Trinbago Knight Riders maintained their clean slate with a fifth win in as many matches, while Mohammed Nabi produced a career-best five-wicket haul to guide St Lucia Zouks to a six-wicket triumph in the Caribbean Premier League.
The Knight Riders reached the halfway mark of the league stage with a perfect record of five wins in five matches as they outplayed Guyana Amazon Warriors by seven wickets with a fine all-round display.
Sent into bat, the Warriors posted a lowly 112 for 7. The Knight Riders then overhauled the target, scoring 115 for 3 with 10 balls to spare.
Trinbago got an early break when Sikandar Raza clean bowled Brandon King (6) in the second over of the innings. Khary Pierre then struck twice in one over, dismissing Chandrapaul Hemraj (2) and Nicholas Pooran (1) to leave Amazon Warriors at 12 for 3.
Despite Shimron Hetmeyer’s 26 off 30 balls, Ross Taylor’s 26 in 23 and Keemo Paul’s unbeaten 28 in 26, Warriors never looked well-placed and ended the innings at 112 for seven.
Chasing the total, the Knight Riders begun well at 32 for no loss in five overs.
Imran Tahir broke through with two wickets in two balls in the sixth over, sending back Lendl Simmons (19) with a google and then a big leg-break ended Colin Munro’s (0) stay. Darren Bravo (26) denied Tahir the hat-trick.
After 10 overs, the Knight Riders were 51 for two but soon Tion Webster was sent back by Chris Green. Yet they stayed on the course and needed 35 off the last 36 balls.
Tahir and Keemo Paul bowled well and put some pressure but Bravo cleared the ropes off a Naveen full toss and Tim Seifert (39) smashed the first ball of Tahir’s last over for six. The shackles were off and then Seifert sealed the win with two fine fours. In another match, Nabi claimed five for 15 as he powered St. Lucia Zouks to a comprehensive six-wicket win over St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
With Patriots restricted to 110 for nine in 20 overs, Zouks were never in trouble and coasted to an easy win with 32 balls to spare.
Zouks’ captain Daren Sammy put Patriots in to bat and before they had scored Nabi dismissed both Chris Lynn and Nick Kelly off the third and fifth deliveries.
Coming back in the third over of the innings, Nabi had another twin-strike as Denesh Ramdin top-edged to Najibullah Zadran and off the next ball Patriots’ leading scorer Evin Lewis, spooned a sweep to Roston Chase.
Patriots were soon 11 for 4 in three overs. Ben Dunk did some damage control with 33 in 37 but didn’t get much support.
Patriots lost wickets at regular intervals and when Dunk left making it 62 for six, it was a matter of time.
Sohail Tanvir (16) and Alzarri Joseph (21 in 13) did well to take them into three figures, even as Nabi completed his five-wicket haul when Tanvir scooped a sweep to Zahir at short fine-leg.
In reply, opener Cornwall (26 in 11) gave Zouks a flying start, hammering Tanvir for two fours and two towering sixes.
Jon-Russ Jaggesar’s first ball was cut by Andre Fletcher (16) for four and then Cornwall smashed Imran Khan over the roof. Cornwall left soon after but the damage had been done.
A short spell of rain followed and on resumption Zouks needed just 81 at well under 5 an over. Khan dismissed Cornwall and added Mark Deyal to the list off the first ball after rain. Fletcher later became Khan’s third wicket as Zouks reached 79-3 in 10 overs.
Roston Chase (27 in 27) and Najibullah (33 in 24) brought Zouks close to victory with a nice stand of 47 runs and when the former was dismissed by Dunk, the target was in sight.
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