Knight Riders thrash Warriors to lift CPL-2018 title

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Colin Munro comes to the party yet again with his expensive shots that lifted the Trinbago Knight Riders to their second successive Caribbean Premier League title triumph. 

By Jawad Hussain

TAROUBA, September 16, 2018 (News925.com) – The mercurial DJ Bravo added another feather to his cap on Sunday night when he inspired the Trinbago Knight Riders to their second straight Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2018) title triumph at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad.

The CPL 2018 title match also gave New Zealand’s flamboyant batsman Colin Munro to unleash the brutal side of his batting skills and pummel the Warriors with some serious lusty blows. The final would also be remembered for the American bowler Ali Khan, who put himself into the limelight with amazing bowling performances right throughout the cricket league and once again reminded of his bowling talent in the title encounter.

Skipper Dwayne Bravo proved his mettle with the ball, if not with the bat in the final as his side Trinbago Knight Riders romped to their second straight title in Tarouba. The CPL 2018 final was all about few key performances by Colin Munro, Khary Pierre, Dwayne Bravo, Luke Ronchi, and Brendon McCullum. However, nothing was better than Colin Munro’s unbeaten half-century which changed the fortunes for the Knight Riders, which had lost to the Guyana Amazon Warriors twice in the final stages of the tournament.

It was Guyana Amazon Warriors who had outsmarted Trinbago Knight Riders by two wickets in the first playoff to cruise into the final. However, Trinbago Knight Riders deservedly secured their place in the final after defeating St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots by two wickets in the never-wracking fourth playoff. The final was a sweet revenge of DJ Bravo and his men as they were able to pull off their best performance in the playoffs to clinch the title.

It all started with DJ Bravo winning the toss and deciding to bowl first. The skipper had enough confidence on his bowling combination and a strong batting outfit to chase down any target on the final day of the tournament.

South African cricketer Cameron Delport failed to sparkle on the big day and perished on a first-ball duck, thanks to an inspiring delivery by Ali Khan. The disastrous start prevented the Warriors from taking the aerial route rather consistently. The Warriors’ import from New Zealand Luke Ronchi proved his worth to the franchise as he lifted the side with 35-ball innings of 44 runs with the help of six boundaries and a maximum.

However, Ronchi lacked support from the other end. The Trinbago’s most loved player Shimron Hetmyer (15 off 11) entered the field with a lot depending on his young shoulders. He tried to use the long handle with a boundary and a six but Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed got rid of him with skipper DJ Bravo completing the catch. The Warriors were depleted to 4/81 from 10.5 overs when hard-hitting batsman Chadwick Walton was undone by Player of the Match Khary Pierre. Pierre soon showed Sherfane Rutherford (12 off 7 – 1 four, 1 six) the exit way before Sunil Narine downed Pakistani all-rounder Sohail Tanvir (3 off 6).

A late push by the tail-enders lifted the Warriors to 9/147, which was a mediocre total for the big match like the CPL final.

Khary Pierre was the pick of the bowlers for the Knight Riders as he finished with figures of 3/29. Ali Khan also bowled a decent spell of 1/20 from his four overs whereas Fawad Ahmed registered figures of 1/29. Skipper Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine chipped in with figures of 2/30 and 1/31, respectively.

The target of 148 runs was never going to haunt the Knight Riders. Oozing with confidence, West Indian wicket-keeper-batsman Dinesh Ramdin (24 off 30) and New Zealand’s veteran aggressor Brendon McCullum (39 off 24 – 5 fours, 2 sixes) got the Knight Riders off to a flying start. The defending champions reached 52 runs in 6.3 overs before Brendon McCullum was shown the exit gate by skipper Chris Green. The downfall of McCullum brought another Kiwi aggressor Colin Munro to the crease. The left-hander had been enjoying a great tournament already and he put icing on the cake with a classy half-century which was studded with six fours and three maximums. Colin Munro scored unbeaten 68 runs from 39 balls and despite an injury to Darren Bravo (4 off 7 – retired hurt), South Africa’s Colin Ingram (7* off 5 – 1 four) joined forces with Munro to seal the deal for the Trinbago Knight Riders.

Khary Pierre was declared Player of the final whereas Colin Munro was named Player of the Tournament.

 

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