Akmal inspires Knight Riders to vital win ESPNcricinfo staff

With Trinbago Knight Riders staring at the prospect of heading to the final leg of the CPL season in Florida with their playoff hopes in jeopardy, Umar Akmal‘s brilliant fight back secured a crucial three-wicket win over St Lucia Zouks to draw Knight Riders level with the Zouks on eight points in a tie for third. This meant that Barbados Tridents were pushed back to fifth place with two games to play. Akmal struck an unbeaten 73 off 35 balls in Knight Riders’ chase of 168 having dug his side out of a deep hole at 63 for 5 in the 10th over.

Zouks were well placed to defend their total after the fall of Anton Devcich for 25 in the 15th to end a 51-run stand, leaving Knight Riders needing 50 off the last five overs with four wickets in hand. Only four runs were scored in the 16th to further tilt the scales in favour of Zouks but Akmal swung things back Trinbago’s way in the 17th when he targeted Jerome Taylor for three straight sixes and a four, bringing up his fifty off 27 balls. Akmal’s fireworks reduced the equation to 23 off 18 balls.

Shane Watson then pinned Sunil Narine down for three dots, but could not sustain the pressure and Narine ended the over by bashing two sixes to make it 9 off 12 balls. Narine fell in the 19th over but Kevon Cooper hit the winning runs two balls later to clinch victory with six balls to spare.


Summarized scores: Trinbago Knight Riders 168 for 7 (Akmal 73*, Johnson 3-22) beat St Lucia Zouks 167 for 6 (Sammy 37*, Watson 32, Bravo 2-34) by three wickets

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