Wayne Parnell’s all-round display helped Barbados Tridents keep their virtual playoffs’ hopes alive with a 16-run win that stunned table-toppers Trinbago Knight Riders, at home on Saturday (September 2). Following a top-order capitulation, the South African all-rounder hit a crucial 44 with the bat to guide the hosts to a respectable total of 136, and then picked up three wickets to cut Knight Riders’ chase at 120.
With an outside chance to make it to the playoffs week, fifth-placed Tridents had to win both their remaining games by a big margin to pip Guyana Amazon Warriors for a fourth-place finish after the league round. With this win, Tridents might have narrowed down the difference between their immediate neighbours in the points table, but an inferior net run rate (-0.405) leaves them with a herculean task to overtake Warriors (0.834) with just one game in hand.
On the field, however, Knight Riders seemed in control of the proceedings up until the innings break but things fell apart rather quickly afterwards, resulting in only their second loss in CPL 2017.
Knight Riders’ strike bowlers vindicated their captain’s call to field as they reduced Tridents to 7 for 2 at the end of two overs; and regular wickets from there on meant the home team were always lagging behind. Dwayne Smith and Kane Williamson’s early departure was followed by a brief 24-run stand between Nicholas Pooran and Eoin Morgan, where the former hit a couple of boundaries and a six to lend some respectability to their scorecard. But Ashley Nurse took only one ball to get the breakthrough as he cut short Pooran’s fireworks prematurely.
In-coming batsman Kieron Pollard counter-attacked, picking up 12 off the remaining deliveries but Knight Riders kept chipping away regularly to never let any batsman gather momentum. A communication breakdown saw Morgan being run out cheaply after failing to regain his crease when Pollard called for a single but abandoned the idea mid-pitch. Shadab Khan added to their woes, trapping Barnell plumb in front of the sticks with a deceptive googly.
The home team seemed to have hit the self-destruct button when barely ten balls later, Akeal Hosein ran himself out, striding out for a non-existent single only to be sent back by Pollard. Pollard himself didn’t survive long afterwards as Shadab lured him into a drive and induced an outside edge to first slip. Tridents were left reeling at 63 for 7 at the halfway mark and seemed all but out of the contest.
Enter Wayne Parnell. The South African dropped anchor and struck a vital 47-run stand with Shamar Springer to revive Tridents’ dying hopes. Springer, who hit a couple of boundaries in his sedate knock, made 22 while Parnell struck three fours and a six in his unbeaten 35-ball knock worth 44 – the highest from the home team. Crucially, this partnership gave Tridents a total in excess of 100, something that didn’t seem possible at one stage.
What might have seemed a walk in the park for in-form Knight Riders batsmen actually turned into a nightmare. Parnell, luckily for Tridents, wasn’t done yet. His opening burst of 6 for 2 – accounting for the wickets of Sunil Narine and Colin Munro – gave Tridents the hope of a miraculous win they needed to stay in the hunt for knockouts.
Narine, who had dispatched Wahab Riaz to the boundary twice in the opening over, was done in by a short ball he unsuccessfully pulled only to hand a straightforward catch to Pollard at long on. While Brendon McCullum showed no signs of bowing down, Parnell struck again with another short ball and, this time, Munro saw his pull shot being intercepted by a fielder near the ropes quite comfortably.
McCullum’s knock was cut short on 26. The former New Zealand skipper seemed in sharp pain and chose to retire hurt, just before the end of powerplay overs. However, with 41 for 2 on the board, Knight Riders looked set to scale the target. But Tridents’ comeback caught them by a surprise. The visitors lost their next five middle order batsmen – two of them to Pollard – for a mere addition of 44 runs to their total.
Dwayne Bravo was the only one amongst the five to put up some fight before becoming Springer’s victim in his only over in the night.
With 50 to get off the final five overs, Javon Searles raised hopes of a come-from-behind win in the dying moments as he destroyed Parnell’s figures in the last over of his quota of four. Searles smacked a couple of fours and a six to loot a total of 19 off the over but Parnell hit back by taking out his partner, Nurse, as his third victim of the night, off the final ball of his spell.
With McCullum not returning to bat, Searles’ wicket in the penultimate over proved to be the final one as Knight Riders succumbed to a 16-run loss. The defeat, however, doesn’t affect their standing in the points table or hurt their chances of making it to the playoffs. Tridents, on the other hand, might have done the unthinkable but that might eventually not prove sufficient to secure a knockouts berth.
Brief scores: Barbados Tridents 136/9 in 20 overs (Wayne Parnell 44, Shamar Springer 21; Shahdab Khan 2-13) beat Trinbago Knight Riders 120 all out in 18.2 overs (Javon Searles 29, Brendon McCullum 26 retd hurt; Wayne Parnell 3-31, Kieron Pollard 2-26) by 16 runs.