TRINBAGO Knight Riders (TKR) fans could not ask for a more exciting finish to the Queen's Park Oval leg of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), on Monday night.
Wicket-keeper batsman Denesh Ramdin blazed an unbeaten 59 as TKR defeated St Kitts and Nevis Patriots by four wickets. It was the most thrilling end of the five matches played at the venue over the past eight days. The victory was the Knight Riders fourth win in five matches played at the Oval. After the win, Ramdin said it was a great run at home and felt the defeat against Jamaica Tallawahs on August 9 was a wake up call.
"It is fantastic (to play well at home). As I told the boys we needed to lose one and I felt that losing one early on brought us back down to earth so we know where we need to improve as a team. Hopefully that was our only loss and we could go all the way," Ramdin said. The victory sealed qualification into the knock-out phase of the tournament for TKR.
In front a near capacity crowd, Ramdin's 35-ball knock (two fours and four sixes) got TKR over line which seemed improbable with six overs remaining.
In chase of 159 TKR were 89 for five, needing a further 70 runs from 36 deliveries. Ramdin found an able partner in TKR captain Dwayne Bravo and the pair gave the home team a lift with a quick-fire partnership. Ramdin began the onslaught as he struck spinner Tabraiz Shamsi for two sixes in the 15th over to lift the crowd with a 16-run over. Bravo also delivered with two fours off Carlos Brathwaite to push the total to 121/5 after 17 overs. After pulling fast bowler Hasan Ali for six, the game took another turn as Bravo was run out for 20 by Ali going for a quick single. The loss of Bravo did not affect Ramdin, as he struck Ali for a six over backward point after being joined by Javon Searles.
Needing 22 from the last 12 deliveries, Searles took little time to settle hitting Brathwaite for a straight four followed by a clean hit for six over long on. TKR were now in the driver's seat with 10 required from eight balls. It was only fitting that man of the match Ramdin finished off the match for TKR. A six over mid wicket by Ramdin off a Brathwaite full toss also brought up his half century, with Ramdin even pointing his bat in the direction he struck the six. A straight four by Ramdin off Ali ended the match and a fifth win in six matches to start the season. Searles finished unbeaten on 12, while Colin Munro scored 36 earlier in the innings. Mohammed Nabi grabbed two for 12 off three overs for the Patriots, while Samuel Badree took 2/14 in two overs.
Earlier the Patriots got solid scores from Shamarh Brooks (37) and Jonathan Carter (31) as they posted 158/7 in 20 overs. Patriots captain Chris Gayle could not fire on the night contributing only four. Cameos from Brathwaite (19) and Nabi (17) helped Patriots to a competitive total. Sunil Narine was the top bowler for TKR taking 2/26 in four overs. Despite the loss Patriots are second on the table with six points after three wins and a loss in the competition.
TKR will face Guyana Amazon Warriors on Saturday at Providence, Guyana.
TRINBAGO KNIGHT RIDERS vs ST KITTS AND NEVIS PATRIOTS
S Brooks b Khan*37
C Gayle* c DJ Bravo b Narine*4
M Hafeez run out (Searles/Cooper)*13
B King c DJ Bravo b Narine*9
J Carter run out (DJ Bravo)*31
C Brathwaite c Phillip b Cooper*19
M Nabi c Searles b DJ Bravo*17
D Thomas+ not out*3
H Ali not out*9
EXTRAS (B4, 1B, W11)*16
Total for seven wickets*158
Did not bat: S Badree, T Shamsi
Fall of Wkts: 14, 52, 75, 95, 122, 140, 147
BOWLING: Phillip 3-0-26-0; Beaton 4-0-31-0; Narine 4-0-26-2; Cooper 4-0-21-1; S Khan 4-0-42-1; DJ Bravo 1-0-7-1
Knight Riders inns:
B McCullum c Hafeez b M Nabi*16
S Narine c Nabi b Brathwaite*5
C Munro c Ali b Badree*36
DM Bravo c Hafeez b Nabi*1
D Ramdin+ not out*59
S Khan b Badree*3
DJ Bravo* run out (Ali)*20
J Searles not out*12
EXTRAS (3LB, W6)*9
Total for six wickets*161 (19.3 overs)
Did not bat: K Cooper, A Phillip, R Beaton
BOWLING: Hafeez 4-0-29-0; Brathwaite 4-0-44-1; Nabi 3-1-12-2; Ali 3.3-0-29-0; Shamsi 3-0-30-0; Badree 2-0-14-2
Fall of Wkts: 11, 38, 42, 72, 89, 130
RESULT: Knight Riders won by four wickets
STANDINGS (Before yesterday's St Lucia/Jamaica match)
Trinbago Knight Riders*6*5*1*10*1.241
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots*4*3*1*6*0.489
Guyana Amazon Warriors*4*1*3*2*-0.293
St Lucia Stars*5*0*5*0*-1.996