St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured a commanding 42-run victory over defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders at the Queen’s Park Oval to open their account.
Carlos Brathwaite brought back memories of his 2016 ICC World Twenty20 final heroics with a six-laden cameo that helped fire the Patriots past 200. His 41 in just 15 balls was the key to lifting the Patriots to 203/7. He later removed in-form Colin Munro with the ball as the Knight Riders ended their first home leg of CPL 2018 with only one win from three games.
By the time Munro fell, the Knight Riders had already lost Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum for just 10 runs between them. With nobody to reproduce Andre Russell’s heroics from the night before, there was no way back for Trinbago from 56/4.
Denesh Ramdin then fell to Jeremiah Louis to leave the Bravos to try and rescue something for the home side. Dwayne Bravo fell soon after in desperate search of another boundary, while Darren also holed out having never truly got going in a stop-start innings of 41 from 38.
Some late hitting from Kevon Cooper (42* off 22) did nothing more than restore a modicum of respectability for the Knight Riders.
Earlier, Ali Khan, one of the breakout stars from the first week of action, made another stunning start with two wickets in the first four balls of the Patriots’ innings.
Chris Gayle was circumspect as he and Devon Thomas set about rebuilding from that double setback, but was then dismissed just as he threatened to cut loose.
Having hit Dwayne Bravo for successive sixes, Gayle fell to Kevon Cooper in the very next over as he sliced an attempted leg-side heave to Ali Khan at long-on. After dropping Russell to such cost 24 hours earlier, the American this time made no mistake.
Thomas, meanwhile, was batting beautifully and reached a classy 28-ball half-century – his first in T20 cricket – with successive fours off Dwayne Bravo.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, though, with Anton Devcich, Thomas himself and Mahmudullah all departing. But that brought Ben Cutting and Brathwaite together for an explosive conclusion to the innings. In all, 56 came from the last three overs of the innings with Brathwaite the chief destroyer until he too fell to the persevering Ali Khan, whose 3/23 did not deserve to come in a losing cause.