GEORGETOWN, Guyana – THE St. Kitts-Nevis Patriots could not have handled the Trinbago Knight Riders and their slow bowler Sunil Narine, which led to them being defeated by six wickets in the eliminator at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.
Batting first under overcast conditions yesterday (Oct. 6), the Patriots were cautious in their approach and lost three wickets for 30 runs during the power.
The first to be dismissed was Mohammad Hafeez by Ali Khan with the score on 22. Eight runs later, Chris Jordon shattered the stumps of Shamarh Brooks.
With the score on 30/2, Narine, though nursing an injured index finger, took a return catch to end Evin Lewis’ stay at the crease. He had scored nine off 17 balls and the Patriots were then 30/3.
It was then up to Laurie Evans and wicketkeeper/batsman Devon Thomas to bring some decency to the Patriots’ score.
Together they shared a 51-run partnership, the highest in the Patriots’ innings. But Narine struck again, trapping the wicketkeeper with the last ball of his four-over spell.
Evans had taken to the crease when the Patriots were 30/2 and he took no undue risks when facing Narine. He however took Khary Pierre and Akeal Hosein to task by regularly launching them to extra cover.
He scored 33 runs from 21 balls bowled by the two left-arm spinners.
The Sussex batsman also went after Jordon and reached his 50 off 44 balls by clipping him on the leg side for four. He however fell to seamer Ali Khan for 55 off 47 balls after attempting a sweep shot in the penultimate over.
Apart from Evans, no other batsman had passed 20 runs as the Patriots could only muster 125 for 7 off their allotted 20 overs.
Jordan ended with 3-30, Player of the Match Narine claimed 2-10 in four overs and had bowled 19 dot balls in the process, while Khan picked up 2-22 in three overs.
In reply, TKR reached 128-4 in 18.4 overs, but not without some degree of difficulty.
Like the Patriots, TKR had lost there wickets during the power play with the score on 31.
After hitting two boundaries, Narine struck a ball from Azarri Joseph into the safe hands of Sheldon Cuttrell at deep square leg, and TKR had lost their first wicket at 15 on fifth ball of the second over.
Munro then joined the then tournament’s top scorer, Lendl Simmons, but was out for a duck by Cottrell, whose full length ball cut back in sharpely to shatter his stumps with the score on 16.
It was then Darren Bravo’s turn to the crease, but he, too, did not last long as Simmons watch from the non-striker’s end as wickets fell.
Bravo went for one off 10 balls, caught at deep square off Rayad Emrit’s fourth ball of the sixth over. The score was then 31/3.
Denesh Ramdin then joined Simmons and together they the score to 78, but when Simmons tried to hit successive sixes off Carlos Braithwaite, he was caught by Evans close to the boundary rope for a well-played 51 off 47 balls with three sixes and three fours.
It was then time for captain Kieron Pollard to take TKR home.
In their unbeaten 50-run partnership from 18 balls, Pollard smashed three sixes in his 26-run from nine balls and Ramdin, who started slowly, scored 32 from 38 balls.
Following the side’s defeat, many were questioning the selection of the side. Patriots captain, Carlos Braithwaite addressed the matter in an interview with SKNVibes Sports following the game in Georgetown.
“This is the side that won us the game minus Alzarri and Dominic. We selected guys to do a job and I don’t think we did that job today, but that does not mean that the right personnel weren’t chosen. Sometimes you have to back players who didn’t have a good tournament with the bat and the ball,” he explained.
The captain acknowledged that his unit could have been more aggressive in its stroke play as statistics from the game showed that the Federation’s franchise failed to strike any six.
“We could have been a lot more aggressive! I think we were a bit too timid and we had no momentu throughout the innings. It is probably one of the few times that you would see a full 20 overs played and no sixes being hit... At the end of the day, the pitch wasn’t conducive for good stroke play or aggressive play, but we should have done better than we did.”
Meanwhile, Brathwaite thanked the fans for their support throughout the tournament.
“I must say this year the support was stepped up massively, especially if you walk through town people still come and tell you good things.
“Obviously you get the odd negative thing here and there, but that is part of the game. Thanks! Every single year the support has been getting better and better.”