TAROUBA, Trinidad – Lendl Simmons perished agonisingly short of three figures to end a poor run of form as Trinbago Knight Riders marched to their eighth straight win with a dominant 59-run victory over bottom dwellers St Kitts and Nevis Patriots today.
The right-hander, with only 114 runs from his seven innings prior, carved out a scintillating 96 off 63 balls to propel TKR to 174 for four off their 20 overs at the Brian Lara Stadium.
Simmons struck seven fours and half-dozen sixes but fell at the start of the final over to miss out on a second Twenty20 hundred.
Patriots never threatened in reply and subsided timidly to 115 for seven off their 20 overs, to chalk up a dismal seventh defeat in eight matches.
Australian opener Chris Lynn top-scored with 34 while Joshua Da Silva chipped in with 29 but no other top order batsman saw double figures.
It was Zimbabwean off-spinner Sikandar Raza who hurt the Patriots innings, scything through the middle order to finish with three for 15 from his three overs.
Fielding a changed side with captain Kieron Pollard and off-spinner Sunil Narine rested, TKR started shakily when Amir Jangoo fell for six in the third over, run out at the non-striker’s end after failing to beat bowler’s Sheldon Cottrell’s direct throw.
When Colin Munro retired hurt in the next over for nine, TKR were only 29 and in need of a jump start and got it through Simmons.
Finding an ally in Darren Bravo, he added a further 130 for the second wicket to put TKR in complete command of the contest.
The first half of Simmons’ innings was a measured effort but reached his half-century in the 13th over when he cleared the ropes at long on with medium pacer Rayad Emrit and then clipped a single into the same area.
He then chanced his arm, taking 15 runs from the next over by off-spinner Jon-Russ Jaggesar before helping to take 17 from the 16th over from Cottrell.
Bravo struck two fours and two sixes in a run-a-ball 36 before falling in the penultimate over and Simmons was one of two wickets to fall in the last over to left-arm pacer Dominic Drakes (2-35).
Requiring a huge effort to break out of their slump, Patriots suffered a massive blow in the second over when leading batsman Evin Lewis was taken at point off left-arm spinner Khary Pierre for just five.
Lynn and Da Silva then combined in a 57-run, second wicket stand which stabilised the innings, but the partnership required 64 deliveries and the required run rate had jumped to 14 by the end of the 12th over.
Da Silva, who faced 27 balls and counted two fours and a six, tried to accelerate the scoring but succeeded only in driving a return catch to 48-year-old Pravin Tambe in the 13th over.
And once Lynn, who hit a four and two sixes in a 46-ball struggle, holed out in the deep off medium pacer Dwayne Bravo in the 14th over, the Patriots innings tailed off further. (CMC)