TAROUBA, Trinidad, (CMC) – Andre Russell blasted 16 runs from the last three deliveries of the game but his efforts were in vain as Trinbago Knight Riders suffered an agonising one-run defeat to St Lucia Kings in the Caribbean Premier League here Sunday night.
Needing 22 runs from the final over to overhaul a target of 148 at the Brian Lara Stadium, TKR scraped two runs and benefitted from two wides, to find themselves requiring a further 18 from the last three deliveries.
Broad-shouldered Russell then edged fast bowler Roshon Primus to the fine leg boundary before depositing the next two balls over the ropes at deep mid-wicket.
However, the fireworks were not enough, leaving TKR fourth on seven points with their fourth defeat in eight outings.
Russell finished unbeaten on 23 from 11 deliveries while Sunil Narine finished with 19 not out from 14 balls, the pair adding a precious 43 in an unbroken seventh wicket stand.
Earlier, opener Johnson Charles continued to remind West Indies selectors of the reasons why they recalled him after six years on the sidelines, with his second straight fifty and third in four innings, as St Lucia Kings scrapped it out to reach 147 for six from 20 overs.
The 33-year-old top-scored with a controlled 54 from 46 deliveries while South African all-rounder David Wiese struck a 14-ball 33 and Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella made 21. Kings has now climbed to second in the standings on eight points with their fourth win in eight matches.
Ahead of the final phase of league matches starting tomorrow in Guyana, Barbados Royals top the standings with 14 points and have already booked their spot in the playoffs, while Jamaica Tallawahs lie third on eight points.
Reigning champions St Kitts and Nevis Patriots are fifth on six points with Guyana Amazon Warriors last on three.
Captain Faf du Plessis fell in the second over for two with nine runs on the board after Kings were inserted but Johnson hammered five fours and three sixes as he anchored a 59-run second-wicket stand with Dickwella.
Seamer Ravi Rampaul (2-10) accounted for both and off-spinner Sunil Narine (2-31) grabbed another two wickets to leave the innings in turmoil at 117 for five in the 18th over but Wiese arrived to belt two fours and three sixes and provide Kings with valuable momentum at the death.
Not for the first time in reply, TKR found themselves floundering at 16 for three in the fourth over as off-spinner and captain, Roston Chase (3-17) produced key strikes.
Tim Seifert, promoted to open, then top-scored with a run-a-ball 44 which included two fours and a six to inspire a 54-run, fourth wicket partnership with captain Kieron Pollard who struck 34 from 23, with three fours and two sixes.
The partnership appeared to put TKR in control of the chase until fast bowler Alzarri Joseph (2-26) struck twice to put the game back in the balance, before Russell and Narine nearly won it.