For the first ten overs of their innings in their penultimate qualifying round game against Dwayne Bravo’s Trinbago Knight Riders at Kensington Oval in Barbados last night, Kieron Pollard’s Barbados Tridents looked dead and almost buried.
But a fighting record eighth wicket partnership of 47 between Wayne Parnell (44, 35 balls, 3 x 4, 1 x 6) and Shamar Springer (21, 22 balls, 2 x 4) enabled them to reach 136 for 9 at the end of their 20 overs.
Then Man-of-the-match Parnell added injury to that insult by forcing the dangerous Brendon McCullum to retire in the fifth over and claiming three wickets into the bargain. That made the modest total defensible and earned the Tridents a vital two points with a narrow 16-run win.
It was not, however, the hugely convincing win the Bajans needed to leave them well placed to grab the final eliminator place from the Guyana Amazon Warriors. Chadwick Walton’s merciless dismantling of the Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday evening had made the equation more than daunting, a -0.5 net run rate needing to be converted into a positive 0.8 or better.
But Pollard’s men gave it their best shot. Eventually.
Invited by Bravo to have first use of a well-grassed pitch, the Tridents lost hard-hitting opener Dwayne Smith to the second ball of the night. And when Kane Williamson fell to the last ball of the next over, bowled by Javon Searles, the writing seemed to be on the wall.
Two run-outs and a wicket by Shadab Khan left the home side in deep trouble at 62 for 6 at the end of the ninth over. And when the Pakistani leg-spinner, bowling the tenth, induced an edge from Pollard and Bravo snaffled the chance on the second attempt at slip, the Trinbago skipper celebrated with a Usain Boltesque 200 bend that took him from slip to short third man and thence to the point boundary.
It was, he seemed to think, done and dusted. Perhaps, psychologically, he took his foot off Pollard’s throat. Understandably.
For several weeks now, Trinbago, riding high on an unassailable 16 points at the start of the night, have been assured of a place in this week’s play-offs.
Parnell, Springer and the Tridents had no such luxury; they knew they had to fight for their lives. The former West Indies Under-19 allrounder cobbled together a valuable 21 before he holed out to Ashley Nurse in the 18th over. Parnell remained unbeaten at the end, his 44 containing just three smashed boundaries and one massive six off Shadab.
But the South African was not done for the night. In his first two overs, he dismissed potential match-winners Sunil Nadine and Colin Munro. Then, he accounted for McCullum, the other prolific Knight Riders batsman, with a short rising delivery that whacked him just above the left wrist. The doughty New Zealander eventually retired hurt; with him went the visitors’ best chance of denying the home side a morale-boosting—more than likely no more!—win.
Late on, Bravo (22, 24 balls, 2 x 4, 1 x 6) and Searles (28, 21 balls, 3 x 4, 1 x 6) threatened to take the game away from Pollard’s men after the skipper had claimed Denesh Ramdin (8 off 9 balls) and Shadab (5 off 7 balls) to leave the Knights Riders unsteadily placed at 72 for 5 after 12 overs.
But Springer claimed Bravo’s scalp and celebrated with a wonderfully lithe chest roll. Then, with TKR needing 45 from the last four overs, Parnell returned to account for Nurse with the last ball of his fourth and final over, which cost 19 runs.
And, with only number 11 Anderson Phillip for company, Searles chanced his arm once too often and was caught by the substitute fieldsman running back from short third man.
The Knight Riders will now wait to see whether Pollard and co can repeat last night’s heroics against Chris Gayle’s St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in tonight’s final qualifying match. If they do, the Jamaica Tallawahs will be TKR’s opponents in Tuesday’s play-off at home in the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba. And the Patriots will meet the Amazon Warriors in Wednesday’s first eliminator.
Should the Patriots prevail, however, they will be the ones seeking to deny the home side entry into Saturday’s final by the direct route.
TKR will only be remotely interested in these results. Whoever wins or loses this evening’s game or Wednesday’s eliminator, Bravo’s concern will be to ensure that, after making all the early running, the Knights Riders produce their A-game this week, which is when it really matters.
Barbados Tridents 136 for 7 (20 overs)
(Wayne Parnell 44*, Shamarh Springer 21, Nicholas Pooran 19, Shadab Khan 2/13, Javon Searles 1/18)
Trinbago Knight Riders 120 (18.2 overs)
(Javon Searles 28, Dwayne Bravo 22, Brendon McCullum 26, Wayne Parnell 3/31, Wahab Riaz 2/24, Kieron Pollard 2/26)
Result: BT won by 16 runs.
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Think that McCullum hurt gonna hurt us all…
Our batting deep man. I think we can overcome that…
I’m not getting that feeling. McCullum is a huge asset on the field too. I’m thinking especially given the quality of opposition we’re against, is pressure !!!
Gayle rarely makes runs in Trini ( @ QPO ), maybe BLCA may bring him luck
Heard the BLCA wicket is dead. Will be interesting to see how that plays yes.
Roneil and Amiel, what allyuh think?
It is dead…some big scores down there this year, not windy either so ball may not do much for the quickies
Spinners take the lead tmrw
I do feel McCullum will be a big loss in truth, especially since he and Munro have been carrying most of the burden with the bat.
McCullum is a massive loss. Especially from the point of view of his cricketing brain. His advice to Bravo and how he sets the tempo while fielding cant be discredited. It’s a heavy burden on Munro now with the bat too
Yea McCullum is big loss considering the form Patriots & Tallawah’s are in
Unless they can get Amla back at last minute or get a good international replacement- that’s a irreplaceable hole especially when they will likely have to ask useless William Perkins to open now
Aye aye aye aye aye…Colin we go fall out over that Perkins comment eh
Perkins already confirmed to open and Dan Christian in lol
Christian a good international replacement even though it ain’t like 4 like
i used to think that tino was the biggest aggressive idiot in west indies cricket….tinoo!! sorry brother …pollard has this honour hands down. he takes this game way to serious….dont get me wrong you have to be competitive but you also have to know when to manage that emotion in this version of the game…to argue where has all this seriousness and nastiness gotten him? nowhere!!!!…and watch the teams that have gone on to the finals!!….the teams that have blended sportsmanship and the passion to win pollard was barking at everyone and trying to get into the minds of everything that moved on the field so the game will go his way!!…he was playing this game to nasty and everyone saw his true colours in that final no ball he bowled to deny the player his century…everyone could have seen it…bowl a legit ball …not easy but legit…the game will come to an end one day and what we will remember him for was that ass move he made…what is he bucking for w.i captaincy???…never happen…no team he captains will win anything if he keeps that shit up
Pollard that was terrible sportsmanship last night . A no ball really . ? Time some of the stronger Bajan players like Brathwaite and Searles to join the team .
THIS IS WAT WE VOTE 4
for tkr to win big bravo hv to step down he has done nothing thus far
U wicked or wah the.man now coming back from a MAJOR INJURY SMH U must be ent know SHIT about Cricket stupes!! # GOOD LEADERSHIP! !
Really???…Then which TKR team you does be looking at all the time?…He may not be the best captain but he’s pretty sure a good one, Bravo has done a good job through out the tournament. Ease up on the guy a little bit cause Sammy is one the best captains but yet still he couldn’t lead his team to a win
POLLARD FOR WI T20 CAPTAIN..?
Never…he seems unable to motivate his team, quick to criticize and he is also underperforming
Biggest sell out ever
By winning all their games don’t mean nothing…. Cricket is a funny game…
I knew what was going to b d result b for they started
Guyana Amazon Warriors might as well head to T&T for the playoffs, no way Tridents making it.
But tridents reminded me of our pace attack back in the day…westindies
Astute leadership by Pollard mad all d difference
Pleaseeee…he’s an arrogant bully and showed no sportsmanship towards Lewis. His performance throughout the tournament was poor and should consider giving up the captaincy