Hashim Amla, Dwayne Bravo star in Trinbago Knight Riders’ maiden win
Brief Scores: Trinbago Knight Riders 170/5 in 20 overs (Hashim Amla 81, Dwayne Bravo 66*; Akeal Hosein 2-18, Ravi Rampaul 2-33) beat Barbados Tridents 159/8 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 33, Shoaib Malik 28; Sunil Narine 2-21, Kevon Cooper 2-42 ) by 11 runs.
Having lost their opening encounter, Trinbago Knight Riders needed a win in order to gain some momentum in Caribbean Premier League 2016. A packed crowd, with scores of flags in black and red stripes, were in attendance during the Friday (July 1) night clash between the hosts and Barbados Tridents at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. It was a good day for them as the home side, led by a 150-run stand by Hashim Amla and Dwayne Bravo, registered a 11-run win.
With dew expected to play a part in the second innings, Kieron Pollard, Barbados Tridents captain, elected to field. There was not much to cheer in that for the home crowd, nor was there anything more in the first 20 minutes of play.
Brendon McCullum, who walked out to open the innings with Amla, made his intentions to attack clear off the first delivery of the match. Attempts to charge down the track and slog the ball over the boundary fence were nicely undone by Wayne Parnell in the first over. The variation in pace and length, in fact, stood out in his first spell as he executed specific strategies against batsmen well.
Meanwhile, McCullum’s stay was cut short in the second over by Akeal Hosein as he failed to connect a tossed up delivery by the left-armer, and allowed the ball to disturb his stumps. Soon enough, Hosein managed to hit the timber of another New Zealand batsman as Colin Munro played for the turn while the ball held its line.
However, it was in the fifth over when the waving flags and the noise levels in the crowd went down and panic set in. Ravi Rampaul, in a space of three deliveries, sent Darren Bravo and Umar Akmal – the highest scorers in the previous match – back to the pavilion. While the former was undone by a short-pitched delivery angled away, the latter was enticed to go for a drive and ended up getting an outside edge to the wicketkeeper. The score, in less than five overs, read 20 for 4.
In all this while, Amla was batting with no visible discomfort. He stayed at the crease and connected the ball cleanly. Dwayne Bravo, who walked out to bat at No 6, seemed set for a short stint at the wicket. But after a couple of mistimed inside-out shots, he resorted to a conservative approach, playing forward prods and presenting the dead bat. By the drinks break boundaries had dried up, but the duo had managed to offer some consolidation, taking the score to 54 with 10 overs remaining in the innings.
Soon after the drinks break, David Weise’s short-pitched delivery was met with Bravo’s thundered pull towards the midwicket fence for a boundary. The Trinbago Knight Riders skipper opened up to a wider range of strokes as his innings gained momentum thereafter.
Hosein, who had conceded only 13 off his first three overs, accounting for two wickets, was hard to put away with batsmen finding it difficult to counter his flat darted-deliveries. However, Bravo unleashed his favourite stroke – the shot over extra cover region for a boundary off the first ball of his second spell to take command of the one-on-one challenge.
Meanwhile, Amla was still finding it tough to find gaps and score as freely. His South African teammate Wayne Parnell troubled him with well-executed low full tosses that Amla couldn’t put away for long. However, when he eventually did, he clobbered two sixes off consecutive balls. Parnell, who had conceded 16 runs off his first three overs, ended up giving away 19 runs off his last.
The pace of the innings changed, and it led to Barbados Tridents bowlers feeling the heat. Their line and length ended up being a lot more wayward as the innings progressed. The bowlers conceded seven wides to add to the misery that was already being inflicted by the fifth-wicket stand. Amla’s 81-run knock came to an end off the last ball as he looked to swipe a quicker delivery by Shoaib Malik across the line and ended up getting castled. Nonetheless, by then, the 150-run stand had helped Trinbago reach 170, with Dwayne Bravo unbeaten on 66.
As observed in the previous match at the Queen’s Park Oval, 171 was a competitive target with the pitch easing out for batsmen in the second innings, and aided by dew.
Barbados Tridents openers – Steven Taylor and Kyle Hope – took an aggressive approach, often playing rash slogs, during the Powerplay. Fortunately for them, the move worked as they managed to put on 32 runs in the first 4 overs. To unsettle the duo, Bravo decided to use five different bowlers in the first five overs. It didn’t help matters much but when Hope fell in the sixth over, Trinbago found some hold in the second innings. Taking advantage of the dismissal, the hosts managed to pull the scoring rate back and add pressure to the chase.
Shoaib Mailk, who joined Taylor in the middle, preferred avoiding aerial shots. Taylor tried playing a few big shots unsuccessfully before eventually ending his run-a-ball knock with a mistimed heave that ended up in the hands of the long off fielder.
Malik and AB de Villiers looked to lay a stable platform for the late charge. But Barbados Tridents’ chase totally fell apart in the eight-ball period in which Malik, Pollard and de Villiers headed back to the pavilion. With 70 runs needed off the last five overs, despite the batting depth, the chase had become extremely stiff for the the visitors’ lower-middle order to pursue.
Wiese and Ashley Nurse joined the procession of wickets as the noise levels at the stadium reached its peak, at least for the day. Nicholas Pooran managed to hit a few big shots, but by then his 12-ball 33 had little use in context of the match. In the end, Barbados fell 11 runs short.