Trinbago Knight Riders rode to their fourth win of the 2017 Caribbean Premier League season at the back of Sunil Narine’s allround effort on Saturday (August 12). After restricting Barbados Tridents batsmen with some tight bowling, the southpaw unleashed his all-out attack approach on the visiting bowlers and scored a 45-ball 79 and took the side to a two-wicket win. In one of the most effective showcase of pinch hitting, Narine slammed six fours and five sixes in his innings.
In what proved to be a near single-handed effort in the chase, Narine led the carnage and carried that on for more than 18 overs in the chase to ensure the 153-run target was chased down despite a below-par show by the other batsmen. Nine other players, who walked out to bat, combined to score only 76 runs off 70 balls. Barring Narine, the Bravo brothers – Dwayne (20-ball 18) and Darren (23-ball 25) were the only ones to register double-digit scores as Wayne Parnell and Shamar Springer ensured the chase wouldn’t be as easy despite Narine’s onslaught.
Trinbago’s innings didn’t start off on a good note as Parnell’s yorker managed to sneak past McCullum’s bat and uproot the off stump. It could’ve just gotten worse when Narine miscued a pull off Wahab Riaz, but Tino Best dropped a sitter. As it proved in the end, the drop was much costlier than what both the sides would have imagined. Narine, who had already started off that over with consecutive boundaries, finished it off with a six over third man.
In many ways, while Narine’s stand with Darren Bravo got the innings going, it was the partnership with Dwayne which more or less sealed the chase for the hosts. While Narine was playing his slogs, the latter was content with picking the easy runs. Together, they added 47 runs in 38 balls and set the tone, before another period of two quick wickets helped Trident get back on top. Narine, who had played the second fiddle in the earlier partnership, took the centrestage and helped turn the tables.
Narine reserved special treatment for Kieron Pollard and hammered him for two sixes and a boundary in the 13th over. The sub-par standard of fielding didn’t help Tridents’ cause much either. In the 14th over, Narine was dropped again. Two balls later Dwayne Bravo also got a reprieve. There wasn’t any dearth of misfields either. What seemed to have become an easy chase by then, got complicated a bit towards the end with a flurry of wickets falling.
Kevon Cooper, nonetheless, held his nerves and took the side over the line, with two wickets in hand and five balls to spare.
Earlier in the day, Tridents, who were put into bat, began in an approach they have adopted right through the tournament: Dwayne Smith went on the offensive while Kane Williamson was watchful. But two quick wickets didn’t allow the visitors to break away the way they would have wanted in the powerplay. Smith’s stay lasted only five balls, while promoting Wayne Parnell to No 3 didn’t work out too well either. Within the first two overs, both the batsmen were back in the pavilion.
It was in the company of Shoaib Malik, that Williamson found an able ally to resurrect Tridents’ innings. Even as his innings lacked the usual fluency, with Malik scoring rather freely, their stand didn’t put much pressure on the scoreboard. The spin duo of Shadab Khan and Narine strangled the batsmen for runs in the middle overs. In their combined eight overs, they conceded only 37 runs and no boundaries.
Even as Malik and Williamson’s experience ensured there was no urgency in the middle for the big shots, the latter departed in the 12th over after top edging a sweep outside off to the short third man fielder.
Malik, soon after notching up his 42nd T20 fifty, looked to send Beaton out of the park but ended up finding Dwayne Bravo at long off. Wickets fell regularly in the last few overs, but Nicholas Pooran and Akeal Hosein’s big hits gave the scoreboard a much needed push and helped them go past the 150-run mark.
Brief Scores: Barbados Tridents 152/9 in 50 overs (Shoaib Malik 51, Kane Williamson 30; Ronsford Beaton 2-24, Dwayne Bravo 2-27) lost to Trinbago Knight Riders 155/8 in 19.1 overs (Sunil Narine 79, Darren Bravo 25; Shamar Springer 3-32, Wayne Parnell 2-26) by 2 wickets