Trinbago Knight Riders 199 for 4 (Munro 76*, Bravo 37*) beat St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 153 for 8 (Lewis 52, Phillip 3-40) by 46 runs
Trinbago Knight Riders continued to uphold their role in the three-horse race for the regular season CPL crown, rejoining Jamaica Tallawahs and Guyana Amazon Warriors at the top of the table with a 46-run win over St Kitts & Nevis Patriots at Warner Park.
Colin Munro's consistency propelled the Knight Riders to another win as the New Zealander notched his fourth fifty in seven matches before Dwayne Bravo raided the Patriots attack with a whirlwind knock that included five successive sixes off Alzarri Joseph in the 19th over to put the target well out of reach for the Patriots.
Attila the Mun
Sunil Narine's lean run of form in CPL 2018 continued when he was out slogging to long-on in the second over for 6. But Narine's lack of runs - 56 in seven innings - has been covered by Munro's ruthless run-making. Entering at No. 3, Munro ensured the innings didn't skip a beat, striking an unbeaten 76 off 50 balls. Munro took 41 balls to reach his half-century, the slowest of his four fifties this season, but his innings was the perfect platform to give Dwayne a freewheeling license at the death. In the process, he reclaimed the CPL 2018 runs lead from Kieron Pollard with 346 at an average of 57.66.
Zero to 30
Dwayne entered with 20 balls left in the innings following the dismissal of Darren Bravo in the 17th, splicing Sheldon Cottrell to mid-off for 18. Dwayne came on strike for the start of the 19th over facing Joseph, who up until that point had been brilliant with figures of 3-0-13-2. Joseph had bowled both Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum by beating them with sheer pace, but guile was needed to displace Dwayne from the crease and the 'Champion' dancer's experience showed up the 21-year-old in the sequence that won the match.
After a dot ball to start the over, Dwayne proceeded to smash five consecutive sixes. The first two were driven over mid-on and mid-off respectively before the third was flicked over deep square leg. The creme de la creme was the fourth maximum in the sequence. After three straight full balls had gone over the rope, Joseph tried a wide bouncer but Bravo stayed in his crease and used his wrists to uppercut it with enough oomph to clear the point boundary. When Joseph went full once more off the final ball, Dwayne drove him sweetly over wide mid-on.
Munro took back the reins for the final over, driving a four and six over mid-off as part of an 18-run 20th off Cottrell to take TKR to 199. Munro's strike rate was modest before the final burst, but he was efficient in only absorbing 12 dot balls, scoring off 76% of his deliveries in the end. He wasn't particularly fluent during a 78-run third-wicket partnership with McCullum and played a back-seat role in the unbroken 66-run stand with Dwayne, but provided the spine that was central to another TKR win.
Behind Ali Khan and Dwayne, TKR has struggled to settle on a third pace-bowling option this season. Javon Searles, Shannon Gabriel and Kevon Cooper had all shuffled through the role with not much success. Searching for a solution, TKR called 22-year-old Anderson Phillip into the XI for his season debut and his performance was just what the doctor ordered for their success in the field.
Anderson came on in the fifth over and had Chris Gayle edging a cut behind three balls later for the first wicket of the chase. Only an edged yorker through through fine leg by new batsman Rassie van der Dussen denied Phillip a wicket maiden. Patriots were 78 for 2 in 10 with Evin Lewis 49 off 34 balls, in a decent position for a major launch as has been the case for chasing teams in CPL 2018, but Phillip scuttled that plan by trapping Lewis two overs later for 53, beating him for pace with a full ball after Lewis shuffled too far across his stumps.
Phillip came back in the 19th to mathematically clinch the match with the wicket of Brandon King, getting him caught off the leading edge. His figures were spoiled by a cosmetic four and six by Carlos Brathwaite later in the over but by then Phillip had provided a much-needed fillip that TKR had been missing from their third seam option.