Mark Deyal scored a sublime half-century on Tuesday in a high-scoring thriller that saw Saint Lucia Kings reach the final of the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) by eliminating defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.
The Saint Lucia Kings won the toss and chose to bat. Deyal got the side off to a flying start and they maintained a high intensity throughout the innings, as Tim David and David Wiese combined to cause carnage in the latter overs, taking the side to a mammoth 205-4 after their 20 overs.
Trinbago Knight Riders got off to a fast start in response but slowly unravelled amidst a growing run rate, as David Wiese took his second five-wicket haul of this year’s Hero CPL to end their title defence as they finished on 184 all out.
“We didn’t think that score was too big, but got to give credit and congratulations to them,” said TKR captain Kieron Pollard.
“Very proud of the boys. I thought we gave them couple extra runs. But over the tournament, the guys have been fantastic. (Ravi) Rampaul was good to come back in the CPL. (Akeal) Hosein did well. That’s all you want, want to see decent, good cricket.”
‘Decent, good cricket’ it was in what was one of the most exciting semi-final matches in the CPL this season.
Saint Lucia Kings had got off to a troublesome start as Rahkeem Cornwall was caught out in the first over. Yet Deyal would come in and play with an attacking intent that saw him launch 11 boundaries and reach his highest ever T20 score, 78 off just 44 balls.
Roston Chase would aid the side with a valuable knock, before David and Wiese came in and formed a destructive partnership: 75 runs coming off the last 34 balls.
Despite the high score, Sunil Narine was excellent with the ball for the Trinbago Knight Riders, conceding a paltry 12 runs from his four overs.
Trinbago Knight Riders responded with a strong start, scoring 66 runs in the Powerplay for just the loss of one wicket, as Narine and Colin Munro kept the required run rate within reach.
However, Wiese starred with the ball as he took both of their wickets, adding pressure to the chase. Despite quick-fire cameos from Darren Bravo and captain Kieron Pollard, it was not enough as the champions faltered under disciplined bowling from Alzarri Joseph and Wahab Riaz.
Wiese then capped off a superb game by taking late wickets to reach his five wicket haul.
Saint Lucia Kings reached their second successive Hero CPL final with the win and the result means we will have a new champion in the CPL.
“We really want to go over the line this season. Deyal took the attack to them, and that set them back. We knew they were flat and I told him not to give up,” said Andre Fletcher, who was the stand-in captain for the injured Faf Du Plessis but who disappointed with the bat, scoring just four from 14 balls faced.
“I did not get the runs I wanted. When I got out, I was praying that the other batters can take us through. In the time out, Sammy said we were doing well and that we just need to get the run-rate back a bit,” Fletcher continued.
“The most important thing we tried to do was get the run-rate as high as we could before Pollard would come in. I’m humble, I’m happy. Happy knowing coaching staff believe in me and the players have faith in me. Want to win the championship.”
Weise, the Player of the Match, said luck was on his side during the match.
“We wanted to play off the spinners and then take them on with the bat. (Tim) David has been great all season. In this game, you sometimes don’t bowl well but get rewards and sometimes you bowl well but don’t get rewards. I got lucky, perhaps,” he said.
“We know Pollard is phenomenal. We knew if we miss the mark, he will punish you. But Fletcher asked me to tie him up. Unbelievable that we are in the final.”
Scores: Saint Lucia Kings 205-4 (Deyal 78, David 38; Narine 1-12, Hosein 1-27) beat Trinbago Knight Riders 184 all out (Narine 30, Ramdin 29; Wiese 5-39, Paul 2-21) by 21 runs.