BASSETERRE, St Kitts—Powerhouses Trinbago Knight Riders wasted little time in laying down their marker for this year’s Men’s Caribbean Premier League title by repelling a strong challenge from St Lucia Kings at Warner Park on Thursday.
Asked to chase 144 in the second game of the tournament, TKR overhauled their target with four balls to spare to get their campaign up and running with a three-wicket win.
Tion Webster top-scored with 58 from 45 deliveries while New Zealander Tim Seifert chipped in with 34 from 39 balls, defying an outstanding spell of bowling from West Indies speedster Alzarri Joseph who finished with four for 17 from four overs.
TKR looked to be coasting until Joseph struck three times in the penultimate over, removing Seifert, captain Kieron Pollard (17) and Prasanna (1) in quick succession to make the contest more tense at the end.
Earlier, Kings had rallied to 143 for nine from their 20 overs after being sent in, Roshon Primus striking 38 from 25 deliveries and Mark Deyal carving out 35 from 24 balls.
However, Kings’ push for a bigger total was stalled by left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein who grabbed four for 13 from his four overs.
“We’ll take the two points. Yes, the last couple overs, we would’ve wanted to finish it before that but you have to take everything into the equation,” Pollard said.
“The guys haven’t played T20 cricket together for a while so these things sort of happen and it’s good that we’re on the winning side of this match.”
Captain Roston Chase, in his first competitive game in nearly three months after recovering from injury, rued the one over from off-spinner Mark Deyal – the ninth of the innings – which leaked 19 runs.
“I thought we didn’t get off as we would like in the batting,” Chase said.
“I thought we were maybe 20, 25 runs short and probably the over I gave Mark from this end probably cost us the game as well so it was mis-reading on my part.”
Kings were 32 for two in the fifth over but recovered through a 44-run, third wicket stand between Deyal and Chase, who made 19 from 23 balls.
The left-handed Deyal struck four fours and a couple sixes before becoming one of three wickets to fall for one run in the 13th over sent down by Hosein.
Primus, who hit three fours and two sixes, then rallied the innings first in a 25-run, sixth wicket stand with Ackeem Auguste (11) and then in a 35-run, seventh wicket partnership with Alzarri Joseph (7).
In reply, TKR were carried by Webster, who blasted half-dozen fours and three sixes, inspiring an 81-run, third wicket stand with Seifert after the innings tottering at 19 for two in the fourth over.
Webster and Andre Russell (5) perished in successive overs to leave TKR on 107 for four in the 14th over but Seifert put on a further 33 with Pollard to steer the innings away from danger.