The Trinbago Knight Riders demonstrated a strong form as they clinched a record fourth Caribbean Premier League title in style, beating St Lucia Zouks and winning by eight wickets in the final that completed a historic unbeaten campaign, winning all 12 games. Overall, TKR was the strongest team in the tournament with both bat and ball.
The final victory was achieved without one of their premier players Sunil Narine, who was dropped from the playing XI. Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo ensured the first perfect season in franchise T20 history with an unbroken partnership of 138 off 88 balls, the highest of CPL 2020 and the highest ever in a final. Their score of 185/3 against Barbados Tridents was the highest total in the competition this year.
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Afghan left-arm wrist spinner Zahir Khan’s 17th over, which went for 23 runs, was the turning point of the success. 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, while Simmons hit a six and a four to effectively finish the contest as 16 came from the over. In total, Simmons and Bravo hit 10 sixes between them apart from 10 boundaries.
Earlier, Captain Kieron Pollard who was awarded “Man of the Tournament”, led from the front with his own heroic performances, giving the second over to Ali Khan, and Ali responded by flattening Cornwall’s middle stump. Andre Fletcher clipped fine for four, the Zouks thus closing the second over at 16/1. Narine and also Dwayne Bravo didn’t bowl a single over out of the 19.1 they sent down.
The CPL was the first T20 league to take place in the wake of coronavirus pandemic as it commenced in August. The 33-game was held behind closed doors in bio-secure environments. Throughout the virus-hit season, the Knight Riders had absorbed the loss of key personnel: Colin Munro fractured his hand, Ali Khan missed games, Narine had kidney stones removed and was unable to play the final due to injury.
However, the Pollard inspired side became the first team in the history of CPL to win all matches in the tournament. With the CPL now concluded, a whole host of stars are heading to the UAE to bolster their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise squads. The 13th edition of the cash-rich tournament will be played on September 19 in UAE this year due to a surge in coronavirus cases in India.
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