On a sluggish surface in Trinidad, Knight Riders, led by Brendon McCullum's 26-ball 43 and backed up by useful contributions all through the middle-order, reached a competitive 165 for 6 in their 20 overs. Fawad Ahmed, who is the tournament's leading wicket-taker, then yet again weaved his magic returning figures of 3 for 13 in his four overs to restrict Patriots to 145 for 8 and take his side to a 20-run win.
Patriots, having won the toss and elected to field, struck early with Sheldon Cottrell getting rid of Colin Ingram for 5. McCullum and fellow countryman Colin Munro then joined hands for a 71-run stand for the second wicket. McCullum was the aggressor in the partnership smoking two fours and three sixes during his knock while Munro played a more sedate 31-ball 29.
However, Patriots made a comeback getting rid of both batsmen within the space of four balls. McCullum fell lbw to Chris Gayle while Ben Cutting accounted for Munro with Gayle, once again in the thick of things taking a sharp catch at extra cover. Darren Bravo was dismissed soon for 20 as Knight Riders found themselves at 116 for 4 after 16.1 overs, still a few runs short.
Dwayne Bravo, the captain, like he has done all season then cracked a majestic 8-ball 24 and along with Denesh Ramdin (27*) helped Knight Riders amass 47 runs in the last three overs to take them over the 160-mark.
Chasing 166 on a two-paced surface was always going to be tricky and Patriots got off to the worst start possible losing their captain Gayle for a duck in the first over to pacer Ali Khan. Devon Thomas (35) and Rassie van der Dussen (14) kept things chugging along for a while before both fell in quick succession.
At 50 for 3, Evin Lewis and Brandon King needed something special to get their side out of the woods. The latter smashed three fours and six in his 22-ball 33 but fell to Sunil Narine while Lewis was accounted for by Ahmed for 4.
Ahmed soon removed Anton Devcich and Ben Cutting as the required rate continued rising. Fabian Allen smoked 32 in 19 deliveries but the target proved too much for Patriots in the end.
The final will be staged at Brian Lara Stadium, Trinidad on Sunday, September 16.
brendon mccullumchris gaylecpl 2018Dwayne Bravoevin lewisFawad AhmedSt. Kitts and Nevis PatriotsTrinbago Knight Riders
First Published: September 15, 2018, 12:43 PM IST