A stellar bowling performance from the returning Sunil Narine of two wickets for ten runs off his four overs saw Trinbago Knight Riders beat the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the eliminator of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League at Providence in Guyana on Sunday.
The figures earned Narine, who played with an injury to one of his bowling fingers, the Player of the Match award after TKR captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and sent Patriots into bat.
A Laurie Evans’ 55 from 47 balls that included eight fours was the top score for the Patriots who managed 125/7 in their allotted 20 overs. Their innings had no sixes.
At their turn at the crease, TKR found batting hard reaching to 31/3 in the sixth over.
Denesh Ramdin joined Lendl Simmons and the pair had difficulty in reaching 78 before Simmons held out to Laurie Evans in the deep off the bowling of Carlos Brathwaite. He made 51 from 47 with three fours and the same number of sixes. The 47-run partnership was crucial. This was Simmons’ fifth 50 of the 2019 Hero CPL.
Pollard came to the wicket and hit three sixes and the winning runs reaching to 26 from nine balls. Ramdin was unbeaten on 32 from 38 balls.
TKR await the loser of the Guyana Amazon Warriors vs the Barbados Tridents game taking place at the same venue. That loser will face TKR at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in the second qualifier on Thursday and the winner will go into the finals on Saturday.
The winner of the Warriors vs Tridents will go straight to the finals.
After the match losing captain Brathwaite said, “I felt we were a bit timid to start.
“We wanted to be conservative and keep wickets in hand but I think we went too much in the opposite direction.
“Sunil is a world-class player but I think we showed him a little bit too much respect.”
TKR captain Kieron Pollard said, “We’ve been striving for this victory for the last two and a half weeks.
“We thought bowling first and restricting them to 123 should have been an easy walk but they made it difficult.
“I just want to thank the Guyana crowd for cheering me on.
“If I’m honest, that was exactly how not to chase 126 runs.
Just too many dot balls.”
Player of the Match Narine said bowling was painful “but I must give thanks to God for giving me the courage and motivation.
“We have a great support staff that has been treating me for the last week and a half so I must give thanks to them as well.
“I think (the pitch) helped the spinners a bit so it helped me in a way so that I didn’t have to put too much pressure on the finger that was giving me problems. I think it was a total team effort.”