On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

  1. Well-deserved CPL win Trinbago Knight Riders!

It is one thing to be strong on paper but ensuring that it translates to on the field is the true test. Execution is key in any sport.

The Trinbago Knight Riders demonstrated that critical characteristic as they clinched a record fourth Caribbean Premier League title in style, making light work of the St Lucia Zouks and winning by eight wickets in Thursday’s final.

In doing so, they completed a historic unbeaten campaign, winning all 12 games.

Overall, TKR was the strongest team in the tournament with both bat and ball. Their score of 185/3 against Barbados Tridents was the highest total in the competition this year. Captain Kieron Pollard who was awarded “Man of the Tournament”, led from the front with his own heroic performances. Even when key players sat out important matches for various reasons, other players stepped up ensuring that the team remained unbeaten.

 

  1. LaLiga is back and oozing with excitement!

          The curtain was raised on the 2020/2021 LaLiga season on Saturday with three matches. Eibar and Celta Vigo played to a goalless draw while Granada beat Athletic Club 2-0 and Osasuna overcame Cadiz 2-0.  What we know is that La Liga promises tons of excitement both on and off the field.

   With this season likely to be the last for Lionel Messi in LaLiga, I will be keeping an eye out for the young players hoping to step to fill the void.

Among the candidates is Ansu Fati, the breakout star at the Camp Nou last season. Just 17 years old, he forced his way into Barca’s first team scoring eight goals last season. He is also now the youngest scorer for the Spanish national side having found the net on debut earlier this month.

 

  1. Alex Morgan joins Tottenham Hotspur!

 Tottenham has captured the talents of forward Alex Morgan, one of the biggest names in sports in United States.  Apart from her undeniable skill, the 31-year-old will bring her commercial impact to the Women’s Soccer League.  She has 9.1 million followers on her Instagram account, more than the Spurs’ 8.5 million.

Alex, who will don the No.13 shirt for Spurs, helped the USA win back-to-back FIFA Women World Cups. She scored six goals in 2019's tournament in France. The new mom, who gave birth to her daughter on May 7, has scored 107 goals in 169 international appearances for the USA. The WSL has just attracted a lot more fans! Smart move!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kieron Pollard believes the Trinbago Knight Riders were destined to win their fourth Hero CPL title this season.

 

Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo ensured Trinbago Knight Riders completed the first perfect season in franchise T20 history with an unbroken partnership of 138 off 88 balls, the highest of Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 and the highest ever in a final. The St Lucia Zouks put up what seemed a competitive total, but ultimately a loss of 7/39 off the last 32 balls of their innings cost them dearly against this history-making Knight Riders squad. 

Rakheem Cornwall swept Akeal Hosein for four but was lucky to edge over DJ Bravo at slip. Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard gave the second over to Ali Khan, and Ali responded by flattening Cornwall’s middle stump. Andre Fletcher clipped fine for four, the Zouks thus closing the second over at 16/1.

 Mark Deyal slog-swept Hosein for two fours, and Fletcher was aggressive against Sikandar Raza, taking him over cover and long-on for Hero Maximums then cutting for four. Khary Pierre went for just five, but Fletcher twice smoked Ali through cover for four and the Zouks motored to 60/1 off the Powerplay.

 Deyal lofted Pierre over cover for four and launched Pollard for six, but struggled to combat Fawad Ahmed’s googly and edged to DJ Bravo at slip. Hosein returned with a tight over, and at halfway the Knight Riders had slowed the Zouks to 79/2.

Roston Chase clipped through midwicket for four early in Fawad’s second over, which went for 10, but Fletcher’s assault ended as he aimed Pollard down the ground but found only Darren Bravo at long-off. Najibullah Zadran slashed his first ball for four, and the over went for seven to leave the Zouks in need of a partnership at 79/3 off 12 overs.

While Chase slog-swept the last ball of Pierre’s over for a Hero Maximum, he and Mohammad Nabi fell within four balls, the former chipping a Pollard cutter to deep-mid on and the latter clubbing Fawad to long-off. Zouks captain Daren Sammy smashed his second ball for a Hero Maximum, and after 15 overs the Zouks were 123/5.

Despite a Najibullah four, Ali’s return over went for just six, and Sammy should have fallen to Hosein but Ali badly misjudged the catch. Najibullah flicked Hosein for a delightful Hero Maximum over cover, but Hosein recovered to dismiss Sammy LBW. After 17 overs, the Zouks were 138/6.

 DJ Bravo was unable to bowl, and so Pollard had to step up at the death and did so admirably, picking up two wickets with his off-cutter. First Javelle Glenn looped to backward point, then Najibullah failed to clear Raza at deep backward square off another cutter. Kesrick Williams was run out, Ali Khan bowled Zahir Khan with a perfect yorker, and the Knight Riders had bowled the Zouks out for a decent rather than dominant total.

 Simmons pulled Scott Kuggeleijn for four first ball of the chase, becoming Hero CPL’s all-time leading run-scorer in doing so. Webster swept Nabi for four but then top-edged off Chase, Williams taking a fine catch. After three overs, the Knight Riders were 14/1.


Tim Seifert got off the mark with a four off Kuggeleijn but fell edging behind next ball. Darren Bravo too got off the mark with a boundary, a glorious lofted Hero Maximum over long-on off Chase, and Simmons took fours straight, fine down the leg side and backward of point off Williams’ first over to close the Powerplay with the Knight Riders 40/2.

Chase and Nabi put the pressure on, going for just five between them, and Simmons and Bravo both struggled against Zahir. When Simmons did take on the big shot though he nailed it over the fence, and at halfway the Knight Riders were 59/2 and needed 96 more to win.

Sammy brought himself on and bowled five good deliveries, but Bravo smashed the sixth for a Hero Maximum, and Simmons pulled Williams for a six then cut him for four, becoming Hero CPL 2020’s leading run-scorer and bringing up his 50 off just 31 balls. Bravo though continued to struggle against Chase, who closed out a superb spell.

 After 13 overs, Bravo was just 23 off 32 balls, and the Knight Riders needed almost 10 an over, but he eased both of those equations somewhat with two Hero Maximums off Glenn. Williams’s third over went for nine thanks to two wides and a loose short ball, and the Knight Riders entered the last five overs needing 45 with eight wickets still in hand.

Kuggeleijn managed to go for just four off the 16th despite starting with a wide, but Simmons targeted Zahir, taking him for four off the first and six off the second. Bravo added two big Hero Maximums, the second bringing up his 50 off 45 balls. Suddenly, the Knight Riders needed just 18.

Simmons was not going to hang around now, walloping Kuggeleijn for a Hero Maximum over midwicket then clubbing him over cover and slicing him through third man for two fours. The winning runs came off an inside edge, but there was now no denying the Knight Riders’ domination of Hero CPL 2020.


All season, the Knight Riders had absorbed the loss of key personnel - Colin Munro fractured his hand, Ali Khan missed games, Narine had kidney stones removed and was unable to play the final with a knee injury. But perhaps the 12th and final win is the greatest measure of how great a squad Pollard and Brendon McCullum have built - victory was achieved two wickets down, with 11 balls to spare, without DJ Bravo bowling or Pollard batting. The Knight Riders had come together in the bubble and emerged from it to achieve something truly monumental.

Summary (Trinbago Knight Riders 157/2 (Simmons 84*, DM Bravo 58*; Chase 1/13, Kuggeleijn 1/30) beat St Lucia Zouks 154 all out (Fletcher 39, Deyal 29, Najibullah 24, Chase 22; Pollard 4/30, Fawad 2/22, Ali Khan 2/25, Hosein 1/26) by 8 wickets)

 

Trinbago Knight Riders and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has identified an inability to adapt to different conditions as one that not only plagued teams throughout the Caribbean Premier League season (CPL) but negatively impacts the regional team as well.

The CPL season was characterized by a spate of low scores, with many fingers pointing towards an unsatisfactory surface for T20 batsman to ply their trade. In fact, the average score per innings score fell around 20 runs from last season’s average of around 151, compared to this season’s average of 122.

Pollard's Knight Riders have hardly been among those struggling to find runs and his blistering 28 balls 72 against the Barbados Tridents, was seemingly made on a different surface than the one others had struggled with.

“For me throughout the tournament, if I were to be a little critical, the pitches weren’t up to standard for batting. But what I have seen as well is the guys have not mentally changed their game to suit the conditions,” Pollard said at a pre-game press conference.

“That is something that is not only harming is in CPL but harming us in international cricket as well.  We can’t complain about the pitches all the time and we are not changing as individuals,” he added.

“I didn’t see the mental fortitude of the batmen throughout the tournament in the other teams. I all honestly wit TKR we have tried to adjust to the situation.”

 

Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard is confident his team will not be under pressure to maintain their unbeaten record this season when they face first-time finalist, St Lucia Zouks in Thursday’s final of the 2020 Hero CPL season.

Three members of the unbeaten Trinbago Knight Riders were selected among a 2020 Hero CPL team of the tournament announced on Wednesday, the eve of the 2020 finals set for the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard is confident the team has the hunger and desire to end the season with a perfect record and a fourth Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title.

In Tuesday’s semi-final, the unbeaten Tridents continued their sensational run after brushing aside the Jamaica Tallawahs in a nine-wicket win.  The victory marked a 10th in a row for the Tridents and just one more will see the team create history by being the first to claim the trophy without losing a match.

The Knights Riders would, however, do well to learn from history’s lessons.  Just one season ago the Guyana Amazon Warriors, who have never lifted the title, experienced unthinkable heartbreak after losing to the Barbados Tridents in the final.  Pollard will be eager to avoid a similar fate and on home soil no less.

“We have come here and played fantastic cricket throughout the tournament so we need to have that cherry on top of it,” Pollard said following the match.

“I know the guys.  I watch the faces of the guys in the dressing room, I don’t see overconfidence.  You are seeing guys looking level, wanting to come out, and wanting to perform each and every time.  We have that hunger for one more time, hopefully we can go all the way.  If we do that it will be unprecedented.”

 The Trinbago Knight Riders once again showed that they are a formidable squad, not just an XI, as even with four changes, Sunil Narine still rested and Colin Munro injured, they put together a superbly planned and executed performance to bowl out St Kitts & Nevis Patriots inside 19 overs and chase their modest target inside 12 overs, thus completing a perfect 10-for-10 record in the league stage of Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020.

 The Trinbago Knight Riders marked the return of Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 to the Brian Lara Cricket Academy with a seventh straight win. 

Kieron Pollard and Colin Munro smashed 71 off the last five overs of the Trinbago Knight Riders’ innings, and the spinners bowled superbly against a Jamaica Tallawahs top-order that once again left Andre Russell with far too much to do.

Sunil Narine returned with a bang, hitting two fours off Fidel Edwards and top-edging for six to take 17 off the first over, then he plundered Carlos Brathwaite for three fours in a row. Brathwaite recovered to take Narine’s wicket, but the all-rounder’s 29 off 11 had sent the Knight Riders flying out of the blocks.

Colin Munro should have fallen for just 4, but Jermaine Blackwood dropped a simple catch. While Lendl Simmons smashed Edwards for a Hero Maximum over square leg, Mujeeb was miserly as ever and it was largely thanks to Narine that the Knight Riders managed 49 for 1 off the Powerplay.

Munro found the fence twice off Tallawahs captain Rovman Powell, and while Sandeep Lamichhane proved unhittable, Powell’s second over released the pressure, going for 14 including multiple extras. Lamichhane showed his class, dismissing Simmons with a leg-break that drew a top-edged hack to point. Munro inside-edged past the keeper to take the Knight Riders to 83 for 2 at halfway.

Munro edged for four again off Powell, but was bamboozled by Lamichhane and was lucky to survive. Brathwaite bowled a tidy over, and while Seifert managed to reverse sweep Lamichhane for four, that was the only boundary the Nepali conceded all day. After 14 overs, the Knight Riders were 105 for 2.

Seifert smote Edwards over his head for six then next ball slashed to Lamichhane at third man. But Munro got two reverse-sweeps away for four in a row off Mujeeb, and Powell was too predictable as Munro was able to adjust and swing a Hero Maximum then a four over midwicket to take himself to 50. An over studded with extras went for 18.

Pollard levered a near-yorker for six then pulled for four off Mujeeb, and Edwards twice paid for missing his yorker, Pollard dispatching a full toss for a Hero Maximum and Munro smoking a half-volley for four. Brathwaite got the daunting task of bowling the 20th, and Pollard heaped the pressure on with a Hero Maximum. Munro pulled for four, and while Brathwaite closed the innings with a caught-and-bowled, the damage was done.

Chadwick Walton’s difficult Hero CPL 2020 continued as he slashed the first ball of the innings to point, giving Akeal Hosein a dream start. While Blackwood started brightly, Pierre bowled him as he attempted to sweep, reducing the Tallawahs to 14 for 2 in the second over.

The Knight Riders were on top, so much so Pollard put himself at short leg for Narine, who went for just two. Hosein returned and went for just six, and off the Powerplay the Tallawahs had stuttered to 35 for 2 with the in-form Glenn Phillips facing just nine balls.

The nine runs that came off Narine’s second was largely due to poor fielding, but Phillips’s Hero Maximum off Fawad Ahmed was a fine hit. Phillips also cut DJ Bravo for four as two overs in a row went for double figures, but Pierre returned with a tight over, and at halfway the Tallawahs were 70 for 2 and needed 11.50 an over.

 

Phillips hit another six off Fawad, but Nkrumah Bonner had slowed almost to a crawl before falling LBW in the same over. Powell made little impact before being bowled by a Fawad googly, and so when Andre Russell came to the crease the Tallawahs were 84 for4 in the 13th and needed over 13 an over.

DJ Bravo chose an off-side heavy field to restrict Russell. But it was the well-set Phillips who fell, slicing high in the air to give Seifert a simple catch. When Narine produced a good caught-and-bowled to dismiss Asif Ali, Russell found himself with Brathwaite for recognised company and a required run rate above 15.

Brathwaite clipped for four when Bravo strayed onto his pads, but was lucky not to find a fielder when he sliced a drive high in the air. Brathwaite guided a four and Russell clubbed a six off Narine’s last over, but the Tallawahs still needed 68 off the last 18 balls.

Brathwaite and Russell targeted Jayden Seales, and though one of Russell’s fours should have been caught by Simmons at cover, a 22 run over just about kept the Tallawahs in the game. But while Russell took DJ Bravo for four through the off-side and was dropped by Seales at backward point, he couldn’t manage another boundary and with 38 needed off the last over, the jig was up.

Pollard brought himself on to close out the game, and all a frustrated Russell was able to do was to limit the net run-rate damage with a few

A Kieron Pollard heist for the ages saw the Trinbago Knight Riders rescue a seemingly impossible win against the Barbados Tridents, showing the rest of Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 that not only can they win without Sunil Narine, but they can also do it without DJ Bravo.

Pollard smashed nine Hero Maximums in his 72 off 28 balls, and though Khary Pierre still had work to do to finish the job, it was the Knight Riders captain who made the game his own.

Johnson Charles started aggressively, cutting Akeal Hosein and whipping Pierre for four then lofting Hosein for six. But Hosein struck in his second over, Shai Hope caught at slip trying to cut a quicker ball, just before rain briefly held things up.

 

Charles took another boundary off Hosein, taking the Tridents to 37 for 1 off the Powerplay. Fawad Ahmed and Pollard kept Kyle Mayers quiet, but Charles swept well off Fawad, paddling for four and lofting for six. At halfway, Charles had 44 of the Tridents’ 59 for 1.

Pollard gave Tion Webster his first T20 over, and while Webster started well it eventually went for nine. Mayers sent a Seales full toss for six, but Charles then steered another full toss straight to point.

Pierre could have dismissed Tridents captain Jason Holder but Webster dropped a low chance at long-off. Mayers finally got hold of Fawad for a pulled four, and after 14 overs the Tridents were 92 for 2.  Hosein though recovered from Sikandar Raza dropping a simple catch off Mayers to bowl Holder as he tried to launch him over midwicket.

Mayers and Corey Anderson scrambled eight off Pollard, but Raza deceived both with drift and turn. Mayers was caught at long-off and Anderson stumped to leave the Tridents on 107 for 5 in the 17th over.

Ashley Nurse and Rashid Khan responded emphatically. Nurse swept then cut Raza for four to get off the mark, and Rashid smacked Fawad for four then pulled him for a Hero Maximum. Fawad though recovered to dismiss Rashid, Raza taking a diving catch at cover. Nurse brilliantly manoeuvred a Seales yorker over point for six, but then a pull went high rather than long and Seifer held the skier.

Pollard gave himself the 20th, and Mitchell Santner pulled him for a wonderful Hero Maximum. The captain recovered to go for just singles off the rest, but the Tridents had what looked a good score on the board.

At the start of the Knight Riders chase, Webster drilled Santner for four to get off the mark, but Holder’s extra bounce did for both him, splicing a pull to mid-on, and the dangerous Colin Munro, edging a cut to Ashley Nurse at slip. At 6 for 2, the Knight Riders were in danger of feeding after just two overs.

The Tridents went to the off-spin of Nurse to target the left-handed Darren Bravo, but the right-handed Lendl Simmons got himself on strike and hammered two contrasting Hero Maximums - the first got barely head high, the second almost cleared the stand.

Holder called on Rashid, and the Afghan answered with a wicket-maiden. Bravo survived an LBW shout playing forward but then fell in that manner playing back. The Knight Riders had stumbled to 27 for 3 off the Powerplay.

Hayden Walsh Jr started nicely, and Raymon Reifer struck with a cutter that Seifert edged to the keeper. Hosein guided a four past third man, but at 48 for 4, the Knight Riders were well behind the game at halfway.

Santner conceded just two, nearly having Hosein stumped twice. Off the returning Rashid, Simmons barely cleared deep midwicket with a sweep and Hosein was lucky his loft didn’t carry to long-on. But the luck did not last, as Hosein sliced a Walsh Jr googly far enough for Holder to take low at long-off. Thus, when Pollard strode to the middle, his team needed 87 off 39 balls.

The captain served notice of what was to come, launching Walsh into the scoreboard first ball. Holder brought back Rashid, but Pollard attacked him too, hammering a flat Hero Maximum over long-off. Simmons then ran past one to give Hope an easy stumping off Santner. Rashid gave away only four off his last over, and with four overs left the Knight Riders needed 66.

Amid sending Walsh Jr to all parts of the Queen’s Park Oval for four sixes in one game-turning over, Pollard turned down a single, and next over Raza sacrificed himself to ensure he was run out and Pollard regained strike. Reifer started the 18th well, but Pollard somehow managed two fours.

The Knight Riders still needed 31 off 12, but Pollard punished Holder for missing his yorker with two brutal Hero Maximums. Reifer got the nod for the 20th, with 15 to defend, and Pollard again started with a six. Holder appeared to have swung the game back the Tridents’ way, running out Pollard as he desperately sought a second, but Reifer’s length deserted him and Pierre kept his cool, levering a full toss over point for a score-leveling Hero Maximum.

The Tridents were done, and the winning runs came next ball with a slice past third man. The Knight Riders surely cannot afford to be without players of the class of Narine and DJ Bravo for long, but they still had someone capable of winning the un-winnable.

Trinbago Knight Riders skipper Kieron Pollard has pointed to the team’s superb organization as playing a pivotal role in an unbeaten start to the new Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

On Wednesday, the Knight Riders added the St Lucia Zouks to their growing list of victims, following a 6 wicket D/L win in the top of the table clash.  On a historic day for one of the team’s top bowlers, Dwayne Bravo, the Tridents successfully chased down the Zouks’ rain-hampered 111 for 6.

With wins over the Barbados Tridents, Jamaica Tallawahs, and Guyana Amazon Warriors the Knights Riders have shown tremendous ability with both bat and ball.

“When you look at our squad, the core of the team.  A couple of guys missed out and we got a couple to come in.  But we have guys that want to perform and want that opportunity, the guys that are playing are very hungry,” Pollard said, following the game.

“Each and every person has an idea of what their role is.  There is a lot clarity that is going on in the dressing room, so when guys get their opportunity, they know exactly what they need to do,” he added.

 “Once we put those pieces of the puzzle together and everyone knows their strengths, more often than not if we play a proper game we are going to come out on top. Our strength is our teamwork and communication."

 

Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard was pleased with what he saw from 18-year-old Jayden Seales during the team’s seven-wicket win over the Jamaica Tallawahs in Hero Caribbean Premier League action on Thursday night.

Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard admits it was a relief to put points on the board, despite a ‘scrappy’ win over Guyana Amazon Warriors to tip off the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Mystery spinner Sunil Narine played a starring role with a fiery 50 from 28 balls and miserly 2 wickets for 19 runs in a four-wicket win for the T&T-based franchise.  On the back of an unbeaten 63 from just 44 balls from Amazon Warriors batsman Shimon Hetmyer, the Guyana franchise put 144 runs on the board.

Though by no means an intimidating total, the Knight Riders did not have a smooth run chase.  The bowling of Warriors captain Chris Green and Romario Shepherd kept the Knight Riders’ Narine and Lendl Simmons to just 9 off the first 3 overs.  Simmons, in particular looked out of sorts, missing four of Shepherd's slower balls in a row.  But then, Narine got cracking with a series of searing sixes to the Warriors on the back foot and pull the Knight Riders back into the game.

"Any competition, you want to start well. A little scratchy and scrappy but good to get over the line,” Pollard said following the game.

“We needed to play a good game of cricket and it was a good game of cricket. Points on the board at the start,” he added.

Sunil Narine’s whirlwind 50 and miserly 2 for 19 saw Trinbago Knight Riders kick off the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 in style, easing past Guyana Amazon Warriors in the tournament opener, at Tarouba, despite Shimron Hetmyer’s unbeaten 63 off just 44 balls.

West Indies players account for the lions share of those considered the best to ever play the game as SportsMax completed its Ultimate XI T20 team ahead of the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

A combination of a panel of experts, the SportsMax Zone, and fans who voted online called fanalysts completed voting on the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with a final discussion on three impact players.

The final six players from which the three were chosen were West Indians

Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell, Australian Shane Watson, Pakistani Shahid Afridi, and Indian Yuvraj Singh.

The panel, made up of cricket commentator and broadcast journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician, Zaheer Clarke, picked an all-West Indian cast as their impact players, in complete agreement with the SportsMax Zone and Fanalysts.

There was one dissenting voice among the panellists with Fazeer deciding on Shane Watson over Kieron Pollard, however, Clarke and Taylor’s votes were enough to overrule him.

With all parties, the Zone, the panel, and fanalysts in agreement, the final list of the greatest T20 team of all time is complete.

The openers are Chris Gayle and David warner, the middle-order, batsmen 3-5 are Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the bowlers are Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga, while the impact players are Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Powell and Andre Russell.

The Ultimate XI T20 team is made up of five West Indians in Gayle, Narine, Bravo, Pollard, and Russell, while Kohli and Dhoni make up the Indian contingent. Then there is the South African representation in de Villiers, one Australian in Warner, a Sri Lankan in Malinga, and the Afghan Rashid.

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