So often the hero for Trinbago Knight Riders, Colin Munro could not buy a boundary on a difficult pitch at Warner Park in St Kitts on Sunday morning. And in the end, it cost the defending champions, who went under to lowly St Lucia Kings by five runs in Match 7 of the 2021 CPL.
It was in several ways an unusual game but, in the end, the better team won.
With three overs left in the second innings and TKR needing 50 more to overhaul the unlikely 157 for 5 posted by the Kings, Win Predictor deemed the task virtually impossible—leaning 92% in favour of a Kings win.
But with one ball left in the final over, a six would have given TKR a thoroughly undeserved win.
Wahab Riaz deposited a short ball into Tim Seifert’s midriff and, for the second time in three matches, the defending champions were on the losing end—their 152 for 3 just short.
Thanks largely to Munro, whose 40 occupied 47 balls, the tally of dot balls in the innings was 60; Seifert’s 40 came off 16! If the talented New Zealand left-hander had been batting without the middle of his bat on the day, it would probably have made little significant difference to his eventual score.
However, his pathetic performance almost certainly did make a difference to the outcome. So bad was he on the day that one might speculate that Kings skipper Faf du Plessis deliberately grassed the albeit difficult chance Munro offered him in the 16th over. And Wahab never attempted to catch the aerial ball the left-hander had spooned over the bowler’s head one over earlier.
Taken for 255 by the Jamaica Tallawahs in their first game on Friday to lose by 120 runs, the Kings seemed intent on reversing the roles after being asked to take first strike by TKR skipper Kieron Pollard.
Openers Rakheem Cornwall (23 off 14) and Andre Fletcher (28 off 25) raced to 52 in the sixth over before Ravi Rampaul (3/29) sent the off-spinner back. Rampaul would catch du Plessis off his own bowling and have Mark Deyal caught by Denesh Ramdin two balls later to reduce the Kings to 71 for 4 at the halfway stage of the innings.
But Singaporean Australian Tim David, top-scorer against the Tallawahs, and a stubborn Man-of-the-Match Roston Chase (30 off 24) combined in a 68-run fifth wicket partnership that allowed the Kings eventually to reach their challenging target.
David (43 off 32) again looked in very good nick, striking the ball as cleanly as a purist could hope until he spooned one back to Rampaul in the 18th over to give the 36-year-old pacer his third wicket.
In the TKR innings, they only lost their second wicket at 70 when a struggling Simmons finally succeeded in giving his hand away, his partnership with Munro worth 26—off 44 balls!
Having promoted himself in the order, Pollard laboured for just nine runs off 11 balls before he too succeeded in finding Alzarri Joseph running in from long-on.
By then, 56 were needed off the last three overs and 35 off the last two. Seifert took 21 off Keemo Paul’s 19th, leaving 14 for him and Munro to get off Wahab’s 20th.
Off the penultimate ball, Seifert had a narrow escape when wicketkeeper Fletcher broke the stumps at the batsman’s end as the pair tried to steal a bye. Fortunately for him, Munro had not yet left his crease and, completing the run, Seifert lived to face another ball.
In the afternoon game, Dwayne Bravo’s St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (168 for 4) romped past Nicholas Pooran’s Guyana Amazon Warriors (166 for 3) by 6 wickets. Man-of-the-Match Sherfane Rutherford got himself a second half-century, scoring an unbeaten 59 off 34 balls.
In Saturday’s morning game, a rapid, entertaining opening partnership between Man-of-the-Match Devon Thomas (55 off 54, 1 x 6, 7 x 4) and repeat half-century maker Evin Lewis (62 off 39, 5 x 6, 4 x 4) saw the Patriots coast to an easy 8-wkt win over the Warriors. The pair steered SKNP, chasing 147 for a second 2021 win, to 113 before the fall of the first wicket in the 14th over.
They eventually got home in the 19th for the loss of just one more wicket to move to the top of the points table.
Vacating top spot were Rovman Powell’s Jamaica Tallawahs, who suffered a surprise 15-run defeat at the hands of Jason Holder’s previously struggling Barbados Royals in the evening game.
Glenn Phillips (56* off 46, 1 x 6, 6 x 4) produced an uncharacteristically sedate, unbeaten half-century to take his side to 161 for 5 after they were at one stage on an unsteady 51 for 4. He shared a fruitful, unbeaten sixth-wicket 79-run partnership with Man-of-the-Match Raymon Reifer (31 off 20, 2 x 6, 2 x 4) who would also claim 3/31 in the Tallawahs 146 for 9 reply.
His victims included both Carlos Brathwaite (29 off 27) and Andre Russell (0 off 1), dismissed in the same over, which also contained six wides. Top-scorer Shamarh Brooks (47 off 45, 6 x 4) balls, who came in at 23 for 3, almost got his side over the line, being eighth man out with a challenging but gettable 18 needed off the last five balls.
St Lucia Kings: 157 for 5 (Tim David 43, Roston Chase 30, Andre Fletcher 28, Rahkeem Cornwall 23, Ravi Rampaul 3/29)
TKR:152 for 4 (Tim Seifert 40*, Colin Munro 40*, Lendl Simmons 27, Roston Chase 1/17, Wahab Riaz 1/17)
Man-of-the-Match: Roston Chase
Result: St Lucia Kings win by 5 runs
Points: St Lucia Kings 2 TKR 0
TEAMS P W L T NR Pts
SKN/Patriots 3 3 0 0 0 6
J/Tallawahs: 2 1 1 0 0 2
TKR 3 1 2 0 0 2
GA/Warriors 3 1 2 0 0 2
B/Royals 3 1 2 0 0 2
St L/Kings 2 1 1 0 0 2