The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots claimed just their second win of the 2016 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) against the Trinbago Knight Riders at the Central Broward Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida. A season best innings from Evin Lewis allowed the Patriots to reach 180-5 on an excellent pitch. It proved too much for the Knight Riders to chase as they stumbled in the face of some excellent Patriots bowling.
Lewis has been one of the few unqualified successes for the Patriots in what has been a difficult season for them. The 24-year-old tops the run-scoring list and averages for the Patriots and this was his third fifty of Hero CPL 2016. Here he made 79 from 40 balls, his best score of Hero CPL 2016.
While Lewis was doing well wickets were falling at the other end. Lendl Simmons holed out off Narine and Faf du Plessis was completely undone by an outstanding Dwayne Bravo slower ball as his struggles with the bat this season continue.
Lewis departed to Narine in the 12th over caught on the mid-wicket boundary. He had already his Narine for two sixes in that region in the over but he fell going for his third.
With Evans gone the Patriots needed a big partnership to push them to a competitive total and they got just that from Jonathan Carter and Shamarh Brooks. Together they put on 58 runs in 39 balls with both Brooks being the most impressive, smashing three Hero Maximums on his way to 35 not out.
That stand between Carter and Brooks allowed the Patriots to set a target on 181. The Knight Riders got off to the worst possible start when Brendon McCullum miscued a shot to du Plessis for just one run. Just like du Plessis, McCullum has struggled for runs this Hero CPL.
With McCullum gone Hashim Amla took on the responsibility of securing the win that would see his team into the knockout stages. Amla has flown back and forth to South Africa in the last week but he shown few ill-effects from his travels as he cruised to 33. His wicket came via a run out when a Lewis direct hit found him short of his ground.
Colin Munro kept the Knight Riders in the chase with 46 (28) eventually falling lbw to Krishmar Santokie. Munro’s wicket was the beginning of the end for TKR, although the New Zealander was unlucky to be dismissed by a ball that stuck him outside the line of off stump.
In the next over Samuel Badree effectively ended the chase with two wickets in two balls. First Umar Akmal was caught at long off by du Plessis and then Denesh Ramdin was bowled first ball by a Badree over spinning delivery.
Some late order hitting from Narine kept the Knight Riders interested but they had too much to do with too few wickets left as the Patriots claimed a consolation victory, running out winners by 34 runs.
This loss is not the end for the Knight Riders, their destiny is still in their own hands. They will face these same opponents on Sunday and a win will be enough for the defending champions to claim a finals week spot. If the Barbados Tridents fail to beat the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Saturday the Knight Riders will make the knockout stages regardless of the result in their last group game.
The Jamaica Tallawahs take on the St Lucia Zouks at the Central Broward Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida in the Hero CPL and the Tallawahs’ coach Paul Nixon is delighted with the facilities that his team have been provided with.
“We have had three great practice sessions. Very warm weather, very hot. The pitch looks fantastic. Mark (Perham), the Kiwi groundsman, has done a magnificent job getting some good consistent grass on it. I saw the first match which had some decent scores on it. The guys ready. We have worked hard and practiced well. Everyone is fit and firing on all cylinders. We can’t wait to go now.”
The Zouks need one win from their two matches in Florida, but the Tallawahs have already made the finals week in St Kitts & Nevis. Despite already being in the knockouts Nixon says their approach won’t change.
“Our whole approach doesn’t change from ball one in pre-season camp. We are about improvement. We are about zoning in and making sure everyone does their work and making sure we immerse ourselves in every ball. The result will take care of itself.”
The Tallawahs have been in Florida for a while and have enjoyed their time in the USA, but Nixon says they are ready to get back to the cricket.
“America has been great to us, with the vibe and the buzz. We have done kids camps over here, but know it is back to the really important stuff of keeping our forward momentum going. That is crucial for us, we have no Dale Steyn for this game so it is crucial for us that someone else steps up to the plate and puts in a match winning performance.
“The Zouks are a solid side. I have seen a real difference in this year’s Hero CPL compared to other years where there have been a top four sides whereas now any team can beat anyone. We will be having a team meeting to chat about their players to make our plans.”
UPCOMING LAUDERHILL FIXTURES (all times local): 30 July – St. Lucia Zouks v Jamaica Tallawahs (midday), Barbados Tridents v Guyana Amazon Warriors (4pm), 31 July - Trinbago Knight Riders v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (midday), Jamaica Tallawahs v St. Lucia Zouks (4pm).