TKR entered the game in fourth place on seven points from eight matches and needed their stars to deliver.
Andre Russell was in a position to do just that with 12 runs needed for victory off the final three balls of the match but the all-rounder was bowled by Sheldon Cottrell for 29 off 17 balls to condemn the four-time champions to their fifth loss of the season.
Cottrell wasn’t the only thorn in TKR’s side.
Player-of-the-Match Sherfane Rutherford had the most significant impact, smashing five sixes and six fours in a 50-ball 78 as the Patriots blasted 51 runs off the final two overs of their innings to post 163 for six after winning the toss and batting first.
Dewald Brevis also played a part in the heist, smashing five sixes in a six-ball 30.
With the ball, Cottrell struck three times and Kevin Sinclair grabbed two early wickets; while Dwayne Bravo accounted for two big wickets in Kieron Pollard and top-scorer Tim Seifert and Rashid Khan stifled the TKR batting in the middle overs as the most successful franchise in CPL history were restricted to 156 for seven in their reply.
“They got away from us in the last four overs, scoring 80 runs or so but that for me shows where T20 cricket is and why it is so important to have yorkers and being able to confidently bowl your yorkers and bowl in pressure situations no matter who you are. All these things are learning (experiences) for all those in the dressing room,” TKR skipper Kieron Pollard said after the loss.
TKR started the chase slowly, losing two wickets in the Powerplay with just 33 runs on the board. After a hat-trick of wides at the start, Sheldon Cottrell finally got his line right to get rid of Leonardo Julien for one.
Colin Munro followed shortly after, lbw to Kevin Sinclair for three. But Seifert continued his good form, slapping a six and a four off Cottrell before Pollard struck a one-handed six off former team-mate Dwayne Bravo to get the innings moving. But they could only take the score 54 for two at the half-way stage, with ace leg-spinner Khan and Rutherford keeping both batters quiet.
With 104 needed off 54 balls, Pollard and Seifert targeted Akila Dananjaya in the 12th over, with the TKR skipper connecting with back-to-back sixes down the ground before Seifert ended the over with a four cut through point.
The counter-attack was short lived however, with Pollard falling to Bravo in the next over, caught by Rutherford on the long-on boundary for 31.
Nicholas Pooran entered and exited in quick time, stumped off Sinclair for ten, leaving the Knight Riders needing 56 from the last four overs.
Seifert gave them a chance with a six and a four off Rutherford but the opener’s dismissal by Bravo with the first ball of the penultimate over for 59 proved crucial.
Russell then struck two sixes and a four in the remainder of the 19th over taking the Knight Riders to 148 for five with 16 to get from the final over to be bowled by Cottrell. In the end it was too tall a task. Cottrell sealed the result when he bowled Russell for 29 with 12 runs still to get off the final two balls.
The Patriots also made a slow start to their innings, but Rutherford’s presence for 50 balls kept the champs in with a chance for a competitive total. Thirty runs came off the 19th over and a further 21 came off the final over as the Patriots ended the innings on a high with 83 runs in the final five overs.
That late-innings flurry made the difference in the end, taking the Patriots to fourth place with eight points from ten matches. And Pollard recognised the good work of Rutherford in putting the Patriots on top.
“We were trying to restrict them to as little as possible but Sherfane batted right through the innings and having a set batter especially on a pitch in Guyana was always going to be a trump card for them,” Pollard added.
TKR are now seven points from nine matches and will need a win against hosts Guyana Amazon Warriors tomorrow night to stay in contention for a playoff spot.
PATRIOTS 162-6, 20 overs (Sherfane Rutherford 78, Dewald Brevis 30 not out, Darren Bravo 23; Daryn Dupavillon 3/38) vs TKR 156-7, 20 overs (Tim Seifert 59, Kieron Pollard 31, Andre Russell 29; Sheldon Cottrell 3/33, Kevin Sinclair 2/18)
—PATRIOTS won by six runs.