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All-round performance from Shadab leads Knight Riders to victory

PORT OF SPAIN, AUG 09 (DNA) – On a spin-dominated track, the  Trinbago Knight Riders’ spin trio of Kharry Pierre, Shadab Khan and Sunil Narine picked 3 for 48 between them off 12 overs, restricting St Lucia Stars to 118 for 9. In pursuit of a very modest total, Knight Riders’ top and middle order collapsed as Shane Shillingford ripped through the top order to leave Knight Riders tottering at 52 for 5. A well paced partnership between Pakistani young talent Shadab Khan and Javon Searles yielded 45-runs, which was also the highest partnership of the match, saw the Knight Riders win their second match on the trot.

With the pitch being on the slower side, five out of six overs in the powerplay were bowled by spinners and  Pierre, the left-arm spinner, got the ball to turn and stop on the batsmen in the first over. He varied his pace to deceive Johnson Charles, getting him lbw in the second over.

Shadab’s fellow countrymen, Kamran Akmal played some careless shots in an attempt to be aggressive and fell to an ill-advised cut to an offcutter that kicked at him. Windies’ duo of Andre Fletcher and Marlon Samuels added 30 for the third wicket to lead a brief recovery, but at 75 for 3 in the 13th over, Knight Riders wrested control.

Andre Fletcher rode his luck as the normally aggressive batsman had to adapt to the situation and bat through the innings. He was at ease facing the faster bowlers, but was a nervous wreck when he was exposed to spin. Luck sided with him when he missed a slog sweep and the ball ended up hitting the stumps, only to dislodge the bails for a moment before slotting back into the groove, when he was 16*.

Then, he was reprieved on 24 when Javon Searles palmed a catch over the long-on boundary. In between, however, he gritted his way through. His dismissal in the 16th over, attempting to hit out against Shadab, resulted in a wobble again. Having assessed the surface well, Kevon Cooper mixed up cross-seam deliveries with cutters to walk away with three wickets.

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