Skipper Kieron Pollard produced a magical spell while Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo engaged themselves in a six-hitting spree as they took Trinbago Knight Riders to a deserving Caribbean Premier League title with an effortless eight-wicket victory over St. Lucia Zouks in the 2020 final on Thursday.
Chasing a target of 155, Trinbago sealed the deal in Tarouba with 11 balls to spare as Simmons (84 off 49 balls) and Bravo (58 off 47 balls) added an unbeaten 138-run stand for the third-wicket. The Knight Riders went on to become the first team in the history of CPL to win all the matches in a single edition.
Victory in the summit clash was achieved by TKR without one of its premier players — Sunil Narine — who was dropped from the XI due to an injury. Zimbabwe all-rounder had Sikandar Raza replaced him. Meanwhile, Narine’s teammate Dwayne Bravo didn’t bowl a single over in the game because of a niggle.
The turning point certainly was the 17th over bowled by St. Lucia’s inexperienced Afghan left-arm wrist spinner Zahir Khan, which went for 23 runs. From 41 required off 24 balls, it came down to a run a ball as Simmons hit a six and Bravo smashed a couple of maximums in that over.
Scott Kuggeleijn, Zouks’ most effective fast bowler, then lost his length in the next over against a rampaging Simmons, who hit a six and a four to effectively finish the contest as 16 runs came from the 18th. At the end of the day, Simmons (four sixes, eight fours) and Bravo (two fours and six sixes) led their side to glory.
Earlier in the day, TKR skipper Pollard marshalled his resources brilliantly while showing the way with figures of four wickets for 30 runs, which restricted Zouks to 154 after racing away to 77 for one at one stage. Pollard bowled his variation of slower deliveries on a pitch where the ball gripped and came late.
Mark Deyal (29 off 27 balls), Andre Fletcher (39 off 27 balls) and Roston Chase (22 off 14 balls) got starts but couldn’t convert it into big scores. The Zouks lost their last six wickets for just 39 runs in six overs as Darren Sammy’s side missed out on crossing the 175-run mark.
Apart from Pollard, pacer Ali Khan (2/25 in 3.1 overs) and leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed (2/22 in 3 overs) rose to the occasion on a day when Trinbago missed Narine and Bravo’s bowling.