Colin Munro pulled his way to an entertaining 47-ball 70 as he engineered a comfortable seven-wicket victory for the Trinbago Knight Riders against Guyana Amazon Warriors just past midnight in the capital city of Port-of-Spain.
Already with scores of 66 not out and 41 to his name in the current Hero CPL season, the left-handed New Zealand batsman feasted on anything that was short-pitched from the Amazon seamers.
Last year, the Kiwi batsman scored a blistering hundred against the visitors at the same Queen’s Park Oval venue and, last night, he started in menacing mood as he pumped the first ball of Sohail Tanvir’s second over to long-on for six.
The audacious shot brought Tanvir back down to the earth after the Warriors’ Pakistani left-arm seamer had swashbuckling Kiwi opener Brendon McCullum caught at point by Gajanand Singh off the first ball of the innings.
And there was another heave from Munro to end the third over—which went for 18 runs—that ended up just short of the Trini Posse section.
Watch out for those dancing girls, Colin!
TKR were clearly in a rush once again as they absolutely dominated the power play to rack up a score of 72 for 1. It was two better than their power play tally of 70 on Wednesday night and put the Warrior’s mark last night of 51/2—from Martin Guptill (24 off 14 balls) and Chadwick Walton (36 off 23 balls)—in the shade.
The Knight Riders’ South African all-rounder Robert Frylinck felt the brunt of the blows from Guptill—another Kiwi—and Walton as his solitary over went for 22 runs. But Mr Munro had the strongest armour last night and a few Guyanese supporters might have left the Oval sick to their stomachs.
By the time Munro got to his 50 off 23 balls, which equalled St Lucia Stars’ Darren Sammy for the fastest 50 in the fifth CPL edition thus far, he had already slowed his tempo to ensure that the hosts did not squander their momentum—as they had done on Wednesday night, when they only managed 38 for 7 in the second half of the innings.
In the end, Munro slammed five fours and five sixes with the occasional single in between.
The packed house at the Oval may have been calling for the head of Dwayne “DJ” Bravo if TKR let this one slip but, thankfully, the middle order gave a more responsible showing on this occasion.
“People make noise after the last game and say the fellahs throw away the game,” one spectator pointed out. “But if you know the result for every game, there wouldn’t be any excitement.”
There might have been a few doubts when Darren Bravo couldn’t get the ball off the square in the 11th over as Warriors’ teenaged spinner Rashid Khan managed a maiden.
But, importantly, TKR ensured that the tricky Khan went wicketless despite a tight spell which cost only 18 runs while their own Khan, Shadab, continued his excellent showing with the ball to grab 4/28 and jump to the top of the CPL wickets charts with eight scalps.
It meant Shadab—the young mystery spinner who already has two Man-of-the-Match awards to his name this season—was not required with the bat last night. Healthy partnerships between Munro and Sunil Narine (79 off 44 balls) and Munro and Denesh “Shotta” Ramdin (56 off 34 balls) got the hosts home with an over to spare.
Shotta, a former Warriors standout, might have told Munro to take a breather when he came to the crease, rattling off 42 in just 23 balls. He was especially harsh on his compatriot, Rayad Emrit, as he put the finishing touches on TKR’s victory with a flamboyant cut shot over backward point for six.
Earlier in the proceedings, Guptill and Walton momentarily stunned the Knight Riders with a rollicking opening stand of 40. However, once Guptill went for one swing too many, Shadab put the squeeze on the Warriors with help from the economical pair of Narine (2/16) and Cooper (1/19).
TKR skipper DJ Bravo didn’t exactly cover himself in glory, as his four overs cost 37 runs. However, his handling of the bowlers was excellent.
Bravo, Shadab, Munro and the rest of the TKR outfit will all have to be on h the ball from 9pm tonight when the big-hitting Keiron Pollard and the Barbados Tridents come to town.
Pollard, no mean performer at the Oval, already has scores of 83 and 62 to his name in CPL 2017 and will doubtless be looking to show Bravo, TKR and all Trinbago who is the real “Champion.”
“I done text Pollard already,” slurred one fan as he made his way out of the Oval, “and tell him don’t come down here with that chupidness.”
Wired868 cannot confirm that, in the weather forecast, CNC3’s Seigonie Mohammed sees it raining sixes.
(Friday 11 August)
Guyana Amazon Warriors: 156 for 7 (C Walton 36, M Guptill 24, R Primus 23; S Khan 4/28)
Trinbago Knight Riders: 162 for 3 (C Munro 70*, D Ramdin 42*, S Narine 23; S Jacobs 1/31)
(Saturday 12 August)
Trinbago Knight Riders vs Barbados Tridents, 9pm, Queen’s Park Oval.