CPL: TKR stay alive with hard-fought win over Patriots

SUMMARY: St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots 125-7 (Evans 55, Cottoy 14; Jordan 3-30, Narine 2-10, Khan 2-22) lost to Trinbago Knight Riders 128-4 (Simmons 51, Ramdin 32*, Pollard 28*; Joseph 1-19, Emrit 1-20) by six wickets

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By Akeem Greene

After six matches without a positive result in this season of the Hero Caribbean Premier League, defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders produced the goods when it mattered most, beating St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots by six wickets in the Eliminator on Sunday at Providence.

The return of marque spinner Sunil Narine sparked an improved bowling performance in which they restricted Patriots on a surface which looked unfriendly for batting. They then chased it in 18.4 overs to book their spot in the semi-final at the Brian Lara Stadium Thursday.

Sunil Narine of Trinbago Knight Riders celebrates the dismissal of Devon Thomas of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots during the Hero Caribbean Premier League Play-Off match 31 between of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Trinbago Knight Riders at Guyana National Stadium on October 6, 2019 in Providence, Guyana. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20/CPL T20 via Getty Images)

Ten came in the first over of the chase, however, Patriots hit back with three quick wickets and limited the Powerplay to 31-3. Sunil Narine (8), Colin Munro (0) and Darren Bravo, who made one from 10 balls, were all dismissed cheaply.

Lendl Simmons of Trinbago Knight Riders hits a four during the Hero Caribbean Premier League Play-Off match 31 between of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Trinbago Knight Riders at Guyana National Stadium on October 6, 2019 in Providence, Guyana. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

Lendl Simmons, who scored 51 (3x4s;3x6s) from 47 balls, his fifth half-century of the season, and Denesh Ramdin (32* from 38 balls), who battled for most of this innings way below a run-a-ball, galvanised the innings with a partnership of 47 from 59 balls.

With no alarming run-rate to worry about, they absorbed the early pressure which served the innings on a platter for Kieron Pollard to end it in style, smashing 18 off Carlos Brathwaite’s penultimate over. Pollard ended with 26 (1×4; 3x6s) from nine balls in a blazing unbeaten partnership of 50 from 19 balls with Ramdin.

Ali Khan, who has not quite hit his traps like in 2018, got the first breakthrough when an uneased Mohammad Hafeez attempted to skew one over point. Shamarh Brooks then had his stumps cartwheeling by Chris Jordan.

Evin Lewis offering a simple caught and bowl chance was the first for Narine, who bowled 19 dots in his full quota.

Englishman Laurie Evans came and got the board ticking with good power hitting and strike rotation, which upped Patriots to 54-3 at the halfway mark. He got to his half-century from 44 balls, but fell three balls later attempting a lofted drive. He struck eight fours.

Laurie Evans did the bulk of the scoring for Patriots (Photo: Keon Blades)

Brathwaite only made three from eight balls, and it took Kenroy Cottoy to hit 13 off the penultimate over to get them over 120. Only 28 was scored off the last three overs, and in particular, only four came off the last over bowled by Jordan.

Up next an unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors battle a peaking Barbados Tridents from 15:30h in the top two Playoff match. The winner goes directly to the October 12 final while the loser plays TKR.

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