PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC- Swashbuckling knocks from Colin Munro and Denesh Ramdin propelled defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders to a record-breaking total and a comfortable 100-run win over the St Lucia Stars in the opening match of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) here on Wednesday.
Munro smashed 68 from 48 balls and Ramdin bludgeoned the Stars attack all around the Queen’s Park Oval in an unbeaten 50 off just 27 balls, to help the Knight Riders post a healthy 195-6 from their 20 overs – the highest ever total at the ground in CPL history.
Despite a quickfire start for the Stars, who raced to 35 inside the third over thanks to a cameo from opener Andre Russell, they never mounted a serious challenge and eventually folded for a meager 95 in 17.3 overs.
It was the Stars’ 12th straight loss in the CPL dating back to 2016 when they were named the Zouks.
But it was the batting of Munro and Ramdin which set the Queen’s Park Oval on fire, sending their mostly red and black clad fans into a frenzy.
Munro came to the crease after just five balls, following the dismissal of Chris Lynn who hit a Mitchell McClenaghan full toss to cover.
He was especially harsh on leg spinner Qais Ahmad, whose final four balls of the ninth over went for 18 courtesy of three boundaries and one massive six.
Soon after he brought up his half century off 33 balls when he slapped Kieron Pollard to the backward point boundary.
Together with Ramdin, they added 51 runs in five overs, to take the Knight Riders from a sticky position of 89-4 to 140-4.
Munro was eventually bowled by Pollard after he walked too far across his stumps in an attempt to flick the bowler to fine leg.
His knock contained nine boundaries and one six.
Ramdin picked up the momentum following his dismissal, scoring 28 of the Knight Riders’ final 45 runs.
He found a worthy partner in Javon Scantlebury-Searles, who blasted two boundaries in the final over bowled by Kesric Williams which yielded 17 runs.
Ramdin brought up his half-century of the final ball of the innings, which was laced with two boundaries and four sixes.
Stars’ openers David Warner and Fletcher gave them a perfect start, belting Shannon Gabriel’s first over for 26 to race up to 35. But American Ali Khan, who was unlucky not to have Fletcher caught behind by wicketkeeper Ramdin and also lbw, had his revenge when he bowled him with a perfectly executed slower ball for 19.
From there, it was all downhill for the Stars, whose lights were quickly extinguished.
Fawad Ahmed who was brought on at the end of the Powerplay when the Stars were 47 for 3, bamboozled Lendl Simmons with a googly first ball, then had Mark Chapman driving to cover three balls later, accelerating a Stars collapse that saw them lose their 10 wickets for 60 runs.
It was the worst margin of defeat by runs for the Stars and just the third time in the history of the CPL that a team lost by 100 runs or more.