In what was a match of fine margins and errors, we gave it our all till the very end in a well-fought battle against the Patriots. Andre Fletcher stole the show with his 93 of 64 balls but the spirit we showed throughout the game was commendable, taking it to the penultimate ball of the match.
After winning the toss, Patriots skipper Evin Lewis decided to bowl first, keeping the morning game and moisture on the field factor in mind. The average score on the venue had been 140 and the Kings did an excellent job surpassing that total.
We made a steady start with our recently formed opening pair at the crease. The last time these two opened the innings, Colin Munro and Johnson Charles put up a record first-wicket partnership of 97 runs for this season. Similar to the last game, Munro was dropped in the third over. The Kiwi was outwitted against the bowling of Ashmead Nedd with a slower ball but the fielder couldn't get there, in what could be said was half a chance.
However, in the same over, Nedd got his man, when Munro miscued another shot, getting out for just 10. Faf’s replacement never looked at ease at the crease and wasn't able to continue the momentum he built from the last game. The Patriots were starting to pile pressure on us with a lack of runs in the powerplay resulting in another wicket in the 5th over, this time with Sean Williams getting run out for just 1 run.
Nedd was on a roll after he got his second in the 5th over and we lost our third wicket. Roston Chase was initially given not out by the umpire in what was claimed by the Patriots as a bizarre decision. DRS couldn’t save the day for Chase as he was sent back to the pavilion for a duck.
With the Kings stranded at 22/3 inside 5 overs, Charles and Sadrack Descarte had to ensure they steadied the ship from here for us to post a respectable total. And that is what they did. The duo held their guard for nearly 8 overs before Charles was outdone by yet another slower ball, getting dismissed for a well-made 42 in the 14th over. Descarte’s innings ended not long after the dismissal of Charles and headed back to the dressing room for a very good knock of 43.
Raza tried to help us cross the 160 mark, which would have been a great comeback after the start we had but had to make the long walk back to the pavilion for 22 in the 19th over after some quickfire runs. We ended the innings at 149/7 in our 20 overs, which was considered a good recovery considering our shaky start.
Our bowlers despite their incredible form, had the uphill task of restricting the Patriots who had in-form batters like Andre Fletcher and Sherfane Rutherford in their ranks. We started off brilliantly with the ball, something that has become the theme of the tournament for us. Roston Chase got us the big wicket of Patriots skipper Evin Lewis in the 2nd over for just 1 run. It was a dream start for us before Fletcher decided to take the game to us and smashed Sean Williams for 23 runs in the 4th over.
Khary Pierre got us our 2nd and 3rd wicket at a time when Fletcher was controlling the game. Two consecutive wickets of Will Smeed and Jyd Goolie helped us get back into the game and suddenly Evin Lewis’ men were 49 for 3 in 7 overs.
Rutherford and Fletcher began to build momentum and the latter in particular looked like a man on a mission, scoring boundaries for fun. Just after Fletcher got to his half-century, Raza had some other ideas for Fletcher’s partner on the other end. Our skipper got the first of the two all-important wickets after breaking a crucial partnership and dismissing Rutherford for just 17.
Fletcher wasn’t stopping there and his onslaught continued which got the required run-rate drastically down before Raza came to our rescue once again. The Zimbabwean all-rounder picked up the wicket of George Linde and the match promised to go down to the wire from here.
Fletcher wasn’t slowing down with the match going to the final over. Roston Chase was tasked with the huge responsibility of bowling the final over and he did not disappoint. Corbin Bosch gifted Chase his wicket in the third ball of the final over and was dismissed for 12. With 6 needed of 2 balls, Fletcher knew exactly what he needed to do and smashed a six which gave the Patriots their first win of the while also playing through an injury.
The result leaves us third in the table with 7 games played. Our men will have the chance to go back out there and get a positive result in no time, with our next match against Trinbago Knight Riders in less than 48 hours!