Barbados Royals fell short of a successive 200-plus chase as Trinbago Knight Riders rode on Nicholas Pooran’s hundred to seal a 42-run victory. Earlier, the Royals won the toss and elected to bowl first.

Bend it like van der Merwe

The Royals got their first wicket of the day, thanks to Roelof van der Merwe completing one of the most impressive catches of CPL 2023. TKR’s Mark Deyal pulled Kyle Mayers’ delivery towards deep mid-wicket, where van der Merwe awaited. The all-rounder tried to catch it without touching the ropes, threw the ball inside and jumped outside before quickly returning to complete the catch.

Double-wicket over for Cornwall

Rahkeem Cornwall’s second over of the night helped stir some confusion in the Knight Riders’ batting strategy. Jimbo first broke the 56-run partnership between Martin Guptill (38) and Nicholas Pooran as he outfoxed Guptill with his fuller-length ball, which snuck past the confused batter, and allowed wicket-keeper Rivaldo Clarke to whip the bails off.

Two deliveries later, Cornwall set the stage for a run-out. The Royals star got Kieron Pollard (2) to clip his bowled ball towards short-fine leg, but a massive miscommunication - Pollard attempted a run but hesitated and returned to his crease while Pooran already crossed over - enabled Kyle Mayers to throw the ball to Rahkeem who completed one of the easiest run-outs in T20 cricket.

Pooran hundred and another 200 target

While Qais Ahmad (1/27) and Jason Holder (2/39) tried to derail TKR’s batting surge in the death overs, Nicholas Pooran helped the Knight Riders post 208/6 with his unbeaten 102 and an 82-run partnership with Andre Russell (39) for the fifth wicket.

Mayers takes charge

In the last game, Cornwall was ruthless with the opposition bowlers. Tonight, Kyle Mayers took over from Jimbo - dismissed early by Akeal Hosein - and helped the Royals post 46/1 in the Powerplay. Mayers’ 22-ball 23 and Laurie Evans (18) helped the visitors come out of troubled waters early on with a 41-run partnership for the second wicket.

While wickets kept tumbling at intervals, Mayers remained unfettered as he smacked a 45-ball 70 to get the Royals past 50 in 6.3 overs and the 100-run mark in 13.4 overs. However, his brave innings came to an end in the 15th over when he mistimed an Ali Khan delivery and lobbed the ball high into the air over long-on for Guptill to claim the caught dismissal.

Besides the spirited cameos of Roelof van der Merwe (20 not out) and Jason Holder (19), Barbados Royals were short of a fightback as they could manage 166/7 in the 20 allotted overs.

With this result, it now means that the Royals HAVE to win their upcoming games against Guyana Amazon Warriors on September 10 and September 17 to seal a top-four finish and qualify for the CPL 2023 playoffs.