McCullum and Knight Riders too hot for Tallawahs
McCullum score 91 in the TKR's eight victory of the campaign
A brilliant 91 from Brendon McCullum and a composed bowling performance from the Trinbago Knight Riders set up a 36-run victory over Jamaica Tallawahs in Match 24 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Saturday.
McCullum’s explosive 91 helped the Knight Riders equal the highest score this season of 208 - a total that proved too many for the Tallawahs despite a good batting pitch.
After being put into bat, the Knight Riders innings got off to the worst possible start when Sunil Narine picked out mid-off from the first ball of the innings, bowled by Krishmar Santokie.
This season the Knight Riders have not allowed early wickets to inhibit their stroke-play and here was no different.
Through a mixture of poor bowling and excellent batting McCullum and Colin Munro hit four boundaries each in the PowerPlay, taking the Knight Riders to 58 for 1 after six overs.
The end of the field restrictions did not slow the Knight Riders who took 34 off the three overs immediately after the PowerPlay, hitting one boundary an over and running proactively.
A partnership of 92 was ended off the last ball of the ninth over when Munro mis-timed Rovman Powell to long-on.
Darren Bravo hit the last ball of the tenth over for six to take the Knight Riders to 100 for 2 at the halfway stage.
The second half of the innings brought no letup in the scoring rate. A single on the off side took McCullum to his fifty off 35 balls.
His next scoring shot was an outrageous ramp shot off Odean Smith that went for six.
An explosive cameo from Darren Bravo of 28 off 13 balls propelled the Knight Riders through the late middle overs. After 15 overs they were 156 for 3.
The powerful Robbie Frylink only made 15 off 10 before holing out to long-on.
With McCullum approaching his century he was starved of the strike before eventually falling for 91 as he picked out long off against Williams.
A frenetic finish saw the Knight Riders blitz 17 off the last seven balls to end with 208.
In pursuit of 209 the Tallawahs innings got off to a disastrous start when Glenn Phillips was expertly stumped by Dinesh Ramdin after Nikita Miller’s second ball slid down the leg side.
Kumar Sangakkara responded to the loss of the early wicket in emphatic fashion hitting four fours in his first ten balls before an audacious inside out drive over cover off Narine for six.
Two tight overs followed but a critical sixth over was taken for 19 by Lendl Simmons, leaving the Tallawahs 61-1 after six overs and well and truly in the chase.
Sangakkara was lucky to be dropped three times—one only a half chance—early on in his innings, but he still had to capitalise on his good fortune.
A second six off the last ball of Narine’s second over took the Tallawahs to 80-1 after 8 overs and a swivel four took Sangakkara to his fifty.
An attempted ramp off Frylink was one shot too many and he was bowled for a superb 53.
The very next ball Simmons edged a leg cutter from Javon Searles through to Ramdin and the Knight Riders were in command once more.
A sparky cameo of 21 off 12 balls from Andre McCarthy rekindled Tallawahs hopes but they needed more than just cameos.
33 came from the four overs between 12 and 16 leaving the Tallawahs requiring an unlikely 60 from 24 balls.
It was then that two wickets in two balls from Searles, Mahmudullah caught for a painstaking 6 off 11 and then the key man of Powell caught behind, all but ended the match.
Defeat for the Tallawahs means that they have still not qualified for the Play Off stage with Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors in pursuit.