Brathwaite fireworks take down unbeaten TKR


Brathwaite fireworks take down unbeaten TKR

Thursday, September 19, 2019

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BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) — Captain Carlos Brathwaite emerged from a slump to slam a half-century, before dominating the decisive Super Over with bat and ball, to power St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to a dramatic victory over two-time reigning champions Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) here Tuesday night.

Faced with a daunting target of 217 under lights at Warner Park, Patriots produced an exhilarating run chase led by Brathwaite's 64 off 30 balls — his maiden Caribbean Premier League (CPL) fifty — to set up the ultimate nerve-jangling finish.

Needing five runs for victory off the final delivery of the regulation overs, all-rounder Rayad Emit (21 not out) edged a low Jimmy Neesham full toss to the third-man boundary to leave the scores level.

Brathwaite then took responsibility for facing the Super Over from fast bowler Ali Khan, blasting a couple of sixes and a four, to leave TKR with 19 to win.

Seemingly ignoring the option of using West Indies quick Alzarri Joseph, the 31-year-old all-rounder instead chose to bowl the pivotal last six balls of the game.

He kept Darren Bravo scoreless off the first delivery before having the left-hander caught behind off the very next ball. Lendl Simmons could only inside edge the third delivery — a low full toss — for a single behind square and when Captain Kieron Pollard missed the fourth, Patriots were all but home, with TKR needing 18 runs from two balls.

Pollard found the ropes at mid-wicket off the fifth delivery but it meant little at that stage as Patriots celebrations started en masse.

The victory pushed Patriots up to six points in third place, while TKR suffered their first defeat of the campaign in five matches to remain second on eight points behind leaders Guyana Amazon Warriors.

Opener Lendl Simmons had earlier struck an imperious 90 of 45 deliveries as TKR rallied to 216 for four — the joint ninth-highest CPL total.

New Zealander Colin Munro chipped in with 24, while Darren Bravo, in his first outing of the campaign, smashed an unbeaten 24.

TKR were given a hasty start by Simmons, who pummelled nine fours and half-dozen sixes in posting 49 off 24 balls for the first wicket with Mark Deyal (21) and a further 90 off 46 deliveries for the second wicket with Munro.

Simmons reached his third-straight half-century off just 24 balls in the seventh over when he crunched seamer Emrit to the long-off boundary before upper-cutting the next ball over the ropes at third man.

With a century in sight, he perished in the 12th over, finding himself cramped for room after walking down to left-arm speedster Sheldon Cottrell and slapping a short ball to cover at 139 for two.

Munro hit two fours and a six in a 24-ball knock before Bravo belted a 12-ball cameo, in a 40-run, unbroken fifth-wicket partnership with Neesham (22 not out) to end the innings on a high.

In reply, Patriots lost Devon Thomas cheaply for one in the second over with the score on four, picking out Pollard at long off with pacer Anderson Phillip (3-38), as TKR tightened their grip.

However, Evin Lewis ripped into TKR attack with a scintillating 45 off 21 deliveries, putting on 63 off just 29 balls with Englishman Laurie Evans (15).

Patriots were retaking control when Evans found Bravo on the ropes off Phillips in the sixth over, triggering a slide that saw three wickets tumble for 13 runs in the space of 16 deliveries — with Lewis slashing a Phillips full toss to deep point in the eighth over.

Tasked with reigniting the run chase at 80 for four, Brathwaite quickly took charge in a knock that contained half-dozen fours and four sixes, as he inspired an 84-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Shamarh Brooks (20).

The Barbadian had managed scores of 2, 0, 0, 1, 3 and 14 in his previous six innings in the tournament but quickly banished those demons to reach his fifty off 22 deliveries, with a boundary to extra cover off Neesham.

The pendulum swung again when Brooks fell in the 16th over and Brathwaite followed six balls later, hauled in at long off by Bravo off Ali Khan (2-27), but the drama was only just unfolding as Emrit held his nerve at the death to deliver for Patriots.

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