Trinbago Knight Riders went top of the CPL table with a four-wicket victory over Barbados Tridents in the 18th match of the season.
The defending champions had to toil hard to chase down a target of just 129, but got there to Brendon McCullum’s counter-punching 66 from 42 in a decisive 66-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Denesh Ramdin.
The Tridents were immediately placed on the back foot when losing three wickets in the second over of the night after opting to bat first and never truly recovered as they scrambled to 128/8 from their 20 overs.
Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran shared an enterprising 70-run partnership for the fourth wicket, but once Pooran was bowled the life was sucked out of the innings.
Fawad Ahmed removed Hope and Tion Webster, leaving Jason Holder to ensure the Tridents batted out their 20 overs.
Batting proved just as tough for the Knight Riders early on as Mohammad Irfan backed up Saturday night’s record-breaking one-run spell with more new-ball heroics for the Tridents.
Once again he dismissed both openers, just as he had against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, as Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine both perished to catches in the deep.
Colin Munro departed soon after for just 14 when bowled via the pad by Ashley Nurse. And when Darren Bravo miscued Raymon Reifer’s first delivery to deep midwicket the Knight Riders were 60/4 and the Tridents daring to dream.
The window of opportunity was brief, though, and soon slammed shut by McCullum. Things might have been different had Dwayne Smith accepted a simple catch at mid-wicket offered by Ramdin when his and McCullum’s ultimately match-winning partnership was in its infancy.
Both men fell with the victory line in sight, but the job was well and truly done by that stage with just three runs required and almost four overs to get them. Dwayne Bravo completed the formalities with a four through the covers.
While the Knight Riders jump from third to first in the standings, back-to-back defeats have left the Tridents with work to do to reach the play-offs.
The Knight Riders join Jamaica Tallawahs on eight points, but have a game in hand on the Tallawahs and a healthy net run-rate advantage.