Australia leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, the leading wicket-taker in this edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2018, bowled a brilliant spell to help Trinbago Knight Riders beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots by 20 runs in the semifinals.
Chasing a stiff target of 166, Nevis Patriots could manage 145 runs after losing eight wickets. Ahmed (3-13), Sunil Narine (2-21) and Ali Khan (1-21) gave away just 58 runs from their 12 overs and picked up six wickets to help their side defend the target.
Knight Riders, the regular season table-toppers, will be going for their third title in four years on Sunday when they take on Guyana Amazon Warriors, who beat them on Tuesday in the first qualification playoff, in Guyana. The Warriors have won their last two games against the Knight Riders, but Sunday’s clash is the one that matters
For Nevis Patriots, Devon Thomas (35), Brandon King (33) and Fabian Allen (32), made noticeable contributions. However, their knocks couldn’t help Nevis Patriots to seal the final spot.
After being put in to bat, the Knight Riders were indebted to the impetus provided by Brendon McCullum in the first half of the innings and skipper Dwayne Bravo in the second as they put 165/6 on the board.
McCullum was initially watchful as he assessed conditions at the Brian Lara Academy, reaching just 10 from 13 balls in the Power Play before exploding into life. He hit three sixes as he hammered 33 from his next 12 balls before misjudging a full delivery from Chris Gayle to be trapped plumb lbw.
Colin Munro made a steady 29 to take his season tally to 499, while Ramdin added 27 not out from 25 at the end of the innings. But Bravo was the man responsible for lifting the score beyond 160 as he continued his remarkable hitting form in this season’s CPL.
Tabraiz Shamsi had conceded just 18 runs from three overs before running into Bravo, who smashed three sixes from the left-arm wrist-spinner’s final over.
Upcoming Fixtures: Sunday 16 September – Final: Guyana Amazon Warriors v Trinbago Knight Riders, Brian Lara Stadium.