Gurney and Charles fire Barbados Tridents to second spot
Barbados Tridents 135 for 3 (Charles 55, Hales 33, Deyal 1-17) beat Trinbago Knight Riders 134 for 8 (Simmons 60, Gurney 2-14, Shakib 2-25, Walsh Jr. 2-34) by seven wickets
After finding themselves in a do-or-die match against St Lucia Zouks on Sunday, Barbados Tridents kept their hopes of a top-two finish alive after completing a rare sweep of Trinbago Knight Riders. Back-to-back wins over the Zouks and Knight Riders - by seven wickets at Queen's Park Oval - vaulted Tridents from fifth into second place on 10 points, holding a net run rate edge over St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
Another superb night from the tournament's leading wicket-taker Hayden Walsh Jr. and Player of the Match Harry Gurney - who bowled brilliantly at the death - to pick four wickets together and another via a run out restricted Knight Riders to 134 for 8 after they elected to bat. Then, Johnson Charles piloted a cool chase with 55 off 47 balls.
The defending CPL champions have gone ice cold after starting off with four straight wins. Knight Riders now must beat the undefeated Guyana Amazon Warriors at Providence in the final match of the league phase or else they'll be forced into an elimination playoff match against Patriots.
American success at Queen's Park Oval
A year after USA fast bowler Ali Khan sparked the Knight Riders run to a second straight CPL title, legspinner Walsh Jr left his mark. After ripping through Knight Riders in the first match-up between the two sides at Kensington Oval with 5 for 19, Walsh Jr. was at it again.
Brought on in the seventh over, he. struck with his first ball in the ninth to break up a 52-run stand with a lovely flighted googly to dismiss Colin Munro for 23. The ball to dismiss Darren Bravo in the 11th was just as good. Set up the ball before with a flighted delivery that had him in two minds, he followed it up with a flatter one that skidded through to cramp him for room and crash into the stumps off an inside edge.
Walsh Jr.'s night wasn't done though. After missing a clear run-out chance off Lendl Simmons in the fourth over from backward point, he wouldn't blow another opportunity from the same position in the 18th, firing a direct hit at the non-striker's end after Javon Searles was slow responding to a call from Denesh Ramdin. This came on the back of Gurney dismissing Kieron Pollard.
The double-strike killed momentum at the end of the Knight Riders innings after Simmons had set them up with 60 off 45 balls. Gurney struck again on the penultimate ball of the innings, trapping Ramdin lbw as part of a marvelous five-run 20th over that left Knight Riders flummoxed.
Charles in charge
The opener scored his third fifty off the season with a show of restraint, not typical of him. He started briskly though, slapping Ali Khan twice through cover and then slashed one over the slips for three boundaries in the second over of the chase.
From then on he was content to let Alex Hales take charge in the Powerplay. The England star has struggled through most of CPL 2019 but produced his best score of the season, making 33 off 27 as part of a 54-run opening stand with Charles before driving Mark Deyal's offspin to Searles at extra cover.
Charles picked up his pace once Hales departed. After being given not out gloving a short ball off Jimmy Neesham to the wicketkeeper on 38, he rubbed salt into the wound in the same bowler's next over by clubbing six and four off the first two balls to go to 50 off 41 deliveries. He was finally yorked by Chris Jordan in the 16th over, but by that stage he had put Tridents on course for victory.
Good night, Nurse
TV commentators have frequently debated Ashley Nurse's spot for Tridents because he hasn't bowled much. Here, he had a job to do with the bat, and although he struggled, saw his team home. Coming in with 25 balls remaining, at No. 5, he failed to time the ball. But with seven needed off the final over, he struck Pollard for a crucial boundary over midwicket off the second ball of the 20th over to bring the equation down to three off four balls. A single and a two by JP Duminy through wide long-off clinched victory.