The Trinbago Knight Riders have found some of the form that saw them conquer the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) last season as they brushed aside the Barbados Tridents at the Kensington Oval on Saturday afternoon. A blistering fifty from New Zealander Colin Munro saw them chase down a stiff target of 173 with 16 balls to spare.
He was replaced by Munro who was in a serious hurry from the start of his innings. Munro got off the mark with a four and had struck his first Hero Maximum two balls later. While Munro was all brute strength and aggression at the other end Hashim Amla was playing a cultured knock as he made 31 from 34 balls, happy to turn the strike over to the big hitting Kiwi.
The partnership between Munro and Amla was worth 107 and Amla only contributed 25 runs to it as Munro dominated proceedings. The Tridents found no way to exert control and at one point took the drastic measure of replacing Nicolas Pooran as wicket keeper, Steven Taylor taking over the duties after Pooran conceded his second lot of four byes.
Having made the first Hero CPL hundred by an overseas player against the Amazon Warriors earlier in the tournament Munro scored 68 from just 39 balls before he holed out off the bowling of Ravi Rampaul. Although Munro was gone the Knight Riders still reached their target with ease thanks to Bravo and Denesh Ramdin.
The Tridents made a patient start to their innings as they attempted to set a defendable total. The Knight Riders bowlers kept it tight in the opening overs as the Tridents managed just 32 runs from their six over PowerPlay. The USA’s Steven Taylor had struggled to get going and he tried to inject some pace into his innings with a big shot over long off from a ball from Sulieman Benn. He didn’t get all of it and Umar Akmal took a simple catch.
That brought together AB de Villiers and Shoaib Malik and the run rate immediately increased with the two experienced internationals at the crease. They put together a partnership of 60 in 44 balls that took the Tridents to 98-1 in the 15th over. This came to an end when a brilliant slower ball yorker from Dwayne Bravo bowled Shoaib for 47 (44).
De Villiers narrowly missed out on registering his third fifty in four Hero CPL innings, but he cemented his place at the top of the Tridents run scorers list. He now has 202 runs at an average of 67 and at a strike rate of 151 at this year’s tournament. He fell attempting to smash a Hero Maximum off Benn when he was on 45.
Kieron Pollard played a brutal knock at the back end of the Tridents innings as he made 41 runs from just 20 balls including three massive Hero Maximums as the Tridents made it to 172-4 off their 20 overs.
But for Munro and his blistering innings it may well have been enough, but his runs made the chase a simple prospect for the Knight Riders.
Match 18, Barbados Tridents v St Lucia Zouks Preview
Jerome Taylor has announced his retirement from Test cricket and has been snapped up by the St Lucia Zouks for the rest of the Hero CPL. He is in the mix for selection for their match against Barbados Tridents on Sunday.
“I am very excited to be here. It has been a kind of a whirlwind week but what has gone down is behind me now. I am looking forward to playing for the Zouks and I am looking forward to see if I can give a good impression of myself and see if I can help the Zouks gain some victories over the next couple of weeks.”
Taylor says the process of fitting in with the St Lucia squad has not been difficult for him and he has been welcomed with open arms.
“I am pretty much upbeat and looking forward to it. The guys were heart-warming and welcoming when I got in this morning. I am part of a family now and I look forward to giving a good account of myself. I am no stranger to the guys, both internationally and locally so it is easy for me to gel with the guys that are here now.”
The Zouks are currently sitting at the bottom of the Hero CPL table but Taylor points out that they have played fewer matches than anyone else and head home for four games after this match.
“Zouks of all the teams have the least games played so far so we are still in good stead. We can’t get too disheartened too early because there is a long way to go for the Zouks. This game is very important because you want to go home with a win under your belts to boost the confidence somewhat.”