-off at the start of a masterful four-run 19th, leaving Chase and Shamar Springer to get 24 off the last over bowled by Bravo. Springer could only muster nine from the first four balls, thereby securing Knight Riders’ top-two finish after the league stage.