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Steady McCullum keeps Trinbago Knight Riders' title hopes alive

Brendon McCullum played a patient knock of 49.
Brendon McCullum played a patient knock of 49.
©CPL / Sportsfile

Trinbago Knight Riders 165-5 (McCullum 49no) beat
St Lucia Zouks 164-8 (Fletcher 41) by five wickets
Playoff2, Caribbean Premier League, St Kitts
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A steady unbeaten knock of 49 from Brendon McCullum helped Trinbago Knight Riders chase down a target of 165 runs and stay alive in the knockout phase with a five-wicket victory against St Lucia Zouks in the second playoff game of the Caribbean Premier League in St Kitts.

After a slow start in the first two overs, Johnson Charles (31) hit two sixes and a four and along with Andre Fletcher (41) as St Lucia Zouks reached 52 for naught in the powerplay after they were sent into bat first.

Charles, who survived a dropped chance earlier in the game, holed out to long on in the eighth over, and moments later, Shane Watson (4) was also dismissed.

Michael Hussey (0) was run out in the ninth over, leaving St Lucia Zouks at 74 for three at the halfway mark.

David Miller (13) also departed an over later, but crucial knocks from Fletcher (41) and Darren Sammy (40) along with cameos from Grant Elliott (10) and Shane Shillingford (16 not out) took St Lucia Zouks to 164 for eight in 20 overs.

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Trinbago Knight Riders lost Hashim Amla (10) in the very first over. After a 15-ball cameo, Umar Akmal (30) was caught behind while Colin Munro (18) was sent back in the next over, leaving Trinbago Knight Riders at 68 for three in the powerplay.

McCullum (49 not out) and Denesh Ramdin (21), prevented a slide and took Trinbago Knight Riders to 100 for three at the halfway mark.

Ramdin and Dwayne Bravo (8) fell in the space of five overs but McCullum stayed unbeaten at the other end.

With the equation reading 15 runs needed from 12 balls, Sunil Narine (22 not out) struck two sixes and completed the five-wicket win in 18.3 overs.

With this victory, Trinbago Knight Riders proceed to the third playoff and will face Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday with the winner progressing to the final. McCullum took home the man of the match award.

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