Trinbago Knight Riders 184 for 6 (Munro 67, Darren Bravo 50, Imad 2-17) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 182 for 5 (Phillips 80, Miller 72*, Pierre 2-19) by four wickets
Lauderhill continued to be a House of Horrors for Jamaica Tallawahs for the second straight night as Colin Munro teamed up with both Bravos in a pair of major stands to lift Trinbago Knight Riders to a last-ball four-wicket win at the Central Broward Regional Park. It's the fifth loss in six matches at the venue for the Tallawahs since 2016.
Tallawahs gave themselves a chance thanks to a 112-run stand between Glenn Phillips and David Miller to resuscitate the first innings after they were floundering midway through at 58 for 3. Half-centuries from both batsmen helped Tallawahs add 124 off the final 10 overs.
But it still wasn't enough as Munro and Darren Bravo responded in kind with a century partnership and matching half-centuries. With three needed to win off the final ball, Javon Searles walloped a length ball from Oshane Thomas over extra cover with enough meat in it to beat Kennar Lewis sweeping on the boundary for the winning runs.
An All-American reunion
Having won the toss, Knight Riders opened the bowling with Ohio fast bowler Ali Khan, one of the finds of the season, with Sameer Bandekar, who stood in his lone ODI as an Indian umpire in 2002 before migrating to Dallas, Texas in 2010, officiating. After Kennar Lewis fell in the second over to Khary Pierre, Florida batsman Steven Taylor, playing his first match of the season for Tallawahs at No. 3, arrived in the middle.
In the following over, Khan was bowling to Taylor with Bandekar standing watch. Three Americans in the middle for a major franchise T20 match on American soil showed the fruits of the CPL's labor over the last four years. Their helping hand to the region began with player tryouts in 2015, which saw Taylor become the first player to gain a contract with Barbados Tridents, then progressed into matches on US soil and guaranteed draft picks and contracts for USA players in 2016, to a stage where players and officials are inching away from being token inclusions toward being meaningful contributors, thereby highlighting USA's budding talent.
The Miller's Tale
Both the American Taylor and his New Zealand namesake Ross enjoyed less than fruitful innings. The latter, in particular, struggled to get the spin of Khary Pierre away, scratching for 14 balls for seven runs, before top-edging a sweep off Fawad Ahmed, taken spectacularly by Dwayne Bravo running in from slip to fine leg before diving.
At 47 for 3 in the ninth over, things looked bleak for Tallawahs when Miller joined Phillips to commence their century stand. After six overs without a boundary, Miller breathed life into the innings in the first ball after the midway drinks break, flicking Bravo down the leg side for four. The South African stepped into higher gear in the next over, smashing Sunil Narine for the first of two sixes in consecutive overs.
That spurred Phillips to come out of his shell. After spending most of the first half of the innings patiently knocking singles and twos around the ground, Phillips pulled Narine over midwicket for six to bring up his fifty in the 16th over, and then brought out the switch hit two balls later for another six. Two balls into the 17th, he smashed Dwayne Bravo over his head for six, and then went the other way to ramp him over the keeper Denesh Ramdin for six more.
He managed 80 off 55 balls, but his creativity finally got the best of him when another attempted switch hit resulted in a top-edge taken by Bravo. Miller carried on for the final 10 balls of the innings, ending it by squeezed out a yorker for four, and flicking down the ground for six off Ali Khan's last two balls, but Tallawahs paid in the end for their conservative start.
Knight Riders lost the opening combo of Narine and Chris Lynn cheaply in the first 13 balls of the chase. Brendon McCullum then fell on the final ball of the Powerplay to make it 28 for 3. But as Darren Bravo showed against St Lucia Stars on Thursday night, nothing is insurmountable when he's out in the middle.
The younger Bravo creamed five sixes in his 50 off 35 balls, and put on 107 runs with Munro for the fourth wicket. The New Zealander was no slouch either, blasting four fours and an equal number of sixes en route to notching up his third fifty in five innings and overtaking Kieron Pollard in the tournament scoring charts with 256 runs. But the black and red flags were waving furiously for Darren as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
Darren was finally yorked by Imad Wasim at the end of the 17th over, and Knight Riders still needed 45 to win off 18 balls. Cue big brother Dwayne, who proceeded to smoke three straight balls in the 18th over, sent down by Krishmar Santokie, for six. Ragged fielding resulted in both Dwayne and Munro getting letoffs within the space of three balls, as Miller and Steven Taylor let chances fall rather than putting in dives.
Russell eventually bowled Munro behind his legs as Knight Riders entered the final over with seven needed. Bravo was caught on the point boundary by Lewis off the third ball to leave six to get off three. A dot ball ensued, but that was followed by a crucial wide call from Bandekar after Searles flailed and missed outside off. A scampered two to long-off set up the dramatic final ball where Searles prevailed as Russell and co. sunk to their knees, wondering if they'll ever shake off the bad vibes of Lauderhill.