Trinbago Knight Riders won, again! St Kitts and Nevis Patriots lost, again!
St Kitts' horrible Caribbean Premier League 2020 campaign came to an end with a yet another defeat, unarguably their worst of the season, as the table-toppers Trinbago Knight Riders trounced them by nine wickets at the Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba on Sunday (September 6). The Kieron Pollard-led side kept their unbeaten run intact, winning all of their 10 league-stage encounters, and will now face Jamaica Tallawahs in the first semifinal on Tuesday.
Opting to bat, St Kitts looked clueless against Fawad Ahmed and Co. and were bowled out for just 77 in 18.2 overs, the fifth-lowest total in the CPL history. The legspinner from Australia claimed 4/21, as the four Trinbago spinners shared eight wickets between them. There were four sixes hit but St Kitts became the first team in the history of the tournament to end an innings without scoring a single four. In response, Trinbago chased down the total in just 11.3 overs.
Trinbago skipper Pollard tried to choke St Kitts openers out with spinners. Akeal Hosein and Sikandar Raza were superb with their line and length and didn't allow Chris Lynn and Evin Lewis to get off to a rapid start. The right-hander from Australia however did try to break the shackles in the third over as he smoked Hosein down the ground for a maximum. The left-arm spinner however had his revenge in the same over as he had Lynn (8) caught at the deep mid-wicket. Overall, Lynn had a horrible campaign as he could only manage 138 runs at 17.25 this season.
Meanwhile, Raza completely suffocated Lewis (24-ball 12) with his offspin and the left-handed opener finally ran out of patience in the final over of the powerplay as he tried to sweep the bowler out of the park but ended up ballooning it straight into the hands of the wicketkeeper. Pollard kept using his spinners, who kept picking up wickets and never allowed St Kitts to get going.
Legspinners Fawad and Pravin Tambe were introduced after the end of six overs and the two experienced campaigners broke the back of the St Kitts middle-order by getting three wickets in as many overs. Ben Dunk (2) went for a needless reverse sweep against Fawad, only to get a massive top edge and the 48-year-old Tambe sprinted to his right from short third man and grabbed a superb catch. The Indian legspinner then outfoxed Joshua Da Silva (5) in his very first over, as St Kitts were reduced to 36 for 5 by the end of 10 overs.
The onus was on two senior players Denesh Ramdin and Rayad Emrit to form a steady partnership and propel St Kitts to a respectable total and the two actually started well. Ali Khan was finally introduced into the attack after 12 overs of spin bowling and paceman straightaway made an impact by dismissing Ramdin for an 18-ball 19. St Kitts batsmen were reckless and after one point of time, it felt like they didn't want to bat out the entire 20 overs. Skipper Emrit (15) went for a needless heave in the 16th over and ended up getting knocked over, while Colin Archibald (0) was stumped in a horrible fashion.
Apart from Fawad, Tambe finished with figures of 1/9, while Hosein, Raza, Ali and Anderson Phillip too chipped in with at least a wicket each.
St Kitts needed early wickets to make a game out of such a low total, but that didn't happen. Trinbago openers Tion Webster and Amir Jangoo were smart with their approach and got their team off to a solid start. The two put on 54 runs for the opening wicket before Jangoo was finally dismissed in the ninth over for a 24-ball 19. Webster however remained unbeaten on 41 off 33, while Tim Seifert (16*) finished things off with a maximum over deep mid-wicket.