St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 203 for 7 (Thomas 58, Brathwaite 41, Ali Khan 3-23, Narine 2-24) beat Trinbago Knight Riders 161 for 8 (Cooper 42*, Darren Bravo 41, Brathwaite 2-19) by 42 runs
Having lost just once at Queen’s Park Oval during their CPL championship run in 2017, Trinbago Knight Riders’ firm grip on home field advantage appears to have loosened after they lost for the second night in a row at their home ground. St Kitts & Nevis Patriots rode on a half-century from Devon Thomas and a fiery cameo from Carlos Brathwaite to race to a 200-plus total that was more than sufficient to canter to a 42-run win on Saturday night.
Ali Khan’s redemption
Knight Riders fast bowler Ali Khan took 3 for 24 a night earlier against Jamaica Tallawahs, and each wicket was followed by an enthusiastic dance routine with his captain Dwayne Bravo. But by the end of the night, Ali was much better remembered for dropping Andre Russell’s first ball to open the door for a whirlwind 40-ball century in a record Tallawahs chase.
Ali set that right by taking three wickets on Saturday, although his celebrations were quite toned down, perhaps as a result of the Russell reprieve still nagging at the back of his mind. Evin Lewis mistimed a pull to short midwicket in the second ball of the match, after Bravo had sent the Patriots in, before the captain pulled off a phenomenal one-handed catch, diving to his left at slip, off Ali three balls later to leave the Patriots two down before the end of the first over. Ali came back at the death to dismiss Brathwaite, and also completed a calm catch of Chris Gayle running in from long-on, shaking off any lingering effects of his costly drop a night earlier.
No doubting Thomas
Patriots wicketkeeper Thomas served as the backbone in his side’s innings, with a 28-ball half-century. Four of his nine fours, as well as his lone six, were smacked off Dwayne Bravo, who suffered a thrashing for the second night in a row. Thomas was in command until he chopped Sunil Narine onto his stumps in the 14th over, but there was hardly any respite for Bravo and the rest of the Knight Riders attack thereafter.
The West Indies T20 captain may have reimagined Ben Stokes running in when Bravo had the ball in hand for the 18th over of the innings, with the score on 147 for 6. Coming on strike in the third ball, after Ben Cutting had struck a six and taken a single off the first two balls, Brathwaite smoked three successive sixes to take Dwayne Bravo apart for 25 runs in the 18th over. After Russell punished Bravo to the tune of 0 for 59 in four overs on Friday, Bravo leaked boundaries once more against the Patriots, ending with 1 for 52 in three overs. His lone bright spot was pinning Anton Devcich lbw with a yorker.
Brathwaite and Cutting continued their assault on Kevon Cooper for a few more sixes in the 19th, as the pair tacked on 60 runs off just 23 balls for the seventh wicket. Brathwaite eventually fell on the penultimate ball of the innings, skying a slower ball from Ali to extra cover, but by that stage, Patriots had plenty to defend.
Super Sandy’s wicket maiden
The Knight Riders chase got off to an ominous start as Narine skied a catch to Devcich at point off Sheldon Cottrell three balls into their reply. But Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane, coming into the game on the back of a brilliant spell of 2 for 12 in four overs two nights earlier, struck the bigger blow. Arriving in the fourth over with Colin Munro and Chris Lynn in a good rhythm, Lamichhane beat Lynn with a googly to clean-bowl the Australian, before troubling Brendon McCullum off the final two balls of the over to complete a scoreless frame. McCullum fell to Cutting three balls later and the Knight Riders chase never got back on track.
Lamichhane conceded just three runs in his second over, too, and by the halfway stage of the chase, Knight Riders were 71 for 5 as Munro pulverized a pull off Brathwaite straight to Lewis at deep backward square. Denesh Ramdin then produced a leading edge off Jeremiah Louis to Gayle at cover.
Darren Bravo provided mild resistance with 41 off 38, before he was caught on the boundary off Louis to make it 115 for 7 in the 16th. Cooper made cosmetic improvements to the scorecard with a few lusty blows off Cottrell and Lamichhane in the final two overs, well after the result was more or less decided, ending with 42 not out off 22 balls.