Trinbago Knight Riders 191 for 4 (Webster 66*, Narine 46, Pollard 33*, Jacobs 1-14) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 169 for 6 (Worker 46*, Russell 44, Narine 2-23, Neesham 2-27) by 22 runs
An all-round show by Sunil Narine and Tion Webster's maiden T20 half-century spoiled Chris Gayle's homecoming as Trinbago Knight Riders beat Jamaica Tallawahs by 22 runs for their second straight win.
After being asked to bat, Webster's unbeaten 66 off 49 balls helped Knight Riders to 191 for 4. While Webster played the anchor's role, Narine smashed 46 off 22 and Kieron Pollard contributed 33 not out off 21 towards the end to take Knight Riders to a formidable total.
In response, Tallawahs could never get going as the Knight Riders spinners made run-scoring difficult from the very beginning. Narine, Khary Pierre and Seekkuge Prasanna bowled ten overs combined, conceding only 61 and sharing three wickets among them.
When Andre Russell made his way to the middle, Tallawahs needed 99 from 42 balls. Despite not looking at his best, Russell struck four fours and as many sixes in his 24-ball 44 but even for him, it proved too much in the end.
Narine leads the attack
Lendl Simmons started the Knight Riders innings with a four over the covers and struck a six three balls later. But his stay was cut short by Christopher Lamont's left-arm spin. In came Narine, out went Lamont's next three balls for four, six and four. Oshane Thomas wasn't spared either. The pacer's two near-yorkers were squeezed out to the extra-cover and deep-midwicket boundaries. When he bowled short and wide, Narine carved him over covers for a six and took Knight Riders to 53 in just four overs. With Webster going at almost a run a ball at the other end, Narine's innings ensured the scoring rate didn't suffer. Narine eventually fell in the ninth over when he mistimed a slower one from Shamar Springer to long-on but Knight Riders had already posted 85 by then.
Webster's maiden half-century, Pollard's umpteenth onslaught
Webster had opened his account with a first-ball four off Jerome Taylor. He had also struck a four and a six in one Russell over to move to 18 off 12. But the next 12 deliveries brought him only seven runs. With just three down at the half-way mark and Pollard still to come in, Webster realised he needed to go big. And then as if a switch was flipped. The first ball of the 11th over - bowled by Springer - was slog-swept for six. The next two balls were steered for two off-side boundaries. Three overs later, Webster brought up his half-century, off 37 balls.
Pollard came to the crease in the 15th over, after Russell bowled Ramdin with a dipping full-toss, and warmed himself up with seven singles off the first seven balls he faced. But his late charge meant Knight Riders took 34 from the last three overs, with Pollard accounting for 26 of those with the help of four boundaries.
Knight Riders spinners strangle Tallawahs
After just 12 from the first two overs, Pollard brought in Narine who straightaway found the turn. After hitting Glenn Phillips on the pads a couple of time, Narine managed to sneak one through the gate and uproot the leg stump.
Gayle hit the 19-year-old Mohammad Hasnain for back-to-back sixes but he too struggled against Narine's spin. Trying to collect as many runs possible from the other end, he smashed Ali Khan over the bowler's head for a six but while trying to repeat the act next ball, he holed out to deep midwicket, leaving Tallawahs on 39 for 2 in the sixth over.
Pierre and Prasanna kept up the pressure and conceded just 19 from the next four overs. As a result, Tallawahs could manage only 58 in the first ten overs at the loss of three wickets.
Go big or go home
With 134 needed from the last ten overs, Tallawahs had to find boundaries quickly. One such attempt from Chadwick Walton - off Narine - ended up straight into the hands of James Neesham at long-on. Russell slog-swept Pierre over wide long-on for a six in the 14th over but hit the next ball towards long-on, to the left of Neesham who overran it and could only see the ball bursting through his fingers for four.
With 72 needed off 25, Russell got another life when he failed to middle a slog sweep off Narine, with Prasanna, stationed at short third man, spilling the chance. He was reprieved again - off Hasnain - in the 18th over, but even all those chances and the Russellmania could not take Tallawahs to victory.