Kieron Pollard’s Trinbago Knight Riders effortlessly disposed of the Barbados Royals by six wickets in Thursday’s morning match at Warner Park in St Kitts, leaving Jason Holder’s struggling side in a near hopeless situation in the 2021 CPL.
Needing to win to stay in business, the Royals failed to bring their A-game on the day, unlike on Tuesday when they beat Nicholas Pooran’s Guyana Amazon Warriors by 45 runs. Put in to bat on a new strip described by the commentators as ‘tacky’, they could get only one individual score over 20 and ended with an unchallenging team score of 93 for 9.
Thanks to a steady, unbeaten knock from Colin Munro, TKR got to 99 for 4 with three overs and one ball to spare.
Things had briefly begun well for Holder’s men, opener Kyle Mayers (23 off 12), man-of-the-match against GAW, taking four fours and a six off the first 13 balls. But Khary Pierre’s control of length was much better than had been Akeal Hosein’s, whom he replaced after only one over.
Rashly attempting to repeat the six success of the previous ball, Mayers skied a catch to Tion Webster at extra-cover.
Pierre would go on to claim two of the next three wickets, having Smit Patel well caught low down with his right hand by slip Lendl Simmons and bowling Glenn Phillips all over the shop.
By the time Pierre’s four overs were done, his man-of-the-match returns read 4-14-16-3 and the scoreboard 46 for 4 after 9 overs.
It got no better. Sunil Narine cleaned up Raymon Reifer’s stumps at 58 for 5 and repeated the trick with Azam Khan’s at 80 for 8. In between those two dismissals, Hosein had Holder and Nyeem Young both caught in the slips by Pollard and Simmons respectively off consecutive balls to reduce the innings to a sorry 59 for 7 after 13 overs.
When Jayden Seales, who had bowled Johnson Charles with his first ball, had Webster run back from mid-on to catch Jake Lintott one-handed on the second attempt in the last over, it meant that the opening partnership of 24 between Mayers and Charles had been the largest of the innings.
Seales (2/12), Hosein (2/13) and Narine (2/30) all contributed to the Royals’ disappointing slide.
The TKR reply also began well for Holder’s side. Simmons feathered Mohammad Amir’s first ball through to wicket-keeper Smit Patel to give them a much-needed boost. Webster (9 off 8), Darren Bravo (19 off 26) and Tim Seifert (12 off 14) then all offered catches, which were accepted by the Royals fieldsmen.
But Munro (41 off 47, 1 x 6, 4 x 4) soldiered on at the other end, largely untroubled by scoreboard pressure or by the Royals bowlers, surprisingly including Glenn Phillips.
The successful ones were Amir (2/19) and 20-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner Joshua Bishop (2/29).
When Seifert departed, driving a Young half-volley down Lintott’s throat at short-extra-cover, only nine runs were needed to secure the crucial two points.
Hosein spanked successive balls from the left-arm wrist-spinner over the boundary to finish things off in style and take TKR to the top of the standings.
On Tuesday, the Royals (4 pts) had contrived to stay in the fight by getting the better of GAW. But after Thursday’s defeat, they have only two remaining games against the St Lucia Kings on Saturday and Sunday. Even if they were to win both, they would need to do so by wide margins and hope SLK also lose their Thursday evening game against the Jamaica Tallawahs.
The Tallawahs too are in a spot of bother. They beat the once runaway leaders St Kitts and Nevis Patriots by 22 runs on Wednesday. But they had gone down to TKR without a fight the day before so they still have only six points in the bag.
After the late game on Thursday, on Saturday and Sunday, they have a pair of matches against GAW, with whom, depending on the permutations, they may well be in a pitched battle for fourth spot.
Pollard and his men are likely to have a keen interest in the outcome; much as they may relish a challenge, they will be mindful that they have twice romped home against Rovman Powell’s Tallawahs this season…
… and twice gone under to Pooran’s GAW.
Toss: Trinbago Knight Riders
Barbados Royals: 93 for 9 (Kyle Mayers 24, Khary Pierre 3/16, Jayden Seales 2/12, Akeal Hosein 2/13, Sunil Narine 2/30)
TKR: 99 for 4 (Colin Munro 41*, Mohammad Amir 2/19, Joshua Bishop 2/29)
Man-of-the-Match: Khary Pierre (TKR)
Result: TKR win by 8 wkts
Points: TKR 2 BR 0
TEAMS P W L T NR Pts
TKR 8 5 3 0 0 10
SKN/Patriots 8 5 3 0 0 10
St L/Kings 7 4 3 0 0 8
GA/Warriors 8 4 4 0 0 8
J/Tallawahs 7 3 4 0 0 6
B/Royals 8 2 6 0 0 4