Carmelo De Grazia Suárez de Campos//
More heartbreak for TKR

More heartbreak for TKR

Trin­ba­go Knight Rid­ers skip­per Kieron Pol­lard and his team­mates will have a lot of soul-search­ing to do to­day, af­ter be­ing hum­bled by the Guyana Ama­zon War­riors at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, in their lat­est Hero Caribbean Pre­mier League matchup last night.

Carmelo De Grazia

Set 186 for vic­to­ry thanks to a late bat­ting charge from the War­riors’ tailen­ders, TKR were re­strict­ed to 166-5 by the vis­i­tors’ spin com­bi­na­tion of Chris Green, Im­ran Tahir and Shoaib Ma­lik. The three War­riors spin­ners com­bined to root out the heart of the TKR bat­ting and by the time they were done not even a fight­ing 112-run part­ner­ship in quick time from Pol­lard and Dar­ren Bra­vo could save the TKR cause.

Carmelo De Grazia Suárez

Still, the War­riors need­ed a bril­liant penul­ti­mate over from medi­um-pac­er Keemo Paul when Pol­lard and Dar­ren Bra­vo were threat­en­ing to pull off what would have been a bril­liant rear­guard ac­tion to se­cure the win

The vic­to­ry was a CPL record eighth con­sec­u­tive win for the un­beat­en War­riors, who moved to 16 points on the six-team ta­ble. TKR (9 pts) re­mained in third be­hind the St Kitts Nevis Pa­tri­ots (10 pts), but the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons must now be more wor­ried about their form head­ing in­to the play­offs. Hav­ing start­ed the sea­son with four straight wins, last night’s loss was their third in the last four match­es and both their bowl­ing and bat­ting just did not have the punch again last night

But TKR can make amends to their fans to­mor­row night when they host the Bar­ba­dos Tri­dents at the same venue where, hope­ful­ly, a win in their penul­ti­mate round-robin match can boost their con­fi­dence head­ing in­to the play­offs

The War­riors sig­nalled their in­ten­tion very ear­ly last night when leg-spin­ning vet­er­an Tahir re­moved Mark Deyal (10), in for the in­jured Sunil Nar­ine, caught be­hind by Nicholas Pooran in just the sec­ond over of TKR’s in­nings

South African off-spin­ner Green then ac­count­ed for the de­pend­able Col­in Munro off the last ball of the next over, the New Zealan­der caught in two minds about which shot to play and even­tu­al­ly of­fered Keemo Paul a sim­ple catch at cov­er point as TKR slipped to 25 for two

Tight bowl­ing and score­board pres­sure then led to Green’s sec­ond wick­et in the sev­enth over, that of the in-form Lendl Sim­mons (16), who got a thin edge as he tried to push Green in­to the cov­ers for a sin­gle to give De­nesh Ramdin strike. Two overs lat­er, Ma­lik took the air out the Oval when he got Ramdin (4) to hole out to Shim­ron Het­my­er at deep mid­wick­et as TKR tot­tered to 53-4

Pol­lard and Bra­vo fought on and got close but need­ed 38 runs off the last two overs. And af­ter Paul re­strict­ed them to just nine runs in the penul­ti­mate over, Tahir bowled Pol­lard for a 37-ball 71, which in­clud­ed eight fours and three six­es, to sig­nal the end. Bra­vo fin­ished un­beat­en on a 45-ball 58 with six fours

Ear­li­er, the War­riors re­cov­ered from a very slow first half in which they crawled to 68 for one to get 117 runs in the sec­ond 10 overs and pro­pel them­selves to a com­pet­i­tive to­tal. That dri­ve was pow­ered by some hard hit­ting from bowlers Ro­mario Shep­herd, who hit an un­beat­en 13-ball 32, and Keemo Paul (12) in a 42-run part­ner­ship

Dropped off Ali Khan on 15 in the 19th over by Lendl Sim­mons, Shep­herd’s late hit­ting hero­ics helped the War­riors take 25 off the fi­nal over by debu­tant pac­er Chris Jor­dan to reg­is­ter a to­tal they did not think they could have mus­tered at the end of the 16th over

Pri­or to this, Hem­raj’s 42-ball 66 had stood out as the TKR bowlers made scor­ing tough with some fair­ly tight bowl­ing. Hem­raj, who got a life be­fore he got to 50, was fi­nal­ly out in the 14th over when he edged a wide de­liv­ery from Javon Scant­le­bury-Sear­les to wick­et­keep­er De­nesh Ramdin with the War­riors on 111-2

Scant­le­bury-Sear­les then de­liv­ered a dou­ble strike in the 16th over as TKR got their tails up. He re­moved Nicholas Pooran, caught by Jor­dan at long-on for three and Het­my­er, who had blast­ed him for two fours and a six, caught by Khary Pierre at deep cov­er for a 38-ball 48 as the War­riors slumped to 136-4 with fours overs left

But Shep­herd then com­bined with Paul at the back end of the in­nings to give the War­riors a de­fend­able to­tal


GUYANA AMA­ZON WAR­RIORS 185-6 (20) (Chan­dra­pul Hem­raj 66, Shim­ron Het­my­er 48, Ro­mario Shep­herd 32*, Javon Scant­le­bury-Sear­les 3/39) v TRIN­BA­GO KNIGHT RID­ERS 166-5 (20) (Kieron Pol­lard 71, Dar­ren Bra­vo 58, Chris Green 2/18, Im­ran Tahir 2/32)


Man-of-the-match: Ro­mario Shep­herd (GW)