After losing his third toss in a row, Sikandar Raza’s men were put into bat first once again. We went with the same lineup that played in our previous game against the Patriots. While Pollard did mention that defending totals has been an uphill task on this surface, overall it was a great-looking batting pitch.
It was our regular opening pair at the crease for us, in Johnson Charles and Colin Munro. Charles started off brilliantly with a couple of boundaries. Jayden Seales who was brought in for this match then picked up the big wicket of our wicket-keeper in the 4th over with a peach of a delivery on his birthday, dismissing him for just 13.
From here Munro took off with Roston Chase on the other end complementing the Kiwi’s batting. Together the duo put up a 76-run partnership between them and set us up for a grand finish towards the end of the innings. Munro in particular was really taking the game to the Knight Riders bowling with some exciting play and boundaries.
Munro has been subject to a few lifelines since he began his journey at Saint Lucia and in the 9th over against Waqar Salamkheil’s LBW appeal, he was saved by the umpire’s call despite TKR review. Another TKR review followed in the 11th over against the same bowler, only this time it was Chase who was facing his ball. Pollard’s men lost the review and Chase survived, but not for too long.
Salamkheil finally got his man in 13th over and this time DRS could not interfere, and Chase had to walk back for a well-made 32. Sikandar Raza came in next but his stay at the crease wasn’t for too long and was dismissed for just 8. Munro and Sean Williams ensured we got a strong finish to the innings, with both batters remaining unbeaten at scores of 72 and 34 respectively. The Kings finished with a score of 167/3 on the board and our bowlers had the job to restrict one of the best batting units in the league.
The second innings began with some cautious batting by TKR’s opening batters Martin Guptill and Mark Deyal. However, it was Chase who struck for us early with the wicket of Guptill for just 16 and Pollard’s men were 21/1 inside 4 overs. Another in-form batter arrived at the crease for TKR. Pooran who came back off innings scoring a 100 and 50, was our primary target if we were to restrict the Knight Riders under a 167. After hitting our bowlers for a couple of boundaries Alzarri Joseph struck for us with the big wicket of Pooran in the 6th over for just 15.
What followed next was a brilliant partnership between Deyal and Lorcan Tucker. The duo paced their innings very well setting it up for their finishers to get the job done. Joseph gave us a glimpse of hope with the wicket of Deyal in the 17th over and was dismissed for a very good knock of 57. We still had a chance to get something out of the game, but Andre Russell had different ideas. Smashing 29 of just 13 balls, the West Indies all-rounder finished the game with 7 balls to spare and confirmed his team’s place in the top two of CPL 2023.
The loss still leaves us in 3rd place, with hopes of finishing in the top two looking unlikely from here. We will be back with a game in midweek to try and make things right against another top opponent - Guyana Amazon Warriors!