Sports

Trinbago Knight Riders win Hero CPL

V Krishnaswamy September 11 | Updated on September 11, 2020 Published on September 11, 2020

The dominant gang lifts the cup with a perfect record of 12 wins in 12 matches

The Trinbago Knight Riders created history by winning every single match for a perfect record of 12 wins in 12 matches in the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League while winning the title for a record fourth time.

Spearheaded by the big-hitting Lendl Simmons (84 in 49 balls with eight fours and four sixes) and Darren Bravo (58 in 47 balls with two fours and six sixes) who put on 138 for an unbroken third-wicket stand, they outplayed St. Lucia Zouks by eight wickets. Knight Riders won with 11 balls to spare and Simmons was adjudged Player of the final. Earlier, the stage was set by the Knight Riders captain, Kieron Pollard, who captured four for 30 in four overs and helped restrict Zouks to 154 in 19.1 overs.

The Knight Riders had to rally not once but twice on the way to a superb victory. First, Zouks sent in to bat were 77 for one in under nine overs, before Pollard came on to send back the dangerous Andre Fletcher (39) and Roston Chase (22). Knight Riders fought back superbly and took seven for 39 in last 32 balls to stop Zouks from running away with a massive total. Zouks finished with a competitive 154. Then while chasing the target of 155, the Knight Riders were down 19 for two in 3.3 overs, before Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo came together to combine in the finest stand of the Hero CPL.

Towards the end, needing 41 runs in 24 overs, Simmons and Bravo went on a rampage and got them in 13 balls after a series of sixes and fours. Between the two, Simmons and Bravo got 100 of their 138 runs in their partnership in fours and sixes.

Monumental win

The Zouks sent in to bat first, lost RahkeemCornwall early in the second over, but Fletcher and Mark Deyal put on 67 in 7.3 overs. They had begun to look dangerous when Fawad Ahmed achieved a breakthrough with Deyal’s wicket. Then Pollard came on the scene in the 12th over and engineered a collapse starting with the wickets of Fletcher and Chase in 12th and 14th over.

The Zouks from being 89 for 2 after 11 overs did not even last out the 20 overs, losing their last wicket off the first ball of the 20th over. After Chase, the only batsman to get into double digits was Najibullah Zadran (24). Before the final, Pollard had just four wickets in the entire tournament, but he took an equal number in a single match in four overs and it proved crucial.

When the Knight Riders began their chase, Simmons’ opening partner Tion Webster had problems after tackling Roston Chase’s offspin. Webster finally fell to Chase off a skied shot and then Scott Kuggeleijn had Tim Seifert edging to Fletcher to leave Knight Riders at 19 for two in the fourth over.

Simmons maintained his cool as he slowly but steadily found his feet. A flat drive through mid-on and a flick followed by one through backward point meant three boundaries. That broke the shackles. Simmons smashed Nabi over mid-wicket for his first six and then hit Kesrick Williams for a six. He got to his 50 in 31 balls en route to becoming the highest run-getter at 2020 Hero CPL.

Darren Bravo, too, got into the act as he sent Glen twice over mid-wicket for sixes. When the 15th over ended, Knight Riders were 110 for two and needed 45 off five overs. With only four coming in 16th over by Scott Kuggeleijn, Knight Riders were left needing more than 10 an over with 41 in four overs.

The 17th over by Zahir Khan changed the entire picture, First Simmons hit him for a four and a six and took a single to give Bravo the strike. Bravo responded with two sixes separated by a dot ball. The over produced 23 runs and that meant only 18 were needed in three overs. Simmons made it even simpler with two fours and a six besides two singles as 16 came off the 18th over. Off the first ball of the 19th over, a bottom edge by Bravo’s slipped past the wicketkeeper to the boundary for victory.

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Published on September 11, 2020
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