CPL 2019: Kieron Pollard and Jimmy Neesham star in Trinbago Knight Riders’ 11-run victory
Jimmy Neesham took two wickets in the last over as TKR beat Patriots. (Credit: CPL via Getty Images)

The 2019 edition of the Caribbean Premier League has begun with defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders beating St Kitts & Nevis Patriots by 11 runs at Queen’s Park Oval on Thursday.

Starring for Knight Riders were newly appointed captain Kieron Pollard and New Zealand allrounder Jimmy Neesham, who scored 47 and 33 respectively. Neesham also took three wickets, including two in the last over of the match.

Pollard – leading TKR in place of the injured Dwayne Bravo – and Neesham helped take their team to 152/7 in their 20 overs after the innings slumped to 24/3. Pollard’s 47 off 32 balls was backed by Neesham’s vital 33 in a stand of 60 with Denesh Ramdin (30).

(READ: Alzarri Joseph replaces Isuru Udana at St Kitts & Nevis Patriots)

Neesham then snapped an opening stand of 47 from the Patriots and held a catch that trigged a collapse of four wickets for six runs. Defending 13 runs off the last over of the match, Neesham took two wickets with a pair of low full-tosses honing in on the stumps.

Kieron Pollard CPL 2019
Kieron Pollard led from the front as champions TKR made a winning start. (Credit: CPL via Getty Images)

Well placed at 70/1 in pursuit of 153, the Patriots slipped to 76/5 in the span of three overs as Khary Pierre and Seekkuge Prasanna stunned the middle order. Evin Lewis (36) was caught by Neesham off Pierre, Jason Mohammed was dismissed for 0 by Prasanna, Devon Thomas for 1 by Pierre and Carlos Brathwaite was run out for 2.

A brief scare came from Fabian Allen who struck Prasanna for four sixes in the spinner’s third over over, after the Sri Lankan had conceded just three runs from his first two. Mohammad Hasnain helped pull things back with three wickets, dismissing Allen, Mohammad Hafeez and Rayad Emrit.

(READ: Lendl Simmons replaces Colin Munro for TKR’s first three games)

Usama Mir hit 24 from 10 balls in what proved the final charge in Patriot’s chase, before Neesham bowled a fine last over to win the game for TKR.

Earlier, Sheldon Cottrell bowled fantastically for figures of 3/13 from his four overs. Cottrell pulled out his trademark salute in the CPL’s first over when he bowled Sunil Narine, and later added Tion Webster and Ramdin to cap a fine outing with the ball. For Patriots, Emrit also claimed three wickets.

Brief scores: Trinbago Knight Riders 152/7 in 20 overs (Pollard 47, Cottrell 3/13, Emrit 39) beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 141 in 19.4 overs (Lewis 36, Neesham 3/18, Hasnain 3/36) by 11 runs