Narine’s 45-ball 79 keeps Knight Riders on top

Trinbago Knight Riders 155 for 8 (Narine 79, Springer 3-32, Parnell 2-26) beat Barbados Tridents 152 for 9 (Malik 51, Williamson 30, Beaton 2-24, Dwayne Bravo 2-27) by two wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

File photo – Sunil Narine ran up a 27-ball half-century to raze Barbados Tridents © Getty Images

Sunil Narine‘s career-best 79 off 45 balls, made partly possible by some horrendous fielding from Barbados Tridents, helped Trinbago Knight Riders retain their top position in the 2017 Caribbean Premier League with a two-wicket win. In a highly entertaining contest, though not necessarily for its quality, Knight Riders squeaked past the Tridents total of 152 for 9 with five balls to spare for their fourth win in five games, while Tridents suffered their second defeat.

New-ball strikes

After electing to put Tridents in to bat, Knight Riders captain Dwayne Bravo opened with spin in the form of Khaya Pierre. Pierre dropped short in his second and third deliveries, and Dwayne Smith struck him for a four through point and a six over midwicket. Pierre then adjusted to a fuller length and had Smith, trying to slog, hole out to deep midwicket in the fifth ball of the over.

Tridents coach Robin Singh has a reputation for sending bowlers up the order as pinch-hitters, but his ploy failed with Wayne Parnell. Sent up to No. 3, Parnell lasted three balls before Ronsford Beaton had him splicing a catch to midwicket in the second over to leave Tridents on 19 for 2.

Shoaib Malik passes 7000 runs

Two nights earlier, in St Lucia, Smith became the sixth player to reach 7000 runs in T20 cricket. On Saturday night, at Queen’s Park Oval, his Tridents team-mate Malik, became the seventh, getting there during a 71-run third-wicket stand with Kane Williamson that repaired the Tridents innings.

Malik shone against the medium pacers, driving Kevon Cooper twice to the boundary in the sixth, before unleashing two cuts and a pull off Dwayne Bravo in the ninth. The 7000th run also brought up Malik’s fifty, with a single off Narine. But he fell two balls later to Beaton, who bowled superbly to finish with 2 for 24. Tridents lost wickets consistently thereafter, but brisk cameos from Nicholas Pooran and Akeal Hossain ensured a furious finish to their innings.

Full report to follow

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna