Narine, Pollard star as Trinbago Knight Riders secure home qualifier

West Indies
Kieron Pollard gave it a good whack © CPL T20/Getty Images

Trinbago Knight Riders 128 for 4 (Simmons 51, Ramdin 32*, Pollard 26*, Joseph 1-17) beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 125 for 7 (Evans 55, Jordan 3-30, Narine 2-10) by six wickets

Defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders launched CPL 2019 with four wins in a row, but they suddenly cooled off, going winless in their last six games in the lead-up to the playoffs. Knight Riders’ slump coincided with Sunil Narine suffering a recurrence of a finger injury. In the Eliminator against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots at the Providence, Narine – injured finger and all – marked his comeback with 2 for 10 in his four overs to limit Patriots to 125 for 7 on a sluggish track under overcast skies.

During a sideline interview, Patriots’ coach Robin Singh was critical of his batsmen, saying: “You can’t let a guy who has a broken finger end with 2 for 9 [sic 10] in four overs.”

Patriots’ bowlers then briefly made their total look bigger with clever pace variations and despite Lendl Simmons‘ stop-start half-century – his fifth this season – Knight Riders fell behind the asking rate on a pitch where stoke-making was difficult.

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

When Simmons holed out for 51 in the 16th over, TKR still needed 48 off 27 balls. Enter captain Kieron Pollard. He had injured his quadricep in the outfield in the first innings, but he roused himself to smash 26 off nine balls to lead his side into the second qualifier at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, the same venue where they had won back-to-back titles in 2018.

Full report to follow…

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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