In a match that saw a record-matching 34 sixes, Trinbago Knight Riders beat St Lucia Stars in a high-scoring game in the Caribbean Premier League on Thursday night. Defending champions Knight Riders rode on a smashing end to the chase pioneered by Darren Bravo and Brendon McCullum which saw them hit 80 runs in 3 overs to chase down the target. It cancelled out Kieron Pollard’s first innings 50 from just 18 balls – fastest 50 this season. In 2016, 34 sixes were hit between Central Districts and Otago in New Zealand in December.
Batting first, St Lucia saw three batsmen hit fifties – David Warner (72*), Rahkeem Cornwall (53) and captain Kieron Pollard (65*) – but the eventual 212/2 was not good enough for the win. McCullum scored 68 and Bravo remained unbeaten on 94 to finish on 218/5. The defeat meant St Lucia have now gone winless in 15 matches.
Trinbago’s second win in four games has taken them to second spot in the CPL 2018 table behind Jamaica. Meanwhile, St Lucia are bottom of the table after losing their fourth in a row.
“It was a pretty good batting wicket, we obviously didn’t get off to a good start but McCullum and I got into a good partnership and that paid off,” said Bravo, the Player of the Match. “He knew his strengths and I knew my strengths, and we used the breeze flowing across the ground. He said he’ll take one end and I’ll keep doing it from mine.”
This isn’t the first time that Trinbago have been involved in a game that stretched to 200-plus scores. Earlier, against Jamaica Tallawahs, they had scored 223/6 but the Tallawahs had chased it down.
Warner didn’t go hammer and tongs at the top of the batting order with his 72 coming off 55 balls with four fours and three sixes, but he formed key partnerships with Cornwall and Pollard. Cornwall, on the other hand, hit two fours and five sixes for his 53 at a strike rate of 182.75. They shared a stand of 79 runs.
Upon Cornwall’s dismissal, Pollard walked in and smashed 65* in just 23 balls with one four and seven sixes. He played a big part in the partnership with Warner worth 84 runs in 5.2 overs.
In reply, Trinbago were two down with just 20 runs on the board and Colin Munro struggling to get going, St Lucia sensed an opportunity to end their barren run. But, McCullum disspelled all hopes with a smashing start. As Munro fell, Bravo joined the middle and that was start of the end for St Lucia.
In a memorable knock, Bravo hit six fours and 10 sixes in a stunning knock while putting together 137 runs alongside McCullum. Despite McCullum being dismissed for 68, Bravo didn’t lose his momentum. He reached his highest T20 score of 65 from just 36 balls scoring at a strike rate of 261.11. The tide turned significantly in Trinbago’s favour when Pollard’s last over – 16th in the chase – not gone for 32 runs which saw five sixes off Bravo’s bat.