Trinbago Knight Riders 267 for 2 (Munro 96*, Simmons 86, Pollard 45) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 226 for 5 (Phillips 62, Hasnain 2-51) by 41 runs
There was plenty of sympathy for the bowlers at Sabina Park on Friday as the 10th match of CPL 2019 witnessed highest score in franchise cricket and the second-highest match aggregate (by runs) in all T20 cricket. By the end of it, Trinbago Knight Riders’ 267 for 2 was too much for Jamaica Tallawahs, who finished 41 runs short despite a brave attempt. The result meant Knight Riders made it four wins in a row while Tallawahs suffered their fourth straight defeat.
There was, however, no sympathy for the fielders. A total of 12 catches went down across both innings with Knight Riders took more advantage of that. Colin Munro struck a 50-ball 96 in the company of Lendl Simmons, who struck a 42-ball 86 in the first innings, and they both rode on the multiple opportunities that Tallawahs’ fielders provided to set Tallawahs a record-breaking target of 268.
Glenn Phillips gave the Jamaican home crowd some hope when he blazed to a 32-ball 62, but Mohammad Hasnain’s double-wicket burst and an injury to Rovman Powell extinguished that. While Tallawahs continued finding the boundaries – they matched Knight Riders’ 17 sixes with 17 of their own – they had much fewer fours, but entertained the crowd till the final ball.
Simmons, Munro cash in on error-prone Tallawahs
All it took was two balls for Lendl Simmons to make his intentions clear at Sabina Park. The way he rose to pull Derval Green showed the pitch offered next to nothing for the pacers. Three balls later, when Green bowled so short that the ball flew over the wicketkeeper, the tone of the day – a Tallawahs performance peppered with errors – was set.
Jerome Taylor shared the new ball, and he started off with a front-foot no-ball. In all, he’d bowl four no-balls (that’s four extra free-hit deliveries too) and three wides on the night. But that first no-ball was punished by Simmons right away, and as the Powerplay progressed Knight Riders found a minimum of one boundary every over. The first double-boundary over was the third when Sunil Narine – at that point on zero off seven balls – struck ten off the next three deliveries to bump his strike-rate to 100.
Simmons, like Narine, was living dangerously, unafraid to go the see-ball-hit-ball approach. That offered a chance to Taylor in the fourth over, when he edged an attempted loft to the wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips, but he failed to hold onto a difficult chance. Three balls later, Simmons mistimed a slog straight into midwicket’s hands and was seen hitting his own pads with disgust, but looked back to see the umpire call another front-foot no-ball for Taylor.
At 55 for 0 after five overs, spin was introduced for the first time, in the form of Zahir Khan. The let-arm wristspinner from Afghanistan struck immediately, trapping Narine lbw for an 18-ball 20. In walked Colin Munro, the highest run-scorer of CPL 2018, at No. 3 and he took Zahir on from the first ball.
Munro approached Zahir with a stance that exposed leg (and part of middle) stump to negate the spinner’s googly, and found success cutting the 20-year old through cover and following it up with a reverse sweep over point. Simmons and Munro then creamed Zahir for a further 11 next over.
Simmons entered the forties in the tenth over by opening his stance and pulling Ramaa Lewis over deep midwicket. Next ball, he drilled a flat shot to Taylor at long-on, but the fielder dropped it after running in. That ball was struck hard, but there were no excuses when Simmons was reprieved three balls later after slicing a full ball. Deep cover ran in, but he fluffed another chance, and that error ended the halfway stage of the first innings. The score at that stage read 98 for 1.
Entertainment galore as Knight Riders smash CPL records
Rovman Powell – who had a quiet first spell – was welcomed into his second spell by two boundaries that took Knight Riders past hundred. Simmons then cut Oshane Thomas to bring his half-century in 32 balls to close a quiet 12th over. But then began the carnage. Munro smashed Powell for two sixes next over and Simmons added another to cream 23 off the 13th. They did the same off Zahir off the 14th to take 22 off it. Those two overs lifted Munro past his fifty, the partnership past hundred and Knight Riders past 150. The 15th began with Simmons smashing Thomas for three fours and a six. The last of those fours was off a no-ball, so Simmons, on 86, shaped up to maximise the free-hit.
But what followed was straight out of a Charlie Chaplin classic. Simmons mistimed the free-hit in the air, and straight into deep midwicket’s hands. The fielder began celebrating, forgetting that the previous ball was a no-ball, which Simmons noticed. He asked Munro to scamper across for a third run, but by then Glenn had noticed his mistake, and drilled in a throw that saw Simmons well short of the crease. There was also reasonable doubt whether Thomas had removed the bails cleanly with his hands, but Simmons was eventually declared run-out, one of only three ways – stumpings and hit-wicket are the other two – where a wicket is allowed off a free-hit.
In walked No. 4 Kieron Pollard, and he clobbered them to all parts too. While Munro hammered Green for two sixes in the 17th over, Pollard helped Knight Riders smash 30 runs off Taylor’s final over, including a maximum off a front-foot no-ball. Taylor’s four-over spell went for 55, and Thomas followed suit by conceding 21 off his final over to finish his spell wicketless for 63 runs.
Knight Riders finished on 267 for 2, only 11 short of the highest-ever T20 total. But the innings of 21 fours, 17 sixes, seven no-balls, and 12 wides had set a record for the highest total in the history of franchise cricket. It beat Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 263 for 5 in the IPL. Munro was unbeaten on 96 off just50 balls, while Pollard made a 17-ball 45. In all, Knight Riders scored 171 runs in the final ten overs. Tallawahs didn’t help by dropping seven chances off Simmons, Munro and Pollard.
more to follow…
Source: ESPN Crickinfo