CPL 2019: Pollard, Narine star as Trinbago Knight Riders beat St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to enter Qualifier 2
New Delhi, Oct 7: Defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders secured a six-wicket win in the Eliminator against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to snap a losing streak and march into the second Qualifier in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2019 on Sunday (October 6).
The Knight Riders came good when it mattered most after Sunil Narine returned to the side, having missed the last few games due to a finger injury. He registered figures of 2/10 in his four overs, seeing off Evin Lewis and Devon Thomas. The off-spinner was well supported by Ali Khan (2/22) and Chris Jordan (3/30), who bowled well to restrict the Patriots to just 125/7.
After asking the Patriots to bat first, the Knight Riders cut them down to 30/3 within seven overs. However, Laurie Evans (55) then combined with Thomas, putting on a 51-run stand to revive the innings.
However, once the partnership was broken, the Patriots found it very difficult to get back in the game, with the Knight Riders keeping things tight on a sluggish pitch that amplified Narine's strengths.
The chase was a comfortable one for the Knight Riders after Lendl Simmons set it up with a 47-ball 51 at the top. All of Narine, Colin Munro and Darren Bravo were dismissed in the Powerplay, though, with Alzarri Joseph and Sheldon Cottrell picking a wicket apiece.
However, the arrival of Denesh Ramdin dramatically turned things around. He first stabilised the innings, scoring just seven runs off his first 21 balls to take the game deep. He then accelerated, finishing unbeaten on 32 off 38, with Kieron Pollard's late 9-ball 26* ensuring the Knight Riders had safe passage to the second Qualifier.
It was a much-needed victory for the Knight Riders. Having started the tournament with four wins on the trot, they went without victory in the last six matches of the league stage, losing four consecutive matches en route.
They will now play the Barbados Tridents in the second Qualifier on Friday, 11 October at their home ground in Trinidad.