The trinidad Guardian / The Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) will come up against the St Kitts Patriots in their final preliminary round match of the Hero CPL T20 tournament at noon today, hoping to avenge their 34-run defeat against them on Friday night at the Central Broward Regional Park in Florida.
Knight Riders qualified for the playoffs after the Guyana Amazon Warriors defeated the Barbados Tridents by six wickets late yesterday. Even if TKR lose against the Patriots today they will still advance to the play-offs with eight points ahead of Tridents which ended on seven points. The other qualifiers are Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs and St Lucia Zouks.
On Friday, the TKR needed a win to make sure of a berth in the playoffs but the Patriots who went into the clash with one win from eight matches, decided to play spoil sport and got their second win. Trinidadian Evin Lewis slammed a masterful 79 to lead the Patriots to 180 for five in their 20 overs.
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree then grabbed two wickets in two balls, to finish with 2/30 as TKR was bowled out for 146 in 18 overs. Colin Munro topscored with a 26-ball 46 and Hashim Amla got run out for 26, as the other batsmen failed to live up to expectations. Three wickets apiece for Sheldon Cottrell and Krishmar Santokie, ensured that the Patriots left the venue a happy bunch.
Earlier, Bravo won the toss and decided to send the Patriots in, as there was uncertainty as to how the pitch would have played. On the previous night the adjoining pitch was two-paced however the one chosen for Friday night’s clash was good for batting with the ball coming through.
Lewis went to work immediately and punished spinner Nikita Miller who was all over the place. In no time, balls started to take flight off his bat and fellow opener Jon Jon Smuts was at the non-strikers end getting the best view.
The two blasted 65 runs in the ‘power play’ before Smuts fell to Sunil Narine who was called upon by Bravo to stop the onslaught. He removed Smuts caught at long on for 16 and then followed up with that of the dangerous Lendl Simmons for five.
Bravo realised that experience was the medicine needed and he grabbed the ball to bowl Faf du Plessis with a beautiful slower ball. In the meantime, Lewis kept the scoreboard rollicking along and rushed past his half century.
He played some audacious shots, nothing better than the six over cover of the bowling of Kevon Cooper. Soon after he saw Narine on his radar and slammed him for two successive sixes. Later on in the over, he tried to do the same but the ball landed into the hands of Bravo. The left hander from Tableland finished with 79 that only required 40 balls, eight of which he slammed into the stands and four along the ground over the ropes.
With the score at 111 for four, the TKR was back into the contest and even took control when Devon Thomas fell to Cooper 11 runs later. What was to transpire after, no one could have imagined as Shamarh Brooks and Jonathan Carter took the attack apart adding an unbroken 58 for the sixth wicket in 39 balls.
Brooks timed the ball beautifully and even struck three sixes in an unbroken 35 of 19 balls with three sixes and a four. Carter remained on 27 of 24 balls.