Barbados Tridents all-rounder Ashley Nurse insists the team had little time for naysayers following a sensational upset of the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final.

The Tridents headed into the final as heavy underdogs against as a Warrior team that had, for the most part, swept all in their path for most of the season.  The Barbadian-based unit, however, pulled off a 27-run win to complete the turn-around of a season that had started off with indifferent form. 

Nurse, as he has in recent outings, played a key role after making 19 from 15 at the back end of the innings and claiming  2 for 17, including the wicket of the dangerous Brandon King.  For Nurse, the Tridents' ultimate triumph was crafted by determination on the pitch and a sense of camaraderie off it.

“A lot of stuff has been said but we have never worried about people that are outside the team.  We just worry about ourselves,” Nurse said following the match.

“We’ve been a family from day one.  We just worry about being a family and that is what happened today,” he added.

The title was the second for the Barbados franchise.

 

 

A visibly emotional Hayden Walsh Jr took time to reflect on the merits of hard work and the immense contribution of his late father as he basked in the glory of a first and in many ways unexpected Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title with the Barbados Tridents.

Few would have heard of the 27-year-old Antiguan-American before the start of this season but it's safe to say his whirlwind leg break bowling took the competition by storm.  His 22 wickets in 9 matches representing a tournament-high that earned him the Hero Player of the Tournament award. 

Twice this season the spinner proved completely unplayable for the opposition, claiming five wickets against the Trinbago Knightriders and four against the St Lucia Zouks to help catapult the team into the then-struggling team into the playoffs.  Eventually, it set the stage for one of the biggest upsets in the competition's history with a win over the previously unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final.   

Perhaps even fewer would remember the bowler’s forgettable CPL debut season for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in 2018 where his two overs in just two matches went for a costly 54, with no wickets to show.  For Walsh, the gentle placing of the CPL crown on a head once plagued with uneasiness, surely once again proved the old adage, the price of success is hard work.

“I have no words right now.  I’ve worked so hard and all I have to do is give the almighty God thanks for bringing me this far,” Walsh Jr said after the match.

“I’ve been working for years.  I’ve been getting tips all over but I think this is the time it has started to pay off,” he added.

Despite certainly having a claim to being Leeward islands cricketing royalty, his uncle Vaughn Walsh a pace bowler and father Hayden, a gritty opener who played for the region in the 90s, the journey has been a long one for the young Walsh.

He came through the ranks but often failed to find favour with the selectors of the sub-regional group.  The spinner, as a result, went on to represent the United States at the senior level.  The player was forced to overcome perhaps his biggest obstacle when his father, who introduced him to the game and served as his mentor for several years, died of a heart attack in 2010.

“I think about him every day,” a teary-eyed Walsh said.

For his breakout exploits, the bowler was named the Hero Player of the Tournament. 

 

Jonathan Carter is a man that believes in himself and his half century in the final of the Hero Caribbean Premier League final on Saturday suggested a player that is assured and stable.

But there had been questions about his place in the Barbados Tridents team that won their second CPL title on Saturday night, beating the Guyana Amazon Warriors by 27 runs.

Carter slammed four fours and went over the ropes a further four times to score his 51 from 27 balls, saying that assuredeness came from the support of his captain Jason Holder and his coach Phil Simmons.

“When you have a friend like Jason, a captain, who has confidence in you, it gives you the all-clear to go out there and do what you have to do,” said Carter.

“He believes in me, and also coach Simmons. He’s been very influential in the knocks I have been playing this year so I would just like to thank them for that. Thank you Jason, thank you Phil,” said Carter.

Carter was scoring his second half century of the competition, having failed to get over the milestone in every season prior.

Carter also scored 51 against the Trinbago Knight Riders in a game his team won, and also had handy scores of 30 and 49.

Carter also won the prize for the catch of the tournament, a diving one-handed effort that got rid of St Lucia Zouks captain Darren Sammy in match number 17 of the tournament.

The Guyana Amazon Warriors are playing the role of bridesmaid for a fifth time in the Hero Caribbean Premier League after the Barbados Tridents lifted the 2019 title thanks to an important half century from Jonathan Carter.

The Tridents would end up winning by 27 runs, Scoring 171-6 and restricing the Warriors to 144-9.

Carter, 51 from 27 deliveries, received support from Johnson Charles, 39, Alex Hales, 28, and 19 not out from Ashley Nurse.

In response, Brandon King, 43, Nicholas Pooran, 24, and Keemo Paul, 25, were the men to put up a resistance against 4-24 from Raymon Reifer, 2-24 from Harry Gurney, 2-17 from Nurse, and 1-23 from Hayden Walsh Jr.

Choosing to bat, the Tridents started well enough with Charles, 39 and Alex Hales, 28, getting them moving.

When Hales miscued a length slower ball from Romario Shepherd in the sixth over, it brought with it a debutant in Philip Salt. Salt was replacing the injured JP Duminy and like his name in Caribbean culture suggests, was unfortunate in being adjudged caught behind off his elbow without scoring from the bowling of Ben Laughlin.

That dismissal sparked a mini-collapse, thanks mostly to the brilliant fielding of Paul, who ran out Jason Holder (one), the skipper going for two, and Shakib Al Hasan, 15.

Before that Shai Hope (eight) went to a brilliant catch from Chandrapaul Hemraj, the opening batsman catching a firmly struck pull shot that looked for all the world four runs.

Then Ashley Nurse joined Carter at the crease and the two set about taking the Tridents from 108-6 with the last ball of the 15th over remaining, to 171 without further loss. Nurse would play the anchor role, scoring 19 from 15. Carter was more destructive, striking four fours and four sixes to score his 51 from just 27 deliveries.

The total was always going to be challenging, in fact, for the Warriors to avoid being bridesmaids again, they would have to score more runs than anybody in the history of CPL finals.

They failed.

Brandon King, the leading runscorer in the tournament threatened to make the run chase look run of the mill, but Nurse had more to say about the game, stumping him as he went for a lofted on drive.

Shoaib Malik has not scored well against the Tridents and the trend would continue for the Warriors captain, who found Reifer on the mid-wicket boundary after he had absolutely creamed a long hop from Walsh Jr for just four.

Reifer, who opened the bowling for the first time this season, first got rid of the injured Chandrapaul Hemraj, as he miscued a cover drive and was caught in somewhat unorthodox fashion by Shakib Al Hasan, and from there, things just got better for the all rounder.

Reifer was again in on the action as he was quick when bowling to the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer, choking him for room as he tried to launch a ball over long on.

That wicket was big, but it was no less important than when he dragged Romario Shepherd into playing at a wide delivery to be caught behind with the game, though leaning towards Barbados, still in the balance.

With 33 needed in the final over, there was still a glimmer of hope for a team that, up to that point, had not lost, but when Reifer bamboozled Chris Green with a slower ball first up, that was all she wrote.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have announced the team of the tournament. This has been selected by Tom Moody, Hero CPL’s Director – International Cricket, along with the commentary team – Mark Butcher, Danny Morrison, Dirk Nannes, Ian Bishop and Daren Ganga.

The team will be captained by Shoaib Malik (313 runs at 78.25) who successfully led the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a record 10 victories in the group stages to leave his team unbeaten in the tournament thus far. He is joined by fellow Amazon Warriors, Brandon King (453 runs at 56.62) and Imran Tahir (15 wickets at 11.53) who have both played an integral part in the Guyana franchise’s record breaking tournament.

The sole representative from the Jamaica Tallawahs is Glenn Phillips (374 runs at 37.40) who will also be the wicket keeper for the team. Phillips was the leading light for the Tallawahs who had a tricky season, but the Kiwi ‘keeper-batsman did brilliantly at the top of the order.

The Trinbago Knight Riders have two players in the team, Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard. Simmons (429 runs at 42.90) was a late replacement in the Knight Riders squad but has done a superb job at the top or the order as his team made the playoffs once again. Pollard (349 runs at 58.16 and 6 wickets at 29.66) stepped up to the captaincy after Dwayne Bravo pulled out of the tournament through injury and has led from the front with both bat and ball.

The Barbados Tridents have three players who make the team. Jason Holder (14 wickets at 23.07) and Harry Gurney (10 wickets at 16.3) both getting the nod. Holder and Gurney have been superb with the new ball for the Tridents as their team finished second in the points table. The other member of the Tridents who is selected is Hayden Walsh Jr (21 wickets a 12.19) who has claimed five wickets in one innings and four in another as the USA spinner had a breakout season.

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have representation from Fabian Allen (218 runs at 27.25) and Sheldon Cottrell (12 wickets at 19.25). Allen has scored his runs at a remarkable strike rate of 177.23 during the 2019 Hero CPL and has also been one of the fielders of the tournament. Cottrell has been saluting his way to success once again as he starred with the new ball and at the death for the Patriots.

The Head Coach of the year is Johan Botha who has taken Guyana Amazon Warriors into the CPL final with 11 straight wins. The 12th and 13th men are also from Amazon Warriors, with Chris Green (13 wickets at 20) and Chandrapaul Hemraj (298 runs at 27.09, 5 wickets at 17.2) making up the rest of the squad.

 

HERO CPL TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT

 

  1. Lendl Simmons – Trinbago Knight Riders
  2. Brandon King – Guyana Amazon Warriors
  3. Glenn Phillips * (WK) – Jamaica Tallawahs
  4. Shoaib Malik * (C) – Guyana Amazon Warriors
  5. Fabian Allen – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
  6. Kieron Pollard – Trinbago Knight Riders
  7. Jason Holder – Barbados Tridents
  8. Hayden Walsh Jr – Barbados Tridents
  9. Imran Tahir *– Guyana Amazon Warriors
  10. Harry Gurney * – Barbados Tridents
  11. Sheldon Cottrell – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

 

12th man: Chris Green * – Guyana Amazon Warriors

13th man: Chandrapaul Hemraj – Guyana Amazon Warriors

Head Coach: Johan Botha – Guyana Amazon Warriors

 

* Overseas player

Ashley Nurse and Raymon Reifer starred with both bat and ball as Barbados Tridents knocked out defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders to set up a 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final against the all-conquering Guyana Amazon Warriors.

Nurse’s intervention was crucial in both innings, first when blasting an unbeaten 24 from nine balls to propel a stuttering Tridents innings up to 160 for 6 and then taking two key wickets to help strangle the Knight Riders’ run-chase.

Having been put in to bat, the Tridents looked set to make an under-par total for the majority of their innings until Nurse and Raymon Reifer – who later also played his part with the ball, bowling a nerveless final over that included the vital wicket of Seekkuge Prasanna for a 27-ball 51 and the match-clinching one of Khary Pierre – plundered an unbroken 48 runs for the seventh wicket from the final 14 balls.

With the Knight Riders ultimately coming up 12 runs short, the final two overs when the Tridents batted were the difference between going to Saturday’s final and going home.

Johnson Charles could have been dismissed twice early in his 35, dropped by Denesh Ramdin in the first over of the night and then seeing a skied shot land safe after Lendl Simmons and Chris Jordan left it for each other.

While never quite at his fluent best, Charles’ effort was crucial in holding things together during a fraught first half of the Tridents innings in which Hales and Shakib fell to Pierre and JP Duminy was forced to hobble off retired hurt after injuring his leg while hitting a six. The Tridents will be desperate to have him available on Saturday.

Charles followed Duminy straight off the field, skying Ali Khan to Jordan at mid-off to leave the Tridents in bother at 74 for 3 – effectively four down – in the 12th over. Things got worse for them two overs later when Jonathan Carter was spectacularly caught and bowled by Jordan, who flung himself to his left in his follow-through to pluck the ball from the air inches above the grass.

When Jason Holder picked out Colin Munro at deep midwicket in the same over, the Tridents were 92 for 5 with time running out and the innings in real danger of falling away completely.

That didn’t happen. Shai Hope played nicely for his 23 from 18 with two fours and a six, before Reifer and Nurse gave the innings its all-important explosive finish.

Both men finished 24 not out, with five Hero Maximums between them.

Even then, 160 for 6 was no more than a par score in tricky conditions for bowlers coping with a wet ball.

Sunil Narine got the TKR innings off to a flying start with four boundaries from Shakib’s opening over and, although he and Lendl Simmons both fell in the powerplay, the Knight Riders were well on course at 50 for 2 after six overs.

Enter the 2019 Hero CPL leading wicket-taker to change the momentum once again. Hayden Walsh Jr picked up his 20th wicket of the tournament when Colin Munro reverse-swept straight to that man Nurse at short third-man.

When Nurse then removed Darren Bravo caught behind for just 2, the Knight Riders had lost two wickets for just 12 runs in 3.3 overs since the powerplay.

Denesh Ramdin holed out to long-on to hand Nurse a second wicket in a four-over spell that also gave up just 14 runs.

The game lurched back TKR’s way when Prasanna started smacking everyone to and over the ropes, but he was also at fault in the mix-up that led to the run out of Knight Riders skipper Kieron Pollard for 23. On a night full of crucial moments, here was another.

Prasanna was undeterred, though, and powered to a 22-ball half-century with back-to-back sixes – his third and fourth in all – off Walsh Jr. When 20 were needed from the last 15 balls, it looked like the Knight Riders’ game to lose.

Walsh Jr ended his spell of 2/31 with three dot balls, though, and Harry Gurney delivered at the death once again with a superb 19th over that gave up just six runs and brought the wicket of Jordan.

That left Prasanna and the Knight Riders needing 14 from the final over with two wickets in hand. When Reifer pinned Prasanna with a millimetre-perfect yorker to start that final over, a topsy-turvy game finally looked settled. Pierre was caught by Hales at long-on two balls later to confirm it.

 

 

Guyana Amazon Warriors continued their unbeaten 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) by crushing the Barbados Tridents to progress to the CPL final.

Brandon King helped himself to 11 sixes on his way to the highest ever Hero CPL score of 132, sending him top of this season’s run-scoring charts with 453 runs.

The Guyana Amazon Warriors got off to a flier through King and Chanderpaul Hemraj. King's 29 off 22 balls and Hemraj's 19 off 14 saw them to 48-0 off the PowerPlay.

It took a sensational catch from Hayden Walsh Jr to dismiss Hemraj off his own bowling, turning and sprinting, then diving full-stretch to cling on to the ball.

King reached his 50 off 36 balls right on halfway of the Warriors' innings with a cut for 4. Skipper Jason Holder then brought himself back into the attack, after earlier being taken for 20 off his two Powerplay overs.

Holder fared better with the softer ball, having Shimron Hetmyer well held by Raymon Reifer at deep mid-wicket for 3.

Warriors captain Shoaib Malik helped guide King to his maiden T20 hundred. Malik brought up his career 9000 runs in T20 cricket with a six, only the fourth batsmen to get there in the history of the format.

At the other end, King continued to play the knock of the tournament, reaching his hundred with a booming six off Raymon Reifer.

This scintillating partnership was ended on 97 by Tridents' best bowler on the day, Hayden Walsh Junior, when he dismissed Malik for 32 off 19. Walsh bowled very well, but his figures were damaged when Nicolas Pooran came in and hit his first two deliveries over the rope.

The previous record score on this ground, 193-8 by the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in 2018, was surpassed on the first ball of the last over as four leg byes rubbed salt in the Tridents' already large wounds.

The highest ever CPL score of 121* by Andre Russell was then surpassed by King who finished on a jaw-dropping 132 off 72 balls, Pooran's handy cameo earned him 12 off 3.

The Tridents got off to what would be a great start in any normal game in this year's CPL but were always behind the eight-ball chasing 219.

Johnson Charles smashed a couple of early boundaries but then got bogged down, looping up a catch to point off Imran Tahir's second ball, out for 15 off 14.

Hales was then bowled by Tahir attempting an ambitious slog sweep after an explosive 36 off 19 balls. When a shot from Shakib resulted in a great diving catch by Hetmyer, the Tridents were 59-3 after 7.5 and needed a massive partnership between the new batsmen, JP Duminy and Shai Hope.

This did not happen, Duminy chopping on for 14 off Odean Smith's second ball and then Hope went on to become the first of Romario Shepherd's two victims. Jonathan Carter made a swift 49 to top-score for the Tridents but holed out one short of his half-century.

Odean Smith induced a chop on from Reifer's first ball, before Ashley Nurse and Jason Holder hit some massive blows, but it was too little too late for the chasing side.

Barbados Tridents now face TKR on Thursday with one last shot to meet the Amazon Warriors again in the final on Sunday.

 

Denesh Ramdin played a remarkably patient, but ultimately match-winning knock alongside Lendl Simmons then Kieron Pollard to take Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) to a well-timed victory over the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), booking their place in the semi-final on Thursday 10 October at Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

Having won the toss and bowled it was an ideal start for Kieron Pollard's TKR side. Mohammad Hafeez was well caught by a back-pedalling Akeal Hosein at extra-cover for just 11. Chris Jordan got one straight through Brooks' expansive straight drive in the final over of the fielding restrictions, bringing Laurie Evans to the crease.

Having gone for just 1 off his first over back from injury, Sunil Narine then had Evin Lewis caught and bowled off a leading edge for 9. The Patriots were 30 for 3 with no runs off the bat and just two wides off Narine's first two overs.

Evans and Devon Thomas attempted to rebuild amidst showers in Guyana but it was anything but easy against the supreme spin of Narine. After a couple overs of simply ticking it over, Pierre was the man targeted, going for 37 off his four, with Evans and Thomas using their feet magnificently.

The 50-partnership was brought up in the 14th off 46 balls, but on the last ball of Narine's miserly spell Thomas was given lbw for 10. Clearly suffering from pain in his finger, Narine astonishingly finished with 2 for 10 and 19 dot balls from his four overs.

Laurie Evans reached 50 off 44 balls with a boundary off Sussex teammate Chris Jordan in the 18th over. Skipper Carlos Brathwaite struggled to get going, holing out to Colin Munro at long on later in the Jordan over for 3.

Fabian Allen got going with a wristy four first ball but was deprived of further boundaries by sensational diving stops from Lendl Simmons and Khary Pierre.

Jordan had Allen caught in the final over to finish with 3-30, TKR restricting the Patriots to just 125-7 (with not one six struck) on a slow pitch in Guyana.

Narine started with 8 off 2 in Sheldon Cottrell's first over, but the bowler got his revenge next over, catching him at deep-midwicket off Alzarri Joseph.

Cottrell was soon saluting again, bowling Munro in the third over for a fifth ball duck leaving TKR 16 for 2.

 

A wicket maiden from Rayad Emrit to finish the PowerPlay saw Darren Bravo's tricky vigil end for 1 off 10, Cottrell again the catcher, 31 for 3.

This was after Evin Lewis misjudged a catch a few paces inside the rope at deep square, having to go one-handed in the end, Simmons the lucky man to get away with it for 1.

Ramdin played himself in to the tune of 4 off 13 balls at the halfway mark with Simmons 24 off 29 needing 83 off 60 balls, just behind where the Patriots were after 10 overs.

Ramdin was still struggling on 11 off 27 balls in the 15th, whilst Simmons couldn't even score at above a run-a-ball until he reached 50 with a six, before departing for 51 off 47 the very next ball.

 

Pollard was left with plenty to do, requiring 48 off 27 balls when he entered the fray with a sore quadricep.

Once Pollard struck a six off his third ball, Ramdin at last released the shackles too; on his 31st ball he hit his first boundary- a six. With a four next ball he was now 23 off 32 balls. This expensive Cottrell over made the equation 27 required off 18 balls.

Pollard took to Braithwaite, smacking his compatriot over the ropes and cover driving him for four to win the game.

Guyana Amazon Warriors made it nine wins from nine in the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), thrashing Jamaica Tallawahs by 77 runs despite slumping to 8/4 at the start of their innings.

 The table-topping Warriors lost four wickets in four balls across the first two overs of the night – at one point both Oshane Thomas and Derval Green were on hat-tricks at the same time – with both Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran falling first ball while Brandon King and Chandrapaul Hemraj made just 1 and 2 respectively.

Only two further wickets would fall in the rest of the innings though, as captain Shoaib Malik, first alongside Sherfane Rutherford and then Keemo Paul, engineered a superb recovery with an unbeaten 73 from 45 balls. With 156/6 on the board, it was over to the Warriors’ battery of spinners to work their magic, and they didn’t disappoint.

Chris Gayle became the third high-profile first-ball casualty when Chris Green breached his defences to give the Tallawahs’ run-chase its own dramatic early setback, and Imran Tahir was soon in on the act as well when Chadwick Walton picked out Green at long-on for just 8.

Glenn Phillips attempted a Malik-style recovery and did emulate the Warriors captain in going past 1000 career Hero CPL runs but there the comparison ended. He made 21 from 28 before also picking out Green at long-on to hand Hemraj a wicket.

By now the required rate had already got beyond 10 an over and, although Trevon Griffith did manage the unlikely feat of taking two boundaries from Chris Green’s final over – he still finished with 1/20 from his four – the Tallawahs were never able to get it back under control.

Qais Ahmad became the third bowler of the night to take two wickets in two balls when he had Dwayne Smith caught and bowled for 2 before bowling Imran Khan first ball. Unlike Thomas and Derval Green, though, he had no hat-trick opportunity as those wickets came from the final two balls of an impressive spell.

By now everything was going the Warriors’ way. Keemo Paul came into the attack and immediately had Liton Das caught at midwicket for 21 from his first ball and then Derval Green caught behind later in the over.

Imran Tahir had his third when Steven Jacobs was bowled aiming a huge legside heave at a googly, and fittingly it was Malik who had the last word, wrapping up a comprehensive victory with the final wicket as Zahir Khan holed out.

Another win for the Warriors should surprise nobody given the season they’re having, but it all looked a very long way away after eight balls of their innings. King was bowled by Thomas, before Hetmyer nibbled at a wide one to be caught behind from the very next ball. Derval Green then immediately had the ball swinging prodigiously to bowl Hemraj and pin Pooran leg-before in successive deliveries.

The Warriors’ recovery from such a nightmare start was kicked off by Rutherford. Having survived a huge lbw shout from the hat-trick ball, which pitched just outside leg stump, he hit three fours in four balls from Derval Green’s second over. After a double wicket maiden to start, his second over gave up 16.

Rutherford and Malik then opted for careful accumulation in a stand of 82 before Rutherford was caught in the deep off Imran Khan. Chris Green followed soon after, bowled by Zahir, and that was Malik’s cue to burst into life.

He suddenly started to find the boundary, and scored 38 of the 56 runs the Warriors piled on in the closing five overs of the innings.

A whopping 26 of those runs came in the 19th as Thomas had his figures mangled, 2/14 from three overs ballooning to 2/40 as his spell ended. Both Malik and Paul cleared the ropes, while Malik added two fours in an over that also featured a wide and a no-ball.

Derval Green gave up just seven from the final over, but by then the Warriors had wriggled off the hook and given their fearsome spin attack more than enough to work with.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and Tap ‘N’ Play are working together to bring fans the chance to collect Hero CPL Digicards. These cards can be downloaded using the Tap ‘N’ Play app where they can be saved and traded. Fans using the app can unlock special acheivements as the CPL progesses towards the knockout stages. 

Fans can play games to win in game coins to unlock cards or they can buy whole sets through the app. These collectable Digicards have been available for the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Big Bash in Australia.

Chris Watson, Hero CPL’s Head of Marketing, said: “We are always looking for innovative and engaging ways for our wonderful fans to get more involved in our tournament, and these Tap ‘N’Play cards are a great way for them to do that. It is a great app that allows fans the chance to collect really beautifully designed Digicards featuring their favourite players and we are delighted to have this new addition in 2019.”

Neil Armstong, Managing Director of Tap’N’Play, said: “Trading Cards have entertained sporting fans for decades and Tap’N’Play are really excited to work with the CPL to introduce fans to the new world of digital trading cards through our Tap’N’Play app.

“The colour and atmosphere of the CPL is unrivalled in world cricket and we have hopefully designed the cards to reflect that unique Caribbean culture. Fans can collect all the cards of their favourite players and teams, and the special cards that are released to celebrate the milestones throughout the tournament. We hope the fans enjoy the experience.”

Barbados Tridents kept their hopes of a top-two 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) finish alive with a seven-wicket victory over their rivals and defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.

Having restricted TKR to just 134/8, the Tridents got home on the back of Johnson Charles’ 47-ball 55 to leapfrog their opponents and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Hero CPL table.

The Knight Riders, without a win in their last five after starting the season with four straight victories, now need to beat the runaway leaders Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final match of the league phase at Providence Stadium on Friday night to edge back above the Tridents and reclaim second place.

While both teams are safely through to the playoffs, second place is still a big prize. It brings a place in Qualifier 1 against the Warriors and two shots at a place in next weekend’s final. The team that misses out faces going straight to the Eliminator against the Patriots and no second chances.

Alex Hales showed some glimpses of his best form in a 54-run opening partnership with Charles, hitting six crisp fours and making 33 to get the Tridents well ahead of the required rate early. While the run-rate slowed after the Tridents had raced to 31/0 after the first three overs and though the chase going right into the final over might not have been exactly the plan, JP Duminy and Ashley Nurse held their nerve to collect the seven runs they needed from Kieron Pollard’s closing over without much alarm.

With wickets in hand, the Tridents always seemed to be in control of a relatively small chase. Although Hales chipped Mark Deyal to cover and Shakib Al Hasan was caught behind, the required rate was always in hand. By the time Chris Jordan yorked Charles for 55, the target was just 25 from 25 balls. Nurse and Duminy used 23 of those balls but got the job done.

The Tridents’ star bowlers Shakib Al Hasan, Harry Gurney and Hayden Walsh Jr were all once again impressive as the Knight Riders were restricted on a sluggish pitch.

Shakib bowled the opening over and ensured the Knight Riders’ experiment of sending in Jimmy Neesham as a pinch-hitting opener would not pay off. He made just a single before skying a slog-sweep to be caught and bowled.

Walsh Jr struck twice in quick succession to bag the key wickets of Colin Munro and Darren Bravo before Shakib returned to clean up Lendl Simmons, the mainstay of the TKR innings and the one TKR batsman to really come to grips with the pitch. He made 60 from 45 with three fours and four sixes with none of his team-mates able to pass 23.

Then it was over to Gurney, whose subtle changes of pace and control of line made him close to unhittable. He didn’t concede a single boundary in his four overs despite bowling both in the powerplay and then at the death. The Knight Riders scrambled just 14 runs from his four overs and lost Kieron Pollard to a slower ball and Denesh Ramdin lbw in the process.

Walsh Jr added a direct hit run out to his night’s work as Javon Searles fell for a duck, while Raymon Reifer got in the wickets column thanks to one of the stranger catches of the season as Duminy misjudged a Deyal hoik as it swirled high in the air and fumbled the catch only for Jonathan Carter to grab the rebound.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is delighted to announce that FedEx Express is the Official Courier and Express Delivery service of its cricket tournament. During the three-year relationship, FedEx Express will be working with CPL to ensure the movement of the tournament equipment around the Caribbean as it takes stop in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Barbados.

In addition to the transportation services that FedEx Express provides to CPL, the company is adding to the fan experience, for those watching on TV, the “FedEx Fastest Deliveries.” A speed gun is added to the coverage this year, so viewers are able to see which of the world-class quick bowlers, who are part of the tournament, is top of the table in terms of pace.

Jamie Stewart, CPL’s Commercial Director, said: “Putting on the CPL’s tournament each year is an extremely challenging logistical exercise, involving continuous movement of players, officials, television equipment, event materials and many other items essential to the event. With nine event legs in six countries across five and a half weeks, the successful staging of the tournament requires enormous logistics planning.”

“Having FedEx Express, the world's largest express transportation company, support CPL is a tremendous boost for the tournament, and we look forward to drawing on their vast expertise to advise and support the event, as we strive to be as efficient as it can be. Having another truly global and category leading brand assisting is the best possible sign that the tournament is growing both in stature and success, and we look forward to a long and successful association,” added Jamie Stewart.

“FedEx Express is proud of its association with many internationally-renowned sporting leagues and we are excited to serve as the Official Courier and Express Delivery service of The Hero Caribbean Premier League,” said Rakesh Shalia, vice president of marketing and communications of FedEx Express. “This is a great way for us to reinforce our commitment to markets across the Caribbean.”

Guyana Amazon Warriors extended their perfect 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign to eight wins from eight matches with a 19-run win over defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders at the Queen’s Park Oval despite Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo briefly threatening to pull off an outrageous heist.

The Knight Riders appeared dead and buried at 91/4 with just six overs remaining and still needing 95 more to overhaul the Warriors 185/6. But Pollard and Bravo went on a ferocious six-hitting spree that almost dragged the unlikeliest of wins out of the fire for TKR.

They came up short, though, with Keemo Paul’s 19th over in which only singles came from the last five balls easing the Warriors’ fraying nerves before Tahir bowled Pollard for a sensational 71 from 38 balls with three balls to go and 21 still needed to at last finish the contest. The final winning margin of 19 runs also highlighted the significance of Romario Shepherd’s late cameo with the bat in the Warriors’ innings – he smashed 32* from 13, with two sixes and a four to finish it off as 25 came from Chris Jordan’s closing over.

Yet another win for the Warriors means they have now guaranteed themselves top spot in the regular season with two games to spare, while the Knight Riders still have work to do to secure their own place in the top two and the safety net of a place in Qualifier 1. One win from their two remaining games will do it.

Having muscled their way to 185/6 despite a troubling mid-innings wobble, the Warriors then strangled the Knight Riders top order through their battery of spinners.

Chris Green once again led the way, bowling his four overs off the reel at the top of the innings, removing the dangerous Colin Munro and Lendl Simmons, and returning figures of 2/18.

Imran Tahir did for Mark Deyal and Shoaib Malik had Denesh Ramdin caught in the deep off a slog-sweep to leave TKR reeling at 53/4.

Not even Pollard could rescue the Knight Riders from there, although he gave it a real crack. He shared a swashbuckling 125-run stand with Bravo, who himself cleared the ropes six times in a 46-ball 58 not out, but the required rate continued to climb throughout the partnership. Even when 57 runs were plundered in four overs from the 15th to the 18th.

Paul’s nerveless 19th over was ultimately key, and across the 40 overs the Warriors were deserving winners.

A 98-run second-wicket stand between Chrandrapaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetmyer then Shepherd’s late fireworks lifted the Warriors to their commanding total.

After the early loss of Brandon King, falling straight after taking Khary Pierre for 10 runs in two balls to start the third over, Hemraj took stock and then took charge.

Only 35/1 was on the board after the powerplay but the boundaries started to flow – for Hemraj in particular, who smashed four Hero Maximums and reached a 34-ball half-century with back-to-back fours off Jordan.

When Hemraj was caught behind off a wide Javon Searles yorker for 66, Hetmyer exploded into life in thrilling yet sadly for the Warriors all too brief fashion.

Searles’ next over started with the wicket of Nicholas Pooran and ended with that of Hetmyer slicing to Pierre at deep point. In between came 17 runs as Hetmyer flayed two fours and a gorgeous six carved high and handsome over backward point.

The failed attempt to repeat the dose saw Hetmyer depart the scene furious with himself and two short of a half-century.

The Warriors innings threatened to subside at that point in the face of some fine bowling from Ali Khan (1/23) in particular.

From 111/1 and 136/3, the Warriors found themselves 143/6 when Malik and Sherfane Rutherford fell to catches in the deep having added just a single between them.

But Shepherd ensured the Warriors would get up past not just 160 but also 180. He flayed a couple of early boundaries through the offside, but it was the two Hero Maximums and one-bounce four with which he finished the innings – 25 in all coming from Jordan’s closing over – that would ultimately take the Warriors out of Pollard and the Knight Riders’ reach.

Three wickets in an over from Hayden Walsh Jr and a superb spell from Harry Gurney turned the Barbados Tridents’ whole season around as they defended 141 for 6 to defeat St Lucia Zouks and grab the final 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in a winner-takes-all clash at the Kensington Oval.

The Tridents looked to be heading out of the competition when the Zouks had got the target down to 31 runs from 28 balls with six wickets in hand, but Gurney then dismissed Hardus Viljoen before Walsh Jr’s three-wicket burst in the next over made it four wickets in eight balls and turned the match on its head.

Their total looked slightly short at the halfway stage, but with the pressure of a win-or-bust situation, and a pitch offering some assistance to the bowlers, it always promised to be a nervous run-chase for the Zouks.

Nevertheless, the Tridents’ hopes were already fading fast when the asking rate for the Zouks dropped below a run a ball within the powerplay despite the loss of openers Andre Fletcher and Rahkeem Cornwall.

Colin Ingram and Colin de Grandhomme kept the hammer down and got the Zouks so far ahead of the rate that even when they fell in successive overs control of the chase was still firmly in the visitors’ hands.

But first Gurney, and then most dramatically Walsh Jr, changed that with dizzying speed. Viljoen had smashed Gurney for six the ball before his dismissal, making the English left-armer’s slower ball bouncer an even bolder choice. But it did the job with Viljoen early on his shot and gloving through to Johnson Charles.

That triggered a startling collapse, with the Zouks losing their last six wickets for six runs in barely three overs to tumble out of the tournament.

Walsh Jr had Chris Barnwell, Daren Sammy and Krishmar Santokie caught on the boundary in his third over, while Gurney returned to finish off a superb spell of bowling in which he used the helpful conditions expertly by having Kesrick Williams caught on the fence from another deceptive slower ball. He finished with 3 for 17 from four high-quality overs.

It was Walsh Jr who had the last word, bagging his fourth wicket of the night and tournament-leading 14th of the 2019 Hero CPL to finish off the game and send the Tridents into the playoffs.

It was a fine effort from the Tridents after the heartbreak of the one-run defeat to St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 24 hours earlier that had turned this game into a must-win.

Even on a pitch offering a bit for the bowlers, 141 for 6 still felt short of what the Tridents would have hoped for after getting over the loss of Alex Hales to Santokie’s slower ball for a duck to post 48 for 1 in the powerplay. With Charles looking in imperious form and the classy Shakib Al Hasan another major headache for the Zouks, a total in excess of 160 looked on the cards.

Shakib, though, fell just as he was starting to really get going, drilling a slog-sweep off Fawad Ahmed but picking out Ingram who held a stinging catch at deep midwicket.

Charles fell three short of a half-century having hit four fours and two sixes in a 36-ball stay. No other Trident was able to match his ball-striking.

JP Duminy, a record-breaker earlier in the week, made 13 from 18 here before edging the excellent Santokie behind, while there was to be no repeat of last night’s Raymon Reifer fireworks as he holed out for just 3.

 

 

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in dramatic style as Dominic Drakes bowled Harry Gurney with the final ball of the night to seal a thrilling one-run victory over Barbados Tridents, who now face a winner-takes-all clash with St Lucia Zouks on Sunday after a dramatic batting collapse when victory appeared in their grasp. 

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