Thursday 1 October, 2020

VIDEO: Simmons hits 96 to lead Knight Riders to eighth win in a row

Lendl  Simmons  of  Trinbago  Knight  Riders  hits  a six  during  Match No. 23 of the  Hero  Caribbean  Premier League against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.  (Photo by Randy Brooks - CPL T20/CPL T20 via Getty Images).

Lendl Simmons of Trinbago Knight Riders hits a six during Match No. 23 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad on Wednesday, September 2, 2020. (Photo by Randy Brooks - CPL T20/CPL T20 via Getty Images).

Trinbago Knight Riders made it eight wins in eight matches in the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) following a 59-run victory over St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on Wednesday at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

The Knight Riders rested captain Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Fawad Ahmed and Jayden Seales for the match.

Sent in to bat, the Knight Riders made 174 for four as Lendl Simmons returned to form with 96 from 63 balls.  Needing 175 for victory, the Patriots slumped from 83 for three to 94 for six and were eventually restricted to 117 for seven off their allotted 20 overs with off-spinner Sikandar Raza taking three for 15 from three overs.

The Patriots paired Sheldon Cottrell and Alzarri Joseph with the new ball, but they leaked boundaries to Simmons and Amir Jangoo. But Jangoo’s senior T20 debut was cut short by an excellent pick-up and throw by Cottrell, off his own bowling, to run him out for six.

Joseph hit Colin Munro on the hand, and when play resumed after a short shower Munro was unable to continue. Simmons took 11 off Rayad Emrit including a six, and then lofted Jon-Russ Jaggesar over midwicket. He followed up with a cut for four, and the Knight Riders were well set at 52 for one off the powerplay.

Jaggesar and Dominic Drakes kept the Knight Riders boundary-less between the powerplay and drinks, and Darren Bravo edged just short of Chris Lynn at short third man. At the halfway the Knight Riders had only progressed to 68 for one.

Simmons and Darren Bravo managed only singles off Emrit. Joseph hit Darren Bravo in the head, but all was well, and the batsman ended a 35 ball streak without a boundary with a pull for four. Simmons too broke free, pulling Emrit for another six, before bringing up 50 off 42 balls with a single.

Simmons hitting Jaggesar straight over his head for his fourth sixth to bring up the Knight Riders 100, then cut for four as they took 15 off the over. Emrit went to Cottrell, but he went for 17 as Darren Bravo lofted a six and Simmons picked up two fours. After 15 overs, the Knight Riders were 125 for one.

Darren Bravo also hit Dominic Drakes for six, bringing up the 100 partnership off just 66 balls. Simmons pulled another six and Darren Bravo creamed a four through extra-cover, making the 16th over another productive one. Emrit went for just four off his last, and Joseph started the 18th well, but Simmons bludgeoned two sixes to take himself into the 90s and the Knight Riders past 150.

A Patriots bowler finally got a wicket, Cottrell getting Darren Bravo strangled down the leg-side in a good 19th over that went for just three. Darren Bravo made a run-a-ball 36.

Drakes got two wickets in two balls - Simmons and Tim Seifert.

Simmons pulled to Cottrell to fall four runs short of a century and Seifert got an edge and was well caught by Chris Lynn. Sikandar Raza survived the hat-trick ball, and stand-in captain Dwayne Bravo smashed the last ball of the innings for a six.

Akeal Hosein and Khary Pierre took the new ball for the Knight Riders, and the latter picked up the dangerous Evin Lewis for five. Pravin Tambe, belying his 48 years, took an athletic catch to dismiss Lewis.

Lynn and Joshua da Silva broke free off Pierre, each hitting a six with Da Silva also sweeping for four, but even an over of 18 only took the Patriots to 34 for one after six.

Tambe and Anderson Phillip put the squeeze back on, with only one boundary between the powerplay and drinks, and at the halfway stage, the Patriots needed almost 12 an over. A Tambe maiden pushed that above 13, and with Da Silva going at barely a run a ball and Lynn going at well under four an over there had to be an acceleration soon.

It didn’t come off Dwayne Bravo, and while Da Silva drove Tambe for four, he was deceived by the Indian leg-spinner and drove a catch back to the bowler and was caught for 29.  At the end of Tambe’s outstanding spell, the Patriots were 67 for two off 13 and needed well over 15 an over.

Lynn climbed into a Dwayne Bravo full toss, but then sliced high in the air and was well caught by Raza for 34 to end a disappointing innings.

Ben Dunk smashed Raza’s first ball for four but off his second got a reverse sweep all wrong and popped up a simple catch to Seifert. With five overs left, Drakes and Denesh Ramdin were staring at a required run rate of 18. 

That figure jumped above 20 as Pierre’s last over went for just seven, and Ramdin, on four, could only find midwicket when he tried to take on Raza. The bowler did the work himself to pick up his third, taking a good diving caught-and-bowled as Drakes toe-ended an attempted straight hit and was out for  seven.  After 17 overs, Raza had figures of three for eight and the Patriots needed 27 an over.

Akeal Hosein picked up a deserved wicket late in his spell, getting Joseph stumped with one flung wide of off-stump. He celebrated by running to hug his childhood friend Pierre. Imran Khan found himself with three slips for company as Hosein finished off the 18th over, and the game was now out of the reach of the Patriots.

Rayad Emrit added to the six charity fund off Phillip’s 20th, but the Patriots didn't come close to winning this one, and the Knight Riders had made it eight wins from eight without breaking sweat.

The Patriots are all but knocked out of a semi-final contention.

SUMMARISED SCORES:

Trinbago Knight Riders 174/4 (Simmons 96, DM Bravo 36; Drakes 2/35, Cottrell 1/32).

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 115/7 (Lynn 34, da Silva 29; Raza 3/15, Tambe 1/12, Hosein 1/15, DJ Bravo 1/17).

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