Kieron Pollard stole the show with bat and ball as Trinbango Knight Riders (TKR) downed St Lucia Zouks by 23 runs in the 27th match of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad on Saturday.
Pollard grabbed 3 wickets and scored 42 runs for his side who are unbeaten in the CPL this season and are leading the points table with 18 points.
Batting first, TKR put up 175 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 20 overs. Darren Bravo hit a half-century, while Pollard struck a quickfire 42-run knock.
After winnings the toss, Zouks opted to field first.
Simmons opened the innings for TKR and smacked a six over the deep mid-wicket boundary for a flat six off Scott Kuggeleijn in the first over. However, the bowler made an excellent comeback as after three dot balls to Simmons, he removed the 35-year-old right-handed batsman (8), who edged behind to the keeper.
TKR were 12 for 1 when Seifert came to accompany Webster, who slammed Mohammad Nabi by hitting a huge six in the very next over.
It seemed that Kuggeleijn caught the rhythm when he bowled three dot balls, but his mood was ruined by a free-hit, which Seifert tossed high over the bowler for a six and then a four. Seifert continued hitting the boundaries as he banged two fours off Roston Chase. TKR scored 47 runs for the loss of one wicket in the power play.
They lost another wicket for 55 runs when the left-arm wrist-spinner Zahir Khan clean bowled Webster (20), who slammed a six before being dismissed on the last ball of the 7th over. Darren Bravo came at number 4 to join Seifert and both the batsmen got TKR innings to the halfway stage at 74 for 2.
As the play resumed after the drinks, Bravo continued scoring runs through boundaries and singles.
Zouks Skipper Darren Sammy came to bowl for the first time this season. Bravo hammered a four off Sammy, who compensated the loss by dismissing Seifert (33). It was Sammy’s first wicket of CPL 2020.
Mohammad Nabi tried to reduce the stress with a decent economy rate of 5.33. In the 15th over, Kesrick Williams gave away 13 runs including 5 wides as TKR crossed 100 (108 for 3).
Pollard then slammed a four and a six off Sammy and he kept taking singles and doubles in the process. Williams conceded 16 runs in the 18th over with Bravo and Pollard struck a six apiece helping TKR score 150 runs. Pollard continued finding the fence (a four and a six) off Kuggeleijn. But he caught behind off the very next ball scoring 42 runs. Dwayne Bravo joined his brother in the 19th over and scored a four off Kuggeleijn. Darren struck a massive six off Williams in the last over and completed his 50 before being dismissed on the last ball of the game. TKR plundered 80 runs off the last six overs to end 175 for 5.
In reply, Zouks got off to a bad misery start as TKR bowlers Sikandar Raza and Akeil Hosein conceded only 8 runs in three overs.
Zouks found the first boundary in the fourth over, when Deyal hit the fence off Raza. Bravo came into the attack in the last over of the powerplay and removed Melius (12), who was caught by Seifert. Zouks were 26 for 1 in 6 overs.
Andre Fletcher joined Deyal and completed 2000 CPL runs by scoring a single. Deyal continued firing as he slammed a four and Fletcher clattered a six off Fawad Ahmed, who conceded 13 runs in his first over. Zouks were 63 for 1 in 9.4 over before rain halted the play for a few minutes.
Deyal and Fletcher kept scoring runs through boundaries. Pollard removed Deyal (40) in the 12th over and Fletcher (42) in the 14th over. Zouks’ required run-rate was 12 and they already were left in a fix after losing two of their in-form batsmen. They were 111 for 3 in 15 overs. Mohammad Nabi tried to collect runs through singles and found a maximum off Pollard, who exacted revenge four balls later and removed Nabi for 17. In the very next over, Bravo removed Najibullah (12).
Zouks needed 45 runs in the last 3 over to win the match. After Najibullah’s wicket, Sammy and Luggeleijn accumulated 17 runs through singles and doubles. The former hit a six in the last over, before being dismissed at the hands of Seales. Zouks were restricted to 152 for 7 in 20 overs.