CPL 2018: Ahmed, Bravo take Knight Riders to second straight final
Trinbago Knight Riders will face Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final. (Getty Images)

Trinbago Knight Riders will be featuring in their second straight CPL final following their team’s 20-run win over St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in Qualifier 2. Fawad Ahmed shone with figures of 3/13 and went past Oshane Thomas to become the leading wicket-taker this season. Defending a target of 166, Fawad dealt timely blows to the Patriots’ middle order and was declared Player of the Match for his effort.

Knight Riders will face Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final, a team they lost to in the first Qualifier.

Batting first, Knight Riders saw a series of contributions throughout the batting line-up. The tone was set by Brendon McCullum’s 43 that included three sixes and two boundaries. He was 10 off 13 before taking flight – his 33 coming off just 12 deliveries. Colin Munro continued his fine batting form to take his season tally to 499 runs.

Towards the end, it was Dwayne Bravo’s unbeaten eight-ball cameo off which he took 24 runs. He took Tabraiz Shamsi for three sixes in the off his last over and gave the impetus to Knight Riders. They managed to score 47 off the last three to go past the 160-run mark. Denesh Ramdin also contributed with a steady 27 off 25, so did Darren Bravo (20 off 18).

On Patriots’ big day, Chris Gayle fell for a third-ball duck, after which Devon Thomas took the attack to the opposition. He scored the first 35 off Patriots’ 44 runs and looked to be going for a sizeable score before Colin Ingram’s past-time leg-break sent him back. The ball was handed to the spin duo of Ahmed and Sunil Narine, and immediately runs started drying up.

Rassie van der Dussen lobbed a simple return catch to Narine, and it was followed by the wicket of Evin Lewis, leaving Patriots at 75/4. Brandon King was in control of things during his 22-ball 33 but once he became Narine’s second wicket, it seemingly shut the door on the Patriots. Ahmed then struck with the two most vital blows – Anton Devcich and Ben Cutting – two dangerous T20 batsmen whom the legspinner sent back in two balls to leave the Patriots reeling at 98/7.

Fabian Allen and Carlos Brathwaite tried to breathe some life into the innings with a 44-run partnership, but the Knight Riders bowlers held their nerves in the death to see their side through.

Brief scores: Trinbago Knight Riders 165/6 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 43; Sheldon Cottrell 2-24) beat St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 145/8 in 20 overs (Devon Thomas 35; Fawad Ahmed 3-13) by 20 runs.