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T&T Red Steel CPL Kings
Left to defend 26 runs from the last over against Barbados Tridents, Sulieman Benn conceded only five runs and at the end of it, T&T Red Steel was crowned the 2015 Hero CPL T20 champions and US$400,000 richer at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain Sunday night.
Set a daunting 179 runs to win the match, the Tridents were in the game up until the penultimate over when Dwayne Bravo allowed just 10 runs leaving spinner Benn to do the job in the last over, which he did without any fuss, as big hitters Keiron Pollard and Jason Holder could not bring it home.
Thousands of fans were glued to their seats and no one moved until the final ball was bowled by Benn, who charged straight to the Carib Stand where the fans were jumping and waving.
Dwayne Smith and American Stephen Taylor started off as if they were late for a flight as they raced to 47 off just four overs. The little known Taylor stunned the fans as he clobbered 20 off 10 balls before Johan Botha got him. Smith continued to beat ball in the company of Kyle Corbin. They took the score to 85 in the 10th over when Sulieman Benn bowled Smith one short of his half century. He faced 30 balls, struck three sixes and four fours in an innings that left the Red Steel men flat.
Benn would return to get Misbah ul Haq to end a stubborn stand with Corbin that was worth 32 of 27 balls. Derone Davis then snared Corbin for 20 made off 28 balls and the home team was back in this contest.
Earlier, Bravo won the toss and understandably took first strike as the pitch was expected to be best for batting first. Jacques Kallis and Cameron Delport reeled off three boundaries early in the piece that got the crowd excited. However, Kallis would go in the third over off the bowling Robin Petersen for eight. The Tridents maintained a tidy line and length for most of the powerplay overs that brought just 32 runs.
Akmal and Delport forged a very good partnership for the second wicket and although the runs did not come at a fast clip initially the two grew nicely into the task and the crowd was kept on their feet dancing away the Sunday afternoon. Akmal was the more aggressive of the two, as the pint sized Pakistani was hitting balls very hard. He kept the run rate hovering over seven consistently while Delport picked the singles.
Pollard for all his tactical strength as a captain was unable to stop the two as they took their measured assault to the Tridents to keep their team on a firm footing for a sizeable score.
Akmal brought up his half century off 41 balls with two sixes and four fours. At the end of the 14th over the score was 101 for one and substitute fielder Mark Deyal rushed out with a message to the batsmen. Delport then dumped two sixes of his countryman Robin Petersen and in the next over brought up his half century of 37 balls with two sixes and five fours. Soon after reaching the landmark he left caught and bowled Keiron Pollard for 50. Next ball Akmal followed him for 60 made off 45 balls with two sixes and five fours.
It was now time for the Bravo show, as Dwayne joined Darren and they did not disappoint, they hammered 40 runs from just 2.4 overs and Ravi Rampaul felt the brunt of their attack. Bowling over number 18 he went for 24 runs including a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and also had wides in there. Darren got just nine but Dwayne finished with a 15-ball unbeaten 29.
The Tridents were very tardy in their over rate as the innings was due to finish at 5.50pm but instead went on to 6.34pm. There are no penalties in this tournament for slow over rates but had this occur in the England Natwest T20 Blast, Tridents would have been fined 60 runs.
Red Steel vs Tridents
Red Steel inns
J Kallis b Petersen*8
C Delport c & b Pollard*50
K Akmal c Nurse b Pollard*60
DM Bravo c Petersen b Emrit*9
DJ Bravo not out*29
K Cooper c Pollard b Emrit*4
J Botha not out*1
Extras 2b, 4lb, 11w*17
Total for 5 wkts (20ovs)*178
Fall of wkts: 18, 120, 120, 160, 165.
Bowling: R Emrit 4-0-25-2, R Rampaul 3-0-47-0, R Petersen 4-1-24-1, K Pollard 4-0-28-2, A Nurse 2-0-15-0, I Khan 1-0-12-0, J Holder 2-0-21-0.
D Smith b Benn*49
S Taylor lbw Taylor*20
K Corbin c Delport b Benn*20
M ul Haq c Cooper b Davis*21
K Pollard not out*20
J Holder not out*20
Extras 4b, 1lb, 3w*8
Total for 4 wkts (20ovs)*158
Fall of wkts: 47, 85, 117, 118.
Bowling: S Badree 4-0-39-0, D Bravo 4-0-39-0, K Cooper 4-0-22-0, J Botha 1-0-11-1, D Davis 3-0-18-1, S Benn 4-0-22-2.
Result: T&T Red Steel won by 20 runs.
T&T Red Steel is the 2015 Hero CPL Champions.
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