The Barbados Tridents reached the final of the 2019 Caribbean Premier League with a 12-run win over Trinidad and Tobago Knight Riders under the lights, and mired in dew, at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago tonight.
Asked to bat first by the Knight Riders’ captain Kieron Pollard, the Barbados Tridents reached 160 for 6 in their 20 overs and dismissed their hosts for 148 in the final over.
The pitch was slow and not the ideal surface to bat and this was reflected in the Tridents’ top score being a 41-ball 35 from Johnson Charles at the top of the order. Tridents might have opened the innings with Shai Hope but persisted with the woefully out-of-form Alex Hales to partner Johnson. Those two got off to a sluggish start and reached 27 in the fifth over bowled by Khary Pierre before the Englishman was out to an awful shot. Rather than push a ball angled into his stumps straight down the ground, Hales played a clumsy waft across the line and was bowled for 10 off 11 balls.
Shakib Al Hasan filled the breach and looked in little bother as he and Charles took the innings into the ninth over as the Tridents reached 50 with the Bangladeshi’s straight, flat six into the sightscreen. Al Hasan had proceeded to 18 off 12 balls when he tried to repeat the six-hit off the last ball of Pierre’s over but mistimed it badly. Pierre ran back about 20 yards to take a brilliant diving catch off his own bowling.
Charles had been holding the innings together, even if somewhat slowly and after having survived a drop catch on zero by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin off the second ball of the first over of the innings delivered by medium-pacer Javon Scantlebury-Searles. Charles had another slice of good fortune in the third over bowled by Scantlebury-Searles when his mistimed flick landed between Lendl Simmons and Chris Jordan at mid-on as they looked to each other to take the chance.
With the situation crying out for Charles to bat deep into the innings, his luck finally ran out off the third ball of the 12th over when a half-hearted attempt to clear mid-off fell into the adhesive clutches of Jordan. JP Duminy had returned to the dug-out in the same over for 10 after seemingly tweaking a hamstring.
Hope, who batted at number five and looked assured in reaching 23 off 18 balls that included two fours and a superb straight six off Narine, was dismissed in the 18th over to a delivery bowled at 148.1 kph by the speedy American quick Ali Khan. He tried to hit a lifting delivery through cover but instead gave an easy catch to Pollard at extra-cover. Hope had tried to maintain the momentum of the innings after losing both Jonathan Carter (4 from 7 balls) and captain Jason Holder (1 from 2 balls) to innocuous strokes in the 15th over bowled by Jordan.
Hope’s dismissal, however, left the Tridents at a very inadequate 112 for 6 and the
prospect of a challenging score looking increasingly remote. But Raymon Reifer, who has played a number of cameos during this year’s CPL, and Ashley Nurse, launched a furious attack on the Knight Riders in the last two overs bowled by Jordan and Khan. In the 19th over Jordan went for 23 runs with the dew factor obviously affecting his grip on the ball. Nurse and Reifer hit him for a six apiece and he conceded five runs off a no-ball beamer that went to the boundary.
Nurse then started and ended Khan’s over with sixes as the 20th went for 19 runs. The last two overs went for 42 runs and Reifer and Nurse had batted splendidly in a crucial 7th wicket partnership of 48. Reifer ended unbeaten on 24 from 18 balls with two sixes and Nurse’s similar tally took him only nine balls and he plundered three sixes. Pierre had figures of 2 for 25 and was the pick of the bowlers but Narine was parsimonious as usual going for only 19 runs in his four overs.
The Knight Riders got off to a poor start losing Simmons for 1 in the second over bowled by Holder and in the next over bowled by Harry Gurney, Narine, who had taken Al Hasan for four boundaries in the first over of the innings, was foxed by the Englishman’s slower ball and skied a shot that Hope took comfortably.
Knight Riders continued to lose wickets steadily and by the 10th over had been reduced to 62 for 4 with Colin Munro (16) and the struggling Darren Bravo (2) dismissed by leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr. and Nurse respectively. Nurse had an excellent night. After his batting blaze he returned to bowl his four overs on the trot, took two wickets and conceded a miserly 14 runs. Ramdin and Pollard took the score to 81 before a brain freeze saw the former West Indies wicketkeeper sky an unnecessary strike to Holder at long-on after making 21.
While home fans looked to Pollard to take them over the line it was Sri Lankan veteran Seekkuge Prasanna who started to thrash the Tridents’ bowling around the park. They added 39 before Pollard was run out for 23 in the 16th over with the score 120 for 6. Prasanna took over proceedings with his first half-century of the tournament, brought up in 22 balls with four massive sixes, one of which hit the roof, and four fours.
Both Jordan and Scantlebury-Searles came and went; Walsh Jr. taking care of the former and Gurney the latter. Gurney bowled the penultimate over and conceded only six runs leaving Reifer to defend 14 runs in the final over. And defend it he did. An excellent yorker off the first ball got rid of the dangerous Prasanna and the southpaw medium-pacer ended the contest two balls later when he had Pierre caught by Hales at mid-on. Gurney finished with 2 for 31, Walsh Jr. 2 for 33 and Reifer 2 for 13 in 1.3 overs.
Nurse was named Man-of-the-Match.