A rapid half century from Colin Munro propelled Trinbago Knight Riders to a seven wicket victory against Guyana Amazon Warriors in Match 9 of the 2017 Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
The Knight Riders pulled off the highest run-chase of the season so far of 157 to pull clear at the top of the CPL table.
The Knight Riders innings got off to the worst possible start when Brendon McCullum slashed the first ball of the innings from Sohail Tanvir straight to Ganjanand Singh at point. Sunil Narine and Colin Munro wasted little time consolidating, keen to maximise the benefits of a hard new ball and the fielding restrictions.
Munro was the chief destroyer, peppering the leg-side boundary when Tanvir strayed too straight and manufacturing room to hit on the off side against the off-spinner Steven Jacobs. Narine’s two boundaries—a driven four in the first over and a slog swept six in the sixth over—bookended a PowerPlay in which the Knight Riders blitzed 72, reducing the run rate to a run-a-ball.
Despite Narine’s dismissal—caught for 23 off 22—the Knight Riders seemed in control of the chase with Munro reaching his fifty off 23 balls. However, an 11th over maiden by Rashid Khan increased the pressure once more and a series of tight overs followed, adjusting the equation to 50 off 36.
Just as the match threatened to turn however, Dinesh Ramdin found the boundary three times in seven balls bringing the match back in their favour. Munro’s first boundary since the ninth over—a heaved leg side six off the last ball of the 18th over, reduced the equation to 9 off 12 and two sixes from Ramdin in the next over sealed an impressive victory with an over to spare.
Earlier in the evening the Amazon Warriors battled really hard to make their way to 156 for 7 – the highest first innings total in six matches at the Queen’s Park Oval.
After a tight first over from Khary Pierre, Martin Guptill got stuck into Robbie Frylink’s second over, taking 26 off it. Chadwick Walton looked to match Guptill in the third over, twice punishing short balls from Pierre for boundaries taking the Amazon Warriors to 40 for 0 after 3 overs.
Guptill fell to Shadab Khan’s first ball when he was superbly caught in the deep by Pierre, who fielded brilliantly all innings – taking three catches. With Guptill’s wicket so too went Amazon Warriors early momentum. In his first over of the match Sunil Narine trapped Babar Azam leg before wicket with a sharp turning off break. Just 11 came from the second three overs of the Powerplay.
The innings was given fresh impetus when Walton struck back-to-back sixes off Pierre and a wayward first over from Dwayne Bravo cost nine, however Walton’s demise—caught off a slower ball from Cooper led to a shift in momentum once more.
In the following seven overs the Amazon Warriors added just 29 for 3 as the Knight Riders off-pace bowlers squeezed the visitors. Cooper, Shadab and Narine collecting one wicket each.
After 15 overs the Amazon Warriors were just 104 for 5 and the Knight Riders may have expected the lower-order subside with Narine, Shadab and Bravo all with overs remaining.
However, the Amazon Warriors—through a mixture of power-hitting and good fortune—elevated themselves to 156 for 7, with 25 coming from the final two overs. Keemo Paul and Rayad Emrit scored 25 off 13 between them. Two wickets in an over for Shadab gave him four in the innings and took his season tally to eight.