Trinbago Knight Riders – 147/6 (16.4 Overs)
Won by four wickets
Overs 14 – 17
If one thought that a poor start in the first three will hurt Trinbago, Sunil Narine had other plans. After taking 2/19 with the ball, Narine contributed with a 27-ball half-century to help his side start with a win in CPL 2020.
There was no shortage of drama though. With 23 needed in the last three overs, Trinbago lost their skipper after Kieron Pollard bottom-edged a shot to long-on. Brandon King redeemed himself against Tahir to complete the catch. Darren Bravo released the pressure with a six over long-on.
The script repeated itself in the next over from Keemo Paul. Chasing a wide one, Tim Seifert mistimed the shot. This time at extra cover, King dived to his right to grab a one-handed screamer. Darren Bravo then hit a full and wide one three balls later over long-off to reduce the target to five of the late over.
Bravo half-brothers were at the crease in the last over to finish the chase. However, the junior Bravo lobbed a catch to cover with three runs needed. Marking a return to CPL, Dwayne Bravo completed the formalities with a four over mid-off.
It was a scratchy day for the players with wides, full tosses, drops and mistimed shots. This is understandable after a hiatus.
Looking back at the match from Guyana’s perspective, Trinbago played out 12 dot balls inside the first three overs. At the end they finished with 35 dot balls, same as that by Guyana. While bowling enough dots, Guyana bowlers conceded eleven wides as compared to five by Trinbago. Their skipper, Chris Green, was not effective with a remodelled action. They will look to build on the learnings from today.
The batting prowess of Sunil Narine is one of the best discoveries of T20 cricket. Teams have nothing to lose and everything to gain with a batsman like him at the top of the order.
After a poor start in the powerplay the tide turned in the favour of Trinbago. First, it was Colin Munro who scored a quick 17 off seven balls before fending a rising ball to mid-wicket. Though it was a short stay but Munro helped the Knight Riders gain the momentum. In the company of Narine, he added 28 runs after the two overs of the powerplay.
After Munro’s dismissal, Narine took it upon himself to hit boundaries. Tahir was the most economical bowler in the middle-overs in the last season. In this match, Narine welcomed him with a 17-run over, hitting him for a boundary and a six.
He followed it up with two sixes off Romario Shephard in the next over. In an attempt to continue the striking, Narine mistimed a shot in Tahir’s next over but survived after Brandon King dropped the catch at long-off. Two balls later, a slog sweep brought about his demise. But, it was not before he added 40 in 20 balls after the powerplay.
If one thought Guyana did not start well, Trinbago pushed them off the podium. For Guyana, three different bowlers bowled the first three overs. Being out of touch, Lendl Simmons kept slogging with no rewards. The Trinbago openers had 12 dot balls after the first three overs.
Simmons improved after a dismal start as he thumped Guyana’s captain Chris Green for two fours in the fourth over. However, the Afghan rookie Naveen-ul-Haq ended his struggle. The shot selection on his dismissal was as abysmal as his stay at the crease. Attempting a pull to a slower bouncer bowled outside off, Simmons got a top-edge to short fine leg.
Guyana Amazon Warriors – 144/5 (17 Overs)
A brisk 63* off 44 balls from Hetmyer propelled Guyana to 144 in the allotted 17 overs. It was an intelligent knock from him on a tricky wicket. He was comfortable while playing second fiddle when first Ross Taylor and then Nicholas Pooran were the aggressors. Only two sixes and as many fours in the knock highlights his adept strike-rotation.
Pooran could not build on the promising start and became Jaydon Seales first CPL victim in the 14th over. Dwayne Bravo unleashed his slower balls and yorkers to improve his figures in the final phase. He gave only five runs in the 15th over that included a mistimed slog sweep by Sherfane Rutherford, which led to his demise. An expensive 15-run last over that included a four from Keemo Paul and a six for Hetmyer spoilt Bravo’s figures on his CPL return.
After a mediocre powerplay, Shimron Hetmyer and Ross Taylor steadied the ship for Guyana. Taylor, in particular, was aggressive and did not shy away from bringing out his favourite shot - the slog sweep - whenever presented with an opportunity.
He managed to cross the ropes twice with the shot. Once against the leggie Fawad Ahmed and then off the pacer Jaydon Seales in the next over. Fawad had Taylor get an outside edge off a ball that bounced after pitching, but Pollard at first slip could not hang on to the travelling ball.
Due to overnight rain and overcast conditions, the pitch played tricks. There was bounce off a length for pacers and spinners. This was evident in an impressive first over by Seales before Taylor punished him on the rare bad ball at his legs.
Right after the pair brought their fifty partnership, Narine cleaned up Taylor, who fell in an attempt for another hoick on the leg. Pollard continued being attacking as the captain and stood at slip for the new batsman, Nicholas Pooran. One of the young guns of the Caribbean, Pooran started with confidence with a nonchalant reverse sweep first ball.
Narine completed his spell in the 12th over leaking only 19 runs and taking two wickets. With Dwayne Bravo’s return, Trinbago have replenished their bowling reverses. Though, he leaked 20 runs in the first two overs of his spell.
It was a sedate start to the innings for last year’s finalists. They lost two wickets within the first four overs of curtailed encounter.
Brandon King was the leading run-scorer in the 2019 season with 496 runs. With seaming conditions on an overcast day, he could not control the aggression and ended up top-edging Ali Khan to point in the first over.
The most economical bowler in the powerplay’s in the 2019 season, Sunil Narine, followed suit with a return catch of Chandrapaul Hemraj.
Opting to field first, Trinbago’s skipper, Kieron Pollard would have been delighted with only two boundaries in the powerplay. Both came off the bat of Shimron Hetmyer.