CPL 2017, Qualifier 1, TKR vs SNP, Review: Clinical Patriots trounce Knight Riders by 38 runs to reach the final

CPL 2017, Qualifier 1, TKR vs SNP, Review: Clinical Patriots trounce Knight Riders by 38 runs to reach the final

Patriots defeated the hosts by 38 runs in the first qualifier.

Chris Gayle receives the power shot prize
Chris Gayle receives the power shot prize. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20 via Getty Images)

The first qualifier of Caribbean Premier League (CPL) this year was played between two of the most popular cricketers, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. The captains of their respective sides, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Trinbago Knight Riders, clashed for the third time this season. Knight Riders were leading the face to face battle 2-0 as they had won both the previous games comfortably. But Gayle led side came out triumphant when it mattered the most and won the first qualifier by 38 runs to secure a spot in the final.

The match was played at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad where the tournament is eventually going to conclude. The hosts won the toss and as expected decided to chase in an all important game. Daniel Christian, the replacement for their regular skipper Brendon McCullum, was drafted into the eleven straight away ahead of Robert Frylinck. Patriots didn’t disturb their team which beat Tridents a couple of days ago and kept Samuel Badree on the sidelines surprisingly.

The successful opening pair of Gayle and Evin Lewis came out to give a blazing start to their side. But Ronsford Beaton scalped the latter in the third over itself to rock the visitors early. Mohammad Hafeez then joined his skipper to consolidate and added some useful runs before being foxed by Cooper soon after the powerplay. Gayle was struggling to get any momentum as Brandon King added a quick fire 30 after a slow start but the run rate never went over 7. In the 14th over, the scoreboard read 90/3 with the skipper and Carlos Brathwaite at the crease.

Knight Riders continued to keep a check on their scoring as the visitors lost 3 wickets in the space of 8 deliveries leading into the final over. Gayle battled his way throughout the innings and remained unbeaten on 54 off 51 balls, very unlike of him. But the skipper made sure his team posted a competitive total on the board with 17 runs off the final over from Bravo. Patriots finished their innings on 149/7. Ronsford Beaton was the pick of the bowlers in terms of economy with 2/22 and the captain Bravo was excellent with his variations and returned with 4/38.

The painful chase

The top order of the hosts was sent packing by the Patriots in their defence of 149 with hardly any runs on the board. Sunil Narine was run out in the first over without facing a ball; William Perkins and Colin Munro were scalped by Ben Hilfenhaus and Sheldon Cottrell. Denesh Ramdin and Darren Bravo tried to stabilise the innings but the asking rate kept soaring. But after adding 36 runs, Brathwaite dismissed the former as Gayle completed a rather easy catch. Soon Bravo found himself short of the crease and Christian followed suit as Hafeez trapped him in front of the stumps to reduce Trinbago to 59/6 after 12 overs.

The chase was all but over for the hosts but that didn’t deter their skipper from putting up a fight. Dwayne came to the middle and hit some lusty blows, cleared the ropes thrice. But Patriots never let him settle as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Cottrell returned to scalp Bravo to put an end to the slightest of hopes much to the delight of Patriots’ fans. The table toppers were bundled out for a mere 111, the Nelson, to seal the deal and booked their place in the mega finale.

The visitors were excellent with the ball as 6 out of their 7 bowlers picked wickets and never let the hosts off the hook. Sheldon Cottrell produced a special performance on the night with the wickets of Colin Munro, Dwayne Bravo and Javon Searles. Gayle, as a skipper, led from the front with 54 runs, 2 catches and 1 wicket in the last over which was the perfect finish to the game.

Now the Knight Riders will face the winner between Guyana Amazon Warriors and Jamaica Tallawahs in the qualifier 2. St. Kitts will watch all the fun as they sit pretty now waiting for the other finalist. The title clash is on 10th September as the biggest party in the sport concludes.

Brief Scores

St. Kitts Nevis and Patriots: 149/7 in 20 overs (Gayle 54*, Bravo 4/38, Beaton 2/22)

Trinbago Knight Riders: 111/10 in 19.3 overs (Darren Bravo 29, Cottrell 3/17, Hafeez 1/11)

St. Kitts Nevis and Patriots won by 38 runs

Man of the Match: Chris Gayle