Brendon McCullum’s enterprising half-century helped Trinbago Knight Riders consolidate their position at the top of the table with a comfortable seven-wicket win at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Saturday (August 19) – their sixth successful chase in seven games this season. The loss meant that Guyana Amazon Warriors are all but eliminated from the Caribbean Premier League 2017.
What started off as a cautious knock with the odd boundary eventually ended up with a typical McCullum flourish in a modest chase of 131, with the New Zealander unbeaten on 65 off 45 with Denesh Ramdin for company on 27 off 19. Sunil Narine and Colin Munro fell early as Veerasammy Permaul and Sohail Tanvir gave Guyana the early breakthroughs. McCullum and Darren Bravo, however, kept Trinbago in the chase with a 55-run stand for the third wicket.
The Trinbago batsmen struggled to pick Rashid Khan, who gave away little, but in a surprising move, Martin Guptill took him out of the attack. The legspinner ended up bowling only three overs eventually, conceding 11 runs in them. McCullum could have fallen to Rashid off three successive deliveries, but survived. He led the chase patiently before letting loose as the target loomed closer. The chase was eventually polished off in 15.5 overs. The McCullum-Ramdin pair shared an unbeaten 58-run stand where McCullum did the bulk of scoring with 33 runs off 18 balls.
Trinbago were without Shadab Khan and Kevon Cooper, their top two wicket-takers who shared 19 between them, but Sunil Narine’s skill came to the fore on a slow surface, as he validated his stature as one of the most sought after bowlers in the shorter formats. Narine’s spell of 1 for 11 in four overs that included a maiden over helped keep Guyana to just 130 for 5 in their quota of overs.
The visitors would’ve been a pleased side after opting to bowl. Barring Jason Mohammed, it was a sorry story for Guyana whose top order failed collectively on the day. Mohammed and Gajanand Singh added 63 for the fourth wicket after they were reduced to 39 for 3 within seven overs. Albeit at a slow pace, Mohammad kept the innings alive and took his side to a contestable total before falling off the last ball of the innings to Bravo for 66 off 58 balls. Of the six bowlers that Trinbago used, five of them returned with a wicket apiece, minus Robert Frylinck.
Brief scores: Guyana Amazon Warriors 130/5 in 20 overs (Jason Mohammed 66; Sunil Narine 1-11) lost to Trinbago Knight Riders 131/3 in 15.5 overs (Brendon McCullum 65*) by seven wickets.