PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Man-of-the-Match Sunil Narine thrilled in his new role as opener with a career-best half-century as Trinbago Knight Riders stayed top of the Caribbean Premier League standings with a two-wicket victory over arch-rivals Barbados Tridents here late Saturday night.
Asked to chase 153 at Queen’s Park Oval, TKR reached their target with five balls to spare, to notch their fourth win in five outings and move to eight points.
The left-handed Narine was at the heart of the effort, cracking an entertaining 79 off 45 deliveries while Darren Bravo chipped in with 25.
However, Narine lived a charmed life, dropped three times during his innings – on nine, 35 and 62 – in what proved an ordinary fielding effort from Tridents which saw them grass four chances overall.
West Indies Under-19 star Shamar Springer claimed three for 32 to be the best Tridents bowler while South African new-ball bowler Wayne Parnell picked up two for 26.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik stroked 51 from 38 balls and passed 7 000 runs in his 275th match as Tridents reached 152 for nine off 20 overs, after being sent in.
New Zealander Kane Williamson struck 30 but no other Tridents batsman passed 20 in a disappointing showing with the bat.
Fast bowler Ronsford Beaton claimed two for 24 while captain and fellow seamer Dwayne Bravo ended with two for 27.
Dwayne Smith perished cheaply for 10 and Parnell for five to leave the visitors 19 for two in the second over but Shoaib and opener Williamson added 71 for the third wicket to rescue the innings.
Shoaib faced 38 balls and counted five fours while Williamson struck a single four in his 35-ball innings.
Once Williamson miscued a slog and holed out at short third man off off-spinner Narine, Tridents never regained their footing, and the next seven wickets tumbled for just 62 runs.
Narine then got TKR off to a rollicking start in an innings laced with six fours and five sixes.
New Zealander Brendon McCullum lost his off-stump to Parnell to the fourth ball of the innings for four with as many on the board but Narine then took the attack to Tridents, posting 47 for the third wicket with Darren Bravo and another 63 for the fifth wicket with Dwayne Bravo (18).
Springer brought the game to life when he snatched three of four wickets to fall for 12 runs in the space of 13 balls but by then TKR was within touching distance of victory.