Cricket

Gayle half-century, Cottrell put Patriots in first final

Thursday, September 07, 2017

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TAROUBA, Trinidad (CMC) — Talismanic Captain Chris Gayle hit a responsible half-century as St Kitts and Nevis Patriots booked their spot in the Caribbean Premier League final with a 38-run victory over Trinbago Knight Riders here Tuesday night.

Sent in at the Brian Lara Stadium, Patriots rallied to 149 for seven off their 20 overs, with the left-handed Gayle expertly navigating a slow track to be unbeaten on 54 from 51 deliveries at the end.

Brandon King chipped in with 30 off 26 balls and Mohammad Hafeez got 21 from 13 balls, but the Patriots batsmen otherwise struggled to come to terms with the lack of pace in the track.

Captain Dwayne Bravo exploited the conditions to finish with four for 38 from his four overs, while new ball bowler Ronsford Beaton claimed two for 22.

In reply, Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) slumped to six runs for three wickets in the third over and never really recovered, and were eventually bowled out for 111 with three balls left in the innings.

Darren Bravo top-scored with 29 off 33 deliveries, while Captain Dwayne struck 24 from 13 balls, but support was lacking and the innings collapsed.

Left-arm speedster Sheldon Cottrell snatched three for 17, while off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez produced a stingy four-over spell, claiming one for 11 from four overs.

With the result, Patriots cantered into the final for the first time, while TKR will now await the winner of the Jamaica Tallawahs/Guyana Amazon Warriors last night at the same venue, for another chance at the final.

Gayle proved the catalyst of the Patriots innings, striking three fours and three sixes and partnering three successive key partnerships after the early loss of Evin Lewis for six, brilliantly caught by Dan Christian running back at wide long-off in the third over off seamer Kevon Cooper.

The Jamaican then put on 35 for the second wicket with Hafeez, 48 for the third wicket with King, who belted a four and three sixes before adding a further 30 with Carlos Brathwaite, who made 14.

Patriots appeared to be at least 20 runs short of a competitive total, but they made the total count, taking early wickets and putting TKR under pressure.

Sunil Narine was run out by Lewis's direct hit at the striker's end without a run on the board, and in the next over with just two runs added, William Perkins (1) was adjudged caught down the leg-side off Australian seamer Ben Hilfenhaus.

TKR were then left tottering when Colin Munro was caught and bowled for five in the third over by Cottrell off a leading edge.

Darren Bravo, who stroked a brace of fours and sixes, revived the innings in a 36-run, fourth-wicket stand with Denesh Ramdin, who made 19.

But, once Ramdin fell at the end of the eighth over, the innings slumped again and not even Dwayne Bravo's cameo — inclusive of three sixes – could rescue the run chase.

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