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TKR repeats as CPL champions
Play, fight, win repeat.
This is exactly what the Trinbago Knight Riders did moments ago, as they were crowned 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League champions with an eight-wicket victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
The TKR, seeking to earn back-to-back titles and their third overall, ran down a victory target off 148 set by the Warriors to lift their third CPL crown much to the delight of 18,000 fans who transformed the ground into a sea of red.
Warriors, having been sent in, scored 148 for nine off their 20 overs and TKR responded without problems in reaching 150-2 with 15 balls to spare.
Chasing 148 could have been a tricky target on a slow pitch but TKR played a wildcard by sending in wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin to open the batting with Brendan McCullum.
This proved a brilliant move by skipper Dwayne Bravo as Ramdin turned the scoring over while McCullum went after the bowling. The two knocked the stuffing out of the Warriors attack in posting a half-century opening partnership.
McCullum was dismissed for a 24-ball 39 that came with five fours and two sixes. Ramdin continued to knock the ball around in partnership with Player of the Tournament Colin Munro, but rain stopped them in their tracks at 65 for one. After a lengthy delay, the players came back on and the two continued their work.
When Ramdin left hit wicket for 24 the score was 87 and the TKR had gotten a great platform to launch the win. Munro then stayed the course, scoring 68 not out and crossing 500 runs in the process. He faced a total off 69 balls, hitting six fours and three sixes.
Earlier, Bravo won the toss and elected to send Warriors in to bat. He threw the ball to his trusted opening soldier Muhammad Ali Khan and after a few seconds 18,000 fans were on their feet jumping as he castled Cameron Delport’s off stump.
Luke Ronchi and Shimron Hetmyer then recovered well in taking the score to 46 for one after the end of the powerplay. They pushed the score to 52 before the wheels fell apart.
Fawad Ahmed, the leading wicket-taker in this tournament, was struck for six by Hetmyer but next delivery he hanged a googlie just outside off stump and the left-hander edged to Dwayne Bravo at slip. Hetmyer made 15 and soon after he was joined by a number of Warriors batsmen in the dugout.
Man-of-the-match Khary Pierre, the Queen’s Park Cricket Club, left-arm orthodox spinner who was dropped for the semis, came back like a true champion and removed Ronchi for 44. The Kiwi made his runs off 35 balls with six fours and a six. Pierre then accounted for Chadwick Walton for one and reserved one of the better moments of this tournament for soon after. The dangerous Shurfane Rutherford struck a mighty blow right back to him and Pierre completed a blistering reflex catch. This took the TKR spirit to another level and soon Warriors were reduced to 109 for eight.
Towards the end, the Warriors got away a bit and ended on 147 off their allotted 20 overs. Pierre ended with 3/29, while Bravo took 2/30.
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