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TKR romps into CPL grand finale
Trinbago Knight Riders and Machel Montano sparked off wild celebrations in Tarouba on Friday night, as the local team romped into their second successive Hero CPL T20 final, with a 20-run victory over a Chris Gayle-led St. Kitts/Nevis Patriots at the Brian Lara Academy.
Knight Riders will now meet the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final today, looking to repeat as champions and collect their third CPL tournament.
The TKR bowlers made a score of 165 runs look like a mountain as they were able to restrict the Patriots to 145 for eight much to the delight of the 9,000 or so fans at the newest First Class venue in the Caribbean.
Brendan McCullum fought against a slow pitch to top score with 43, Colin Munroe made 29 and Denesh Ramdin a workmanlike 27 not out to give the TKR a fighting chance. Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed then bowled the spell of his life taking three wickets for 13 runs to dismantle the Patriots outfit.
Muhammad Ali Khan, who is now the darling of local fans started the demolition with the wicket of Gayle in the first over without scoring. As the World Boss walked off he carried with him the aspirations of his team and in the end, they just were not up for the fight. A valiant 32 not out off 19 balls by Fabien Allen and a brutal 33 by Brandon King off 22 balls kept the crowd quiet at times but it was always going to be the TKR night after their wonderful early work.
Earlier, Patriots won the toss and asked the host to take first knock. A new opening pair yet again was assembled and even before many fans could have gotten into the ground Ingram brought the first cheer with a wonderful drive through covers and for it he was rewarded with four runs.
Patriots struck soon after as Ingram was caught at third man for five with the score on eight.
The Kiwi pair of Brendan McCullum and Colin Munroe then got together and brought the TKR right back into the contest with a second wicket partnership of 71 off 51 balls. The two batted well on a slow pitch, taking the singles in between some brutal shots. Both fell within two runs of each other as Gayle removed McCullum for 43 off 26 balls with two fours and three sixes. Munroe fell to Ben Cutting for 29 off 31 balls with two fours and two sixes.
After that, the batsmen continued to struggle getting starts and not carrying on, as TKR ended on 165/6. Dwayne Bravo slammed an eight-ball 24, while Darren Bravo scored 20 and Denesh Ramdin 27 not out off 25 balls with two fours.
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