The Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) again snatched victory from the jaws of defeat tonight, as the defending champions edged Jamaica Tallawahs on the very last ball of the T20 contest for their second straight Caribbean Premier League (CPL) road win.
Set a target of 183 to win, TKR needed six runs off the final two balls with fast bowler Javon Searles on strike in Central Broward Park, Florida. Jamaican medium pacer Oshane Thomas promptly bowled a wide, before Searles snatched two runs from his next delivery and then hit the final ball over extra cover for four runs.
It was sweet revenge for TKR, who were stunned by Tallawahs captain Andre Russell’s CPL record innings of 121 not out in Port of Spain—when the visitors successfully chased a target of 224 runs.
The triumph saw TKR join Tallawahs and the Guyana Amazon Warriors on six points. Guyana, who have a game in hand, lead the table on net run rate with the Knight Riders second.
The Trinidad and Tobago franchise have a week to catch their breaths now before captain Dwayne Bravo leads out his troops at the Kensington Oval against the Barbados Tridents.
There were barely 4,000 patrons in Florida, as the CPL’s attempt to spread the game to North America continues to have lukewarm results. And if tonight’s affair did not get Americans excited about cricket, God knows what will.
Bravo won the toss and elected to field. However, not for the first time, TKR struggled to get wickets with star spinner Sunil Narine going empty-handed for the second successive match.
New Zealander Glenn Phillips (80) and South African David Miller (72*) led the Tallawahs’ charge with a 112 run partnership for the fourth wicket, which was broken in the 19th over when Bravo had Phillips out caught and bowled.
It was some welcomed success from Bravo with the ball at the death. TKR’s star performer was undoubtedly left arm spinner Khary Pierre, though, who managed two wickets for 19 with an economy rate of 4.75 from his four overs.
Still, TKR had some way to go, particularly after another misfiring start from Narine and Chris Lynn, who contributed nought and two respectively and left the team at 2 for 10 in the third over.
Colin Munro and Darren Bravo have been just as consistent, though. And they put on 107 runs for the fourth wicket—their second successive century partnership—before DM Bravo departed for an even 50.
DJ Bravo was up next and the elder brother contributed a critical 36 before he was caught off Thomas, with three balls left and TKR six runs shy. Thomas’ next delivery was a dot ball and the pressure was on.
But it was the Jamaican medium pacer who cracked, as Searles helped TKR to another spectacular finish.
CPL Match Summary
(Sunday 19 August)
Jamaica Tallawahs 182/5 off 20 overs: Glenn Phillips 80, David Miller 72*; Khary Pierre 2 for 19; Fawad Ahmed 1 for 23;
Trinbago Knight Riders 184/6 off 20 overs: Colin Munro 67, Darren Bravo 50, Dwayne Bravo 36; Imad Wasim 2 for 17, Oshane Thomas 2 for 29.
Man of the Match: Khary Pierre (TKR)