Saturday 16th August 2014 – Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Barbados Tridents have run out winners in the final of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League in a rain affected match against the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
The Tridents batted first and set a target of 153 to win thanks to half centuries from Dwayne Smith and Shoaib Malik. A tight finish was in prospect, but a third interruption for rain meant that it was impossible to play the game to a conclusion. When the final rain delay came, the Tridents were eight runs ahead on the Duckworth Lewis calculations and were declared this year’s champions.
The Tridents got off to a pedestrian start to their innings, thanks to the excellent bowling of Krishmar Santokie. He picked up a wicket in first over when William Perkins hit a leading edge to Mohammad Hafeez at point. The Tridents elevated Jason Holder to number three in an attempt to keep the score board moving inside the Powerplay. It was not a successful experiment as he was bowled by a Santokie yorker for a golden duck.
Malik headed out to bat and, in combination with Smith, they started to find the boundary and finally get the score board moving. They made it to 48 for two at the end of the Powerplay, a decent effort considering they were eight for two at the end of the third over. A short rain delay took the players from the field, but they were back out soon enough with no overs lost.
Upon the resumption, Smith and Malik continued to combine attack and defence effectively, but Smith could have gone for 38 when he skied a ball from Navin Stewart, but it landed between fielders. He had another slice of luck when an attempted pull shot off Hafeez hit the back of his bat and was almost caught at point. Smith made the most of his fortune as he made 57 from 51 balls to marshal the Tridents innings.
Things changed with the introduction of Narine into the attack. Smith found scoring off the wily spinner significantly more difficult and hit the ball down the throat of Martin Guptill at long off. Narine then picked up the wicket of Kieron Pollard to the very next delivery, the ball taking the leading edge into the hands of the bowler.
Those two wickets brought attacking fields from the Amazon Warriors as skipper Ramdin had two close catchers for the spinners. The two wickets of the Bajan big hitters ripped the heart out of the Tridents’ innings. Santokie and Narine combined brilliantly as the Tridents innings threatened to finish with a whimper.
Malik managed to get them to a total that they will have had some confidence in defending. He finished the innings undefeated on 55 as he gave his team a sniff of winning. Runs on the board in a high pressure final is always a nice position to be in.
The early wicket of Guptill was the perfect start for the Tridents, but Lendl Simmons was still there. He is the leading run scorer in this year’s CPL, and although he started slowly, he looked to be continuing his fine form. It was not to be as he tamely chipped the ball to cover to be out caught off the bowling of Rayad Emrit.
Suddenly the Warriors went from building a platform to struggling to keep up with the rate. Jimmy Neesham attempted to accelerate, but in the process came close to being dismissed. Jason Holder could not hold on to a stiff chance off the bowling of Pollard. This see-saw game swung in favour of the Tridents as Holder removed both Hafeez and Neesham in the 13th over. The Neesham dismissal brought a furious reaction from Ramdin at the non-strikers end, but it looked to be a reasonable call by the umpire.
The Tridents thought they had got Ramdin, a low caught and bowled chance was claimed by Raymon Reifer. The TV replay seemed to suggest that the ball had hit the ground and the batsman was adjudged not out. Just as the drama was reaching its peak, the rain returned to take the players from the field. Ramdin had combined well with Christopher Barnwell to leave the game beautifully poised.
There were only four overs left, but unfortunately there was not enough time to get them in. The rain had robbed the sell-out crowd of a tight finish, but the Tridents were the worthy winners having topped the table at the end of the group stage.
Guyana Amazon Warriors player, Lendl Simmons, was named Man of the Tournament and takes home the prize of an exclusive piece of land in Beaumont Park, St. Kitts worth over US$400,000.
Victorious captain, Kieron Pollard, said; “I am so pleased for the guys, we have had some hiccups as a squad along the way, but we were able to rally the team for the final matches. We just tried to concentrate on the cricket as that is all that matters. 150 is a tough score to get in any final and we backed our bowlers to put in a performance when it mattered, and they did! We kept the pressure on and I am very proud of the team. We play a lot of cricket and we know the rules and regulations – we all have to follow them – it is the way it is and has been the same throughout the tournament. We now get to play in the Champions League and that will be so great for the players.”
Barbados Tridents all-rounder, Shoaib Malik, said; “Being Man of the Match is great, but the most important thing is that we performed when it mattered and we won. The pressure was on us throughout our innings but I told myself that if I can bat out the 20 overs then we would get a reasonable total. Overall, it was a good team performance and I am grateful for that. We are champions now, and I could not ask for anything better. CPL was truly a wonderful experience this season.”
Barbados Tridents coach, Robin Singh, said; “We tried to learn from our experiences last year. When we got to St. Kitts, the team really performed and as Polly (Kieron Pollard) said, any score you post in a final will be challenging to chase as the pressure builds and builds. People thought we were not doing the right thing by batting first at this ground, but we knew it was right for us and we must have been doing something right as we won. Our bowlers handled the pressure so well and really delivered – I am just so happy for the players.”
According to the Playing Conditions, referencing clause 16: Scheduled Hours of Play, and clause 12.5: Extra Time, the game was won via the Duckworth Lewis method by the Barbados Tridents.