Cricket

McCullum condemns Tridents to second home loss as TKR go top

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Man of the Match Brendon McCullum put Barbados Tridents to the sword with a ruthless half-century, as Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) marched to the top of the Caribbean Premier League standings with an easy four-wicket win here Sunday night.

Asked to chase a paltry 129, TKR silenced the Kensington Oval crowd by reaching their target in the 17th over, with New Zealander McCullum top-scoring with 66 off 42 deliveries to send Tridents to their second defeat in as many nights at the venue.

The match was in the balance at 60 for four in the 10th over but McCullum counter-attacked, slamming eight fours and three sixes to erase any doubt over the final result.

Tridents had earlier extended their concerning malaise with the bat when they were held to 128 for eight off their 20 overs, after opting to bat first in their fifth match of the campaign and second at home.

Shai Hope, promoted to the opening slot, top-scored with 42, while left-hander Nicholas Pooan struck 34 and Jason Holder, 30.

But leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed (2-13), medium pacer Dwayne Bravo (2-23) and left-arm spinner Khary Pierre (2-29) all grabbed three wickets as Tridents stuttered and stumbled throughout their innings.

The victory moved TKR to eight points — ahead of second-placed Jamaica Tallawahs only on net run rate — while Tridents remained fifth on four points with three defeats in their last four games.

Playing before a near-capacity crowd, Tridents endured a nightmare start when they lost Dwayne Smith (2), Shamar Springer (0), and Steve Smith (0) in the second over to plunge to three runs for three wickets.

Dwayne Smith was bowled by a full-length delivery from Pierre; Springer was run out off the first ball he faced advancing too far down for a non-existent single before Steve Smith played across and was drawn from his crease, allowing for Denesh Ramdin to complete a smart stumping.

Hope then struck five fours in a measured 34-ball knock, while Pooran belted three fours and a couple of sixes off 21 deliveries in a 70-run, fourth-wicket stand which halted the slide.

Tridents were rebuilding well when Pooran missed a Dwayne Bravo slower ball and was bowled in the ninth over, leaving the innings stalling at 80 for four at the halfway mark.

Hope eventually perished in the 13th over, bowled playing back to a googly from Fawad and Tridents lost four wickets for 32 runs as the last 10 overs yielded a disappointing 48 runs.

TKR started shakily when Chris Lynn (8) skied left-arm pacer Mohammed Irfan (2-24) to Holder at mid-off in the third over and Sunil Narine (13) miscued to Wahab Riaz also at mid-off in Irfan's next over.

When Colin Munro played on to off-spinner Ashley Nurse in the sixth over TKR were losing their way at 37 for three, but McCullum transformed the innings with a typical display of aggressive batting.

First, he added 23 for the fourth wicket with Darren Bravo (2) before putting the game beyond the Tridents' reach in a 66-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Ramdin (20).

Tridents had only themselves to blame, however. Holder dropped McCullum on two on the follow-through in the seventh over, Dwayne Smith dropped an absolute sitter at short mid-wicket when Ramdin had scored just one in the 11th over and left-armer Raymon Reifer also put down the former West Indies captain in the next over off a return catch when the batsman had scored five.

The abject display only added to the Tridents' woes, leaving their campign struggling for momentum.

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