It was a carnival atmosphere as the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel fans, dressed in their red, white and black colours, turned the Queen’s Park Oval into one big party, dancing and waving their rags and flags to the sound of drums and soca music as their team won the third edition of the Caribbean Premier League.
It was a closed contest between the T&T Red Steel and the Barbados Tridents, but the Red Steel came out victorious as the defending champions fell 20 short runs of the required target.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, the Red Steel set a target of 178 to win, losing 5 wickets in the process. Once again, Kamran Akmal was the leading runs scorer and eventual Man of the Match as he made 60 from 46 balls, including 5 fours and 2 sixes. Along with Cameron Delport, Akmal put on a partnership of 102 as Delport scored a half century before losing his wicket.
Darren Bravo, one of Red Steel’s leading batsman in this CPL season, once again failed to make runs as he only made 9 runs, while Kevon Cooper made 4 runs but it was a Dwayne Bravo assault in the last 2 overs that pushed the Red Steel total to 178. He make a quick 29 runs off 15 balls, with 4 fours and 1 six.
Kallis was again in pain and play was interrupted so he could receive some treatment. He was only able to score 8 runs as he soon fell to his fellow country man Robin Peterson. All of the Tridents went for lots of runs. The only wicket takers for the Tridents were Pollard (2 for 28), Emrit (2 for 25) and Peterson (1 for 24).
The Tridents got off to a solid start from Dwayne Smith and Steven Taylor. The pair added 47 on the board in the first 5 overs before Botha removed Taylor LBW for 20 runs which included 3 fours and 1 six. Smith went on to make 49 off 30 balls before he was bowled by Ben.
Kyle Corbin, who was playing his first game in the CPL, made 20 while Misbah-ul-Haq made 21 runs. By this stage it looked as if the Tridents were in sight of the victory line and the noisy crowd fell silent as they sat nervously watching and praying. When Misbah was dismissed, the crowd was once again back on their feet cheering their team.
Kieron Pollard, who was given 2 chances as he was dropped and missed run out, hardly managed to connect bat to ball during their innings. Holder and Pollard could not get their teams across the finishing line as Bravo bowled a tight second to last over when they required 35 from 12 balls.
The last over was bowled by Ben which saw the Tridents needing 26 from 6 balls but could only managed 6 runs giving the Red Steel the trophy. Ben, Botha and Davis were the only ones to take wickets for Red Steel.
Chris Gayle was given the award for most sixes in this year CPL. A disappointed Pollard said they lost because they lost a few international players, bad bowling and that Red Steel played fantastic cricket while Bravo thanked their supporters and his team mates for a great effort. The Tallawahs won the first CPL then the Tridents and now the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, who had reach the finals for the first time in CPL history.
Congratulations, Trinidad & Tobago!
(Image Courtesy : CPL)