They started as a champion. Treaded the journey to the summit like a champion. And, then signed it off like a true champion.
Trinbago Knight Riders are the new champions of the Caribbean Premier League 2020. All-conquering and unconquered they signed off the Cricket West Indies’ professional league, winning all their ten outings, including the semi-final and the final.
Skipper Kieron Pollard led by example and from the front as the Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta co-owned team won the final in style, thrashing St Lucia Zouks by eight wickets with 11 balls to spare.
Pollard restricted the Zouks to 154 with a four-wicket haul. Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo then finished the chase with unfinished half-centuries.
Chasing 155 to win, TKR rode dominating knocks by Simmons (84* off 49 balls) and Bravo (58* off 47 balls). The duo added 138 runs for the unbroken third-wicket stand as TKR became the first team in the history of CPL to win all matches in the tournament during the season.
The final victory was achieved without one of their premier players Sunil Narine being dropped from the XI.
The turning point certainly was the 17th over bowled by inexperienced Afghan left-arm wrist spinner Zahir Khan, which went for 23 runs. 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.
Earlier, Pollard marshalled his resources brilliantly while showing the way with figures of 4 for 30 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), Roston Chase (22 off 14 balls) got starts but couldn’t convert.
Scores: St Lucia Zouks 154 all out (Fletcher 39, Deyal 29, Najibullah 24, Chase 22; Pollard 4 for 30, Fawad 2 for 22, Ali Khan 2 for 25, Hosein 1 for 26) lost to Trinbago Knight Riders 157 for 2 (Simmons 84*, DM Bravo 58*; Chase 1/13, Kuggeleijn 1/30) by 8 wickets.
Player of the final: Lendl Simmons (TKR).