Torrential downpours prevented the St Kitts Nevis Patriots from taking on the St. Lucia stars on Thursday at Warner Park much to the dismay of Patriots fans. Once again the fans were left dismayed on Saturday night because of another type of downpour: a thunderous storm by ways of Dwayne Bravo. It didn’t start out that way; the home team were celebrating early (although it proved premature) as they were on top after bottling up the visitors through disciplined bowling. The elder Bravo came in the 16th over and the match changed definitively. Coming to bat with the score nestled at 133/4 with four overs to go, the elder Bravo crafted a new CPL record by becoming the first batsman to hit five sixes in an over. Bravo showed his T20 dominance, beating pace bowler Alzarri Joseph for five sixes in a row in the 19th over of their innings to help his side reach an authoritative 199 for 4. He then returned to concede just 26 runs in his four-over spell picking up the wicket of Carlos Brathwaite as Patriots were restricted to 153 for 8 in their 20 overs. The 46-run win takes Knight Riders to the top of the points table with 10 points in seven games, winning four in a row.
As is customary when winning the toss, The Patriots chose to bowl first. It paid early dividends as they sent Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn packing in the first five overs. Colin Munro and Brendon McCullum then took the Knight Riders past the 100-mark with a 78-run stand before the third wicket fell. Joseph took down McCullum for a 33-ball 35 that contained two fours and two sixes. Darren Bravo was ousted early as well, falling to Sheldon Cottrell for 18 At 151 for 4 after 18 overs, Patriots would have harbored hopes of keeping TKR to less than 175, but the Bravo changed the game entirely. The 19th over yielded 30 runs while Cottrel was burned for 18. Munro remained unbeaten on 76 in 50 balls while Bravo ended with an 11-ball 37*, their 66-run alliance taking a miniscule 20 deliveries.
The Patriots’ chase started on the wrong note as they lost their captain Chris Gayle (9) to Anderson Phillip in the fourth over. Evin Lewis and Rassie van der Dussen took the score past the 50-run mark before the latter was shelved for 11. Lewis scored his first fifty of CPL 2018 in 35 balls in his usual gun- slinging manner, placing balls all over the stadium. However, as has become the custom, he fell soon after that, and was outfoxed by Phillips via LBW . The hosts never really got their chase going after Lewis’ was sent to the showers, and lost wickets at regular intervals. Anton Devcich fell to Ahmed while Devon Thomas was scalped by Ali Khan for 23. Brathwaite struck two fours and a six in his 18-ball 21 but the 200-run chase proved too much for the hosts in the end.
The Patriots’ skipper had some measured thoughts on the collapse against the Knight Riders: “I thought the bowlers did well earlier. Young Joseph bowled well until that one over against Bravo. The momentum was with them after they got (close to) 200. We are only one win away from qualifying. Hopefully, everything will fall in place. Good to see Lewis among runs, he’s a key player for us at the top. Tomorrow is a big game against Jamaica,” said Gayle.