Tarouba: Skipper Kieron Pollard produced a magical spell while Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo engaged themselves in a six-hitting spree as they took Trinbago Knight Riders to a deserving Caribbean Premier League title with an effortless eight-wicket victory over St Lucia Zouks in the final on Thursday.
Chasing a target of 155, TKR finished it with 11 balls to spare as Simmons (84 off 49 balls) and Bravo (58 off 47 balls) 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.
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.
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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.
In all, Simmons (4 sixes, 8 fours) and Bravo (2 fours and six sixes) hit 10 sixes between them apart from 10 boundaries.
Earlier, TKR skipper 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.
The last six wickets fell in six overs for 39 runs as Darren Sammy's side missed out on crossing 175-run mark.
Save Pollard, pacer Ali Khan (2 for 25 in 3.1 overs) and leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed (2/22 in 3 overs) rose to the occasion on a day when TKR missed Narine and Dwayne Bravo didn't bowl a single over out of the 19.1 that they sent down.
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After on-field medical help, Du Plessis got up and walked back to the dressing room. He was later taken to the hospital for further examinations.
The announcement has put to rest the speculation in recent days that the PSL was going to be moved to Sharjah. Twenty matches remain to played in the PSL.
Du Plessis said the administrators of the game must strike a balance between leagues and international cricket.