Despite their modest 122 on the board, Jason Holder’s Barbados looked like they were in with a chance of avoiding a second successive defeat in the 2021 CPL. For all of eight overs into the second innings.
But the combination of the small size of St Kitts Warner Park ground and the big hitting of West Indies white ball skipper Kieron Pollard eventually worked against them. And despite Mohammad Amir’s three early wickets for a mere 21 runs, reaching their unchallenging target proved to be uncomplicated for the impressive Trinbago Knight Riders batting line-up.
Pollard slammed six sixes and three fours in completing his 11th CPL half-century, getting to 2000 tournament runs in the process and sharing in an unbroken 87-run partnership with the much more sedate Denesh Ramdin (29 off 31), the top scorer for TKR in their defeat on Thursday.
In the first five overs of the partnership, the pair added only 32 runs, content to ensure that there was no further loss of wickets. The Amir threat safely neutralised and his eye in, Pollard proceeded to smash a pair of sixes off Ashley Nurse in over #14, which cost 16, and to add two more to Ramdin’s initial one off Holder in the 15th, which cost 22.
The unfortunate Holder got temporary revenge with the last ball of the over, which Pollard swung into Thisara Perera’s hands at long on—only to hear the umpire’s no-ball call!
Oshane Thomas temporarily staunched the flow, conceding only three runs in the 16th.
But showing no mercy, Pollard ended the game by thumping 14 off Perera in over #17 to get to his landmark off just 29 balls.
The TKR skipper had joined Ramdin at the wicket with the scoreboard reading 38 for 4. Sunil Narine (0 off 1 ball), Lendl Simmons (5 off 9) and Colin Munro (8 off 8) had all fallen to the former Pakistani left-arm quick and Tim Seifert, a solid contributor to the inadequate 133 posted by TKR in their first match on Thursday, had been caught by Glen Phillips off Oshane Thomas.
But Pollard and Ramdin made sure it mattered not to the eventual outcome, getting to 125 without being separated.
Earlier, Holder had opted to bat after winning the toss and promoted himself to number three after a manifestly displeased Johnson Charles was adjudged caught behind by Ramdin off Isuru Udana in the fifth over. But the former West Indies Test captain failed to get going, falling caught by Akeal Hosein low down at cow corner off Udana for just three off four balls.
Glen Phillips (24 off 24, 1 x 6, 3 x 4) had looked good in his brief stay at the crease. But he too was caught on the boundary off Man-of-the-Match Udana, who finished with excellent figures of 5/21.
Thereafter, only Shai Hope (20 off 19, 2 x 6) and Azam Khan (30 off 21, 2 x 5, 2 x 4) made any impression in a 29-run fifth wicket association before the innings subsided from 103 for 5 in the 14th over to the eventual 122 with four balls of the allotted 20 overs left.
To stop the slip becoming a slide, the Royals will have to regroup quickly. TKR have a day off, taking on St Lucia Kings on Sunday morning. But Holder’s men are in action for the third successive day on Saturday, up against Rovman Powell’s potentially destructive Jamaica Tallawahs.
In the morning match on Friday, the Jamaicans blew away the Faf Du Plessis-led St Lucia Kings by 120 runs. Andre Russell (50, 6 x 6, 3 x 4) scored the fastest ever CPL half-century off just 14 balls after the four batsmen who preceded him at the crease all got to at least 35.
The Tallawahs ended with a massive 255 for 5 and the Kings could only limp to 135 all out after facing complete humiliation at 56 for 6 at one stage.
Toss: Barbados Royals
Barbados Royals: 122 all out (Azam Khan 30, Glen Phillips 24, Shai Hope 20, Isuru Udana 5/21, Ravi Rampaul 2/13)
TKR: 125 for 4 (Kieron Pollard 58*, Denesh Ramdin 29*, Mohammad Amir 3/21, Oshane Thomas 1/14)
Man-of-the-Match: Isuru Udana
Result: TKR win by 6 wkts
Points: TKR 2, B/Royals 0
TEAMS P W L T NR Pts
J/Tallawahs: 1 1 0 0 0 2
SKN/Patriots 1 1 0 0 0 2
GA/Warriors 1 1 0 0 0 2
TKR 2 1 1 0 0 2
B/Royals 2 0 2 0 0 0
St L/Kings 1 0 1 0 0 0