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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Trinbago Knight Riders beat St Lucia Zouks to gallop towards historic CPL 2020 title

Trinbago Knight Riders won the CPL by winning all 12 of their matches.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: September 11, 2020 2:57:59 pm
Trinbago Knight RidersTrinbago Knight Riders won the CPL 2020 title. (Source: CPL)

A record partnership between Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo helped Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) thump St Lucia Zouks (SLZ) by eight wickets and lift the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 title on Thursday. With this TKR became the first team to win every single game in the tournament and lift the trophy in the process. This is their third title in four seasons.

TOSS: Trinbago Knight Riders have won the toss and opted to field.

1st innings: In a cagey opening to the game, spinner Akeal Hosein beat the outside edge of Rahkeem Cornwall’s bat on a couple of occasions, but he was tonked for two fours by the burly batsman when he missed his length. Pacer Ali Khan, however, didn’t miss his length when he came on to bowl, as he knocked over Cornwall’s middle stump. The early wicket didn’t deter the Zouks batsmen as the momentum was carried forward by Andre Fletcher and Mark Deyal. ‘Spiceman’ Fletcher was particularly destructive, smashing Sikandar Raza for 18 runs in one over, courtesy of three huge sixes. Going at 10 runs per over, the Zouks reached 60/1 at the end of the PowerPlay.

However, once the fielding restrictions were lifted, the Knight Riders came back into the game with Pollard and Fawad Ahmed reducing the pace off the ball. Both the in-form batsmen at the crease struggled to get the big hits. The pressure finally got to the batsmen as Fawad picked up Deyal for 29 while Pollard got rid of the dangerous Fletcher for 39. After 12 overs, the scorecard for Zouks read- 96/3.

Match Highlights:

It was from this point onwards that it went all downhill for Sammy and Co. From 96/3 they slipped to 117/5 as Roston Chase and Mohammad Nabi fell to rash shots, attempting to clear the ropes. For TKR, captain Pollard was the star with his cutters as he bagged three wickets in the penultimate over of Zouks’ innings to finish with 4/30. The Zouks lost their last eight wickets for just 65 runs to get bowled out with five balls to spare for 154.

2nd innings: Chasing 155, TKR lost Tion Webster in the second over. The Zouks piled on the misery with Scott Kuggeleijn removing Tim Seifert to leave TKR at a precarious 19/2 in four overs. But mature heads in Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo settled the nerves as both the batsmen took their time to settle in and then changed gears after the halfway mark to take the game away from the opposition. Together they stitched an incredible 138-run stand. While Bravo remained not out on 58 off 47 balls, Simmons was unbeaten on 84 off 49 balls as TKR cantered home with 11 balls to spare.

The Knight Riders won the CPL by winning all 12 of their matches. They are only the second team ever to win 100 percent of their matches in a T20 league (in 2019 Karnataka won the Syed Mushtaq Ali with 12/12) and the first to do so in a T20 major league.

Turning Point: The 17th over bowled by inexperienced Afghan left-arm wrist spinner Zahir Khan, which went for 23 runs was surely the moment that changed the game. From 41 required off 24 balls, it came down to run a ball as Simmons hit a six and Bravo hit a couple of biggies.

Down to run-a-ball, Scott Kuggeleijn, Zouks’ most effective fast bowler lost his length against a rampaging Simmons, who hit a six and a four to effectively finish the contest as 16 came from the over.

Brief Scorecard: St.Lucia Zouks: 154/10, 19.1 overs (Andre Fletcher 39, Kieron Pollard 4/30) lost to Trinbago Knight Riders: 157/2, 18.1 overs (Lendl Simmons 84, Roston Chase 1/13)

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