A stroke-filled 63-ball 96 from Lendl Simmons, followed by a disciplined bowling performance led Trinbago Knight Riders to a 59-run victory over St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in Match No. 23 of the Caribbean Premier League 2020 at the Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba on Wednesday (September 2). This was Trinbago's eighth consecutive win this season.
Asked to bat, Trinbago scored 174/4 in 20 overs. Simmons added 130 runs with Darren Bravo and slammed seven fours and six maximums in his well-paced knock. In response, St Kitts threw in the towel way too early and could only manage 115/7 in their 20 overs.
Both Trinbago and St Kitts made three changes to their XI. Trinbago opted to rest their regular skipper Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine, and in the former's absence, Dwayne Bravo led the side. Making his T20 debut, Amir Jangoo, 23, failed to make an impression as the right-hander was run out for just 6 in the third over. St Kitts seamers Sheldon Cottrell and Alzarri Joseph however couldn't really keep the pressure on as Trinbago batsmen kept finding boundaries at regular intervals.
Simmons and Colin Munro were looking in decent touch and Trinbago were 29/1 in four overs when the action had to be stopped for 40 minutes due to rain. When the match resumed, Darren Bravo walked out to bat in place of Munro who was forced to retire hurt after suffering a blow to his hand. After the break, Simmons took it upon himself to keep the scoreboard moving and smoked Rayad Emrit and Jon-Russ Jaggesar for two maximums and a boundary in the space of two overs.
St Kitts bowlers were either too full or too short to Simmons as the right-hander helped Trinbago accumulate 52 runs from the first six overs. The 35-year-old scored 80 percent of his runs via boundaries in the first six overs. Playing only his second match of the season, Dominic Drakes managed to keep things quiet after the powerplay and didn't allow Simmons and Darren Bravo to dominate and found good support from offspinner Jaggesar.
The left-arm paceman, Drakes was aggressive and targetted Simmons and Darren Bravo with short stuff. Trinbago could only manage 31 runs in the next six overs after the end of the powerplay and it took Simmons and Darren Bravo 47 deliveries to complete their 50-run stand. St Kitts skipper Emrit however failed to keep the pressure on as Simmons finally managed to break the shackles by smoking the right-arm seamer for a six in the 13th over. In the same over, Simmons brought up his 17th CPL fifty.
Jaggesar was brought back into the attack for his final over but Simmons welcomed him back with a six and four and collected 15 runs from the over. Darren Bravo too finally joined the party when he tonked Cottrell down the ground for his first maximum. St Kitts struggled to stop the flow of runs as Simmons and Darren Bravo started going after every bowler. The pressure started to build on St Kitts after Cottrell was smacked for 17 runs in the 15th over. Trinbago were without Pollard but these two batsmen did a decent job and plundered 58 runs in the space of four overs.
Simmons continued the attack and clobbered Joseph for consecutive sixes in the 18th over to get into the 90s. It was Cottrell who finally broke the partnership by getting rid of Darren Bravo for a run-a-ball 36 in the penultimate over. The left-arm paceman bowled a superb penultimate over. In the final over, Drakes didn't allow Simmons to complete his second T20 hundred and also got rid of Tim Seifert (2), but Dwayne Bravo finished things off with a six to keep the momentum in Trinbago's favour.
St Kitts then got off to a worst possible start as they lost Evin Lewis (5) only in the second over. The two left-arm spinners Akeal Hosein and Khary Pierre were tidy in the first five overs as Chris Lynn and Joshua Da Silva struggled to keep up with the run-rate. They only managed 16 in the first five overs before finally opening their shoulders in the final over of the powerplay, in which they smacked Pierre for 18 runs. Despite that massive over, St Kitts could only manage 34 runs from the powerplay.
Lynn in particular struggled badly against spinners and couldn't pick the 48-year-old Pravin Tambe. The legspinner even bowled a maiden to Lynn and the required run-rate went way over 13 by the end of 11 overs. Anderson Phillip did bowl a couple of overs but apart from that Dwayne Bravo ensured Lynn and Da Silva got no pace to work with. The duo took 57 deliveries to bring up their 50-run stand and the pressure kept mounting on the two batsmen. Da Silva did try to take on Tambe but ended up getting caught and bowled for a 27-ball 29. The leggie finished with stunning figures of 1/12.
With 108 needed off 42, Lynn finally woke up and blasted Dwayne Bravo for a huge six down the ground. However, that was it, as he mistimed a heave on the very next ball and was caught at cover. The opener from Australia wasted 46 deliveries and could only score 34 runs. Ben Dunk (9) too couldn't contribute much, and St Kitts never looked like they were in the game. Yes, the surface was offering enough help to the spinners but it felt like St Kitts didn't even want to try and surrendered their weapons way too early.
Sikandar Raza finished with three wickets at the end, while Tamble, Hosein, Pierre and Dwayne Bravo too managed a wicket each.