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CPL 2021: Simmons’ 70 sees TKR to safety, sinks Tallawahs into the cellar

A catastrophic early collapse when they batted and a steady, level-headed second-wicket partnership when they fielded left the Jamaica Tallawahs’ ship taking water as they fell to the Trinbago Knights Riders in 2021 CPL action at Warner Park in St Kitts today.

On a day when they needed their A-game, Rovman Powell’s men managed only 15 runs in the Powerplay—and lost five wickets in the process.

Photo: Jamaica Tallawahs batsman Kennar Lewis loses his helmet during CPL action against the Barbados Royals at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts on 31 August 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

And, given a fighting chance by a century partnership between their numbers six and seven that got them to an eventual 144 for seven, they put down no fewer than five catches in the field. That sloppiness allowed Man-of-the-Match Lendl Simmons (70 off 45 balls, 5 x 6, 5 x 4) and Colin Munro (34 off 34, 1 x 6, 2 x 4) to post 102 for the second wicket and Kieron Pollard’s side to coast to an easy 7-wicket victory.

Simmons and Munro, both of whom have so far struggled to find the fluency of previous seasons, opted for steady rather than spectacular. The initial asking rate just over seven, the pair were under no real scoreboard pressure. And they were content to adopt a very un-West Indian approach, pushing the good balls into the spaces and settling for steady run-a-ball accumulation.

A decent 41 came off the Powerplay although pinch-hitting opener Sunil Narine had gone in only the second over. Having just more than doubled that score six overs later, the pair took 21 off Fidel Edwards’ third over, #13, and essentially put the result beyond doubt.

After they added 100 off just 72 balls, Munro fell to Imad Wasim in the next over and Migael Pretorius made a mess of Simmons’ stumps in the following one. But Darren Bravo, back in action after a lay-off for injury, and Pollard took their team over the line.

Photo: TKR batsman Lendl Simmons goes on the attack during CPL 2019 action against St Lucia Zouks at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Both Munro and Simmons got chances in the outfield, Chris Green grassing a sitter at deep backward square-leg and Jason Mohammed twice putting down arguably more difficult chances. Wicketkeeper Kennar Lewis also failed to hold on to a couple of difficult chances and the TKR batsmen made the Tallawahs pay.

Taking first strike on a flat track, the Tallawahs got themselves into all kinds of trouble early. Lewis found Munro at point off Akeal Hosein’s second ball and Haider Ali played an intemperate shot off the ninth ball he received. Simmons at short third man swallowed the catch off Rampaul (2/26), to give the 34-year-old his 15th wicket of the season.

Off the third ball of the same over, Rampaul’s second, young Kirk McKenzie feathered one into Denesh Ramdin’s gloves. After Pollard came in to silly point to disturb Mohammed’s focus, he edged Narine straight to Simmons at slip off Hosein to make it 12 for 4.

And when Powell did the same off Narine, the game had already slipped away from the Tallawahs.

Photo: Darren Bravo does some sharp work for the Trinbago Knight Riders in the field during CPL action against the Jamaica Tallawahs at Warner Park  in Basseterre, St Kitts on 5 September 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

But looking very much like the player whose name Ian Bishop urged us to remember in 2016, Carlos Brathwaite (58 off 40, 2 x 6, 7 x 4) joined Imad Wasim (42 off 38, 2 x 6, 3 x 4) and the pair slowly but surely restored respectability to the score.

Pollard saved one over each from the stingy Hosein (2/12) and the ungenerous Narine (4-0-13-1) just in case and opted, not for the first time, to bowl over #12 himself. The batsmen took 12 off it. 23 off #14, Isuru Udana’s first, and 19 off the same bowler’s third, #20.

But they needed a collapse similar to their own to have any chance of a much-needed win. And Munro and Simmons shut the door in their faces.

In the morning game, the St Lucia Kings moved past Dwayne Bravo’s St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for the second time in two days with a comprehensive 6-wkt win.

With Bravo out still incapacitated by the groin strain that forced him to retire prematurely from Saturday’s game, the Patriots were but a shadow of their confident, unbeatable selves.

Photo: St Lucia Kings bowler Jeavor Royal (left) celebrates the dismissal of GAW batsman Naveen ul-Haq during CPL action at Warner Park in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis on 2 September 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

Winning the toss and electing to bat first, they limped to 118 all out, losing their first three wickets inside the Powerplay, including acting captain Chris Gayle (3 off 7). Second top-scorer Devon Thomas (28 off 19) was the next to go at 52 for 4 in the ninth over. Thereafter, only top scorer Fabian Allen (34 off 32) hung around long enough to be ninth out at 114 after adding 31 with Paul van Meekeren.

Jeavor Royal, who started the Patriots’ troubles by claiming Evin Lewis early, finished with 3/20 off his four overs and Samit Patel and Kesrick Williams claimed two wickets each.

A required run-rate of under six was never going to be enough to challenge the buoyant Kings. Despite losing Andre Fletcher bowled by Allen off his first ball and skipper Faf du Plessis (22 off 15) inside the Powerplay, they got yet another half-century from a rejuvenated Roston Chase (51 off 38, 2 x 6, 4 x 4) to overhaul their target with just under five overs to spare.

Chase was named Man-of-the-Match, his second such award this season, and he must now be feeling pretty chuffed about his chances of board the plane for the UAE and Oman next month.

Photo: St Lucia Kings batsman Roston Chase (right) hits to leg for six runs while GAW wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran looks on during CPL action at Warner Park in Basseterre, Saint Kitts on 2 September 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

Currently in second place with eight points, they must justifiably feel they have more than one foot in next week’s semi-finals.

The now-I-see-you-now-I don’t Tallawahs, meanwhile, so dominant in their first game when they put 255 for 5 on the board, have steadily slipped backwards. The ship is taking water and unless they find a way to bail soon, a watery 2021 grave very likely awaits.

Match Summary

Toss: Trinbago Knight Riders

Jamaica Tallawahs: 144 for 7 (Carlos Brathwaite 58, Imad Wasim 42, Andre Russell 20*, Akeal Hosein 2/12, Ravi Rampaul 2/26)

TKR: 145 for 3 (Lendl Simmons 70, Colin Munro 34, Imad Wasim 2/19, Migael Pretorius 1/39)

Man-of-the-Match: Lendl Simmons (TKR)

Result: TKR win by 7 wkts

Points: TKR 2 JT 0

Photo: TKR batsman Lendl Simmons attacks a delivery during 2021 CPL action.
(Copyright CPL 2021)

 

POINTS TABLE

TEAMS                         P          W        L         T         NR      Pts

SKN/Patriots             7          5          2          0          0          10

St L/Kings                  6          4          2          0          0           8

TKR                              6          3          3          0          0           6

GA/Warriors            6          3          3          0          0           6

J/Tallawahs              5          2          3          0          0           4

B/Royals                    6          1           5          0          0           2

About Earl Best

Earl Best
Earl Best taught cricket, French, football and Spanish at QRC for many years and has written consistently for the Tapia and the Trinidad and Tobago Review since the 1970's. He is also a former sports editor at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express and is now a senior lecturer in Journalism at COSTAATT.

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