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Match 21 – Jamaica Tallawahs v Trinbago Knight Riders

Patrick Noone analyses Colin Munro’s half-century as the Knight Riders beat the Tallawahs in Tarouba

Colin Munro enjoys batting against Jamaica Tallawahs. From ten innings against today’s opponents, the New Zealand batsman has scored 515 runs at an average of 64.37. In CPL history, no player has a better record against a single opponent after facing 300 balls or more. In today’s meeting between the Tallawahs and Trinbago Knight Riders, Munro inflicted more pain on Rovman Powell’s side, scoring 65 from 54 balls as TKR posted 184-4 from their 20 overs.

Munro has struggled to score quickly against leg-spin in this year’s CPL, managing just 31 runs from the 33 balls he’s faced. To his credit, he’s only suffered one dismissal to that bowling type, and he was characteristically watchful against Sandeep Lamichhane, recognising him as the main threat in the Tallawahs attack. The only boundary Munro managed off the Nepalese leg-spinner was a fortuitous one, but he was able to see him off and attack the other bowlers.

Lamichhane’s partner in crime this season has been Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman. The leading wicket-taker in the tournament has been sensational and conceded runs at just 4.25 runs per over across the seven matches he’s played. But Munro was able to get the better of him today, most memorably with two successive reverse sweeps for four in the 16th over. Munro might only have faced seven balls from the Afghan, but he was proactive against him, attacking five of those balls and scoring ten runs, contributing to Mujeeb’s most expensive figures of the season.

Munro paced his innings well, raising his run rate from 6.00 in the middle overs to 10.33 at the death as the Knight Riders finished their innings strongly. But he was never reckless; this was an innings of controlled aggression exemplified by the fact that Munro only struck one six to go alongside his ten fours.

This was Munro’s third innings of substance in this season’s CPL and it was the one that saw him attack the least, just 64% of the balls he faced compared to 72% and 68% in his previous knocks. Nonetheless, this was Munro’s highest score of the tournament to date and one that came about through him recognising the pace at which to bat on a pitch that played truer than the ones seen recently at Queen’s Park Oval.

Munro’s innings laid the platform for Kieron Pollard to come in and strike 33 from just 16 balls and propel the Knight Riders to a score that always looked out of reach for the Tallawahs’ dysfunctional batting lineup. Too often this season they have failed to find the right combination with their army of big hitters and today, the late rally from Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite just showed them what might have been, had they been able to face more balls.

The Knight Riders’ win means they qualify for the playoffs with seven wins from seven. They are showing little sign of slowing up and today’s match emphasised how little you have to get wrong as a team if you are to stand a chance of beating them. For the Tallawahs, the defeat means their next outing against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots becomes a must-win if they are to stay in the fight for the playoffs.

Patrick Noone is a CricViz analyst

@patnoonecricket

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