Trinbago Knight Riders, defending champion of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), celebrated three of three wins in the season opener after missing out on St. Lucia Zouk’s 167/5 with seven wickets and 13 balls.
Quite different, yet as impressive as the explosive Lendl Simmons and iced Denesh Ramdin made sure a mid-size target never really posed a major threat. Simmons set the tone when six players were directly above Thisara Perera’s head, and Sunil Narine added another hero maximum as 14 came from the opening.
With the boundaries so regular, even the loss of Narine and Tion Webster in nine balls – the latter caught spot by point on Fawad Ahmed’s first ball of the day – did nothing to slow the flow. Simmons finished this Fawad with another huge six over Long-On and continued on the roof before smoking back-to-back Hero Maximums in the champ’s next leg spinner. His fourth quarter century brought four sixes in only 32 balls. At this time, the overall goal of Knight Riders was already in the double digits.
Understandably, Ramdin was content to play the second fiddle with Simmons, but he also paused after reaching the 50th partnership, holding Fawad in 10 for 10, as 17 runs came from the 11th innings-over.
Simmons continued the border tour with his fifth Hero Maximum, which had knocked Kavem Hodge down the ground, but the bowler retaliated immediately as Simmons ran past a wide to be thoroughly surprised by Andre Fletcher.
The target had dropped from 52 to 62, and as Kieron Pollard stepped into the middle to join Ramdin, the Zouks had little reason for optimism.
The first six of Pollard, who had been tall and handsome for a long time, and the four that Ramdin had covered for Perera’s second overtake, the 15th innings, brought the required set to a run a ball and made the result to a formality.
All that remained to be done was to decide if Ramdin could finish his 50 before Pollard ended the game, and through Midwicket and Point he scored 47 and the winning goal seven at the beginning of the 18th.
He reached the landmark with a clip for two that reached the score, and the Zouk’s Day of Oblivion ended with TKR winning the race.
The innings of the Zouks had a stunning start to Rahkeem Cornwall, just as they did in their opening game against Guyana Amazon Warriors. He followed a 14-ball 36 in this game with 33 of 12 here. His departure, which Narine drove forward with a plummet, led to an inevitable slowdown in the course.
Fletcher fought to settle in a frustrating 32-ball-stay that earned him 26 runs while Najibullah Zadran’s promising cameo came to an end on 26 of 17 balls as he defended Javon Searles at the back of a slower ball from Mohammad Hasnain picked out.
Daren Sammy shattered with 16 of 13 sixes in a row, while John Campbell began to find the limit to the rear end of the innings, but once again it was as if the Zouks had failed to exploit the early momentum of their big opener been given.