Knight Riders win thriller over Patriots

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Denesh Ramdin struck an unbeaten half-century as Trinbago Knight Riders pulled off a four-wicket win over St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, and ended the visitors’ three-match unbeaten run last night.

In pursuit of 159 for victory at Queen’s Park Oval, the tournament leaders were stumbling at 89 for five in the 14th over but recovered through Ramdin’s superb 59 not out to reach their target with three balls to spare.

Denesh Ramdin celebrates after leading Knight Riders to victory.

New Zealander Colin Munro chimed in with 36 while Afghan off-spinner Mohammad Nabi (2-12) and leg-spinner Samuel Badree (2-14) picked up two wickets apiece.

Patriots had earlier posted 158 for seven off their 20 overs after being sent in, with opener Shamarh Brooks striking 37 and fellow Barbadian Jonathan Carter, 31.

Champion off-spinner Sunil Narine was the best bowler with two for 26.

The victory was TKR’s fifth in six outings and it saw them take a giant step towards the playoffs, moving four points clear at the top of the standings on 10 points.

Patriots remained second on six points.

The visitors were hurt by the early loss of talismanic opener Chris Gayle when the left-hander nicked one from Narine to be caught at slip by captain Dwayne Bravo for four with the score on 14 for one in the third over.

Brooks, who faced 32 balls and struck a four and a pair of sixes, put on 38 for the second wicket with Mohammad Hafeez (13) to rejuvenate the innings.

When Hafeez was run out by Kevon Cooper’s excellent work in the deep in the ninth over at 52 for two, Brooks added a further 23 for the third wicket with Brandon King (9) before becoming one of two wickets to fall for 20 runs in the space of 19 deliveries.

It was left to Carter, with three fours and a six off 26 balls and Carlos Brathwaite, with a 12-ball 19, to give the innings a late surge.

Patriots then struck key blows, removing Narine (5), McCullum (16) and Darren Bravo (1) cheapy with just 42 runs on the board in the seventh over as TKR stumbled.

Munro, who lashed three fours and a six off 30 balls, added 30 for the fourth wicket with Ramdin before being brilliantly taken at cover point by Hasan Ali off Badree in the 12th over.

When Shadab Khan perished in the 14th over for three, T&T appeared headed for defeat but Ramdin then anchored two stands to see the hosts home.

The right-hander, who earned Man-of-the-Match honours, punched two fours and four sixes off 35 balls, adding 41 for the sixth-wicket with captain Dwayne Bravo (20) and 31 in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand with Javon Searles, who finished 12 not out. 

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