Zouks beat Trinbago Knight Riders in CPL opener
Johnson Charles scored a 38-ball 52 to lay the foundation for St Lucia Zouks’ chase of 163, before David Miller finished the job with an unbeaten 33 off 20 to seal a six-wicket victory for the visitors in the Caribbean Premier League opener in Port of Spain.
That Zouks were not chasing more was in large part thanks to Shane Watson who combined economy with timely wickets to stifle Trinbago Knight Riders’ innings at crucial junctures. Introduced in the last over of the Powerplay, Watson dismissed Colin Munro off his third ball, before snaring Umar Akmal and Kevon Cooper in the closing overs.
Though Darren Bravo’s two sixes off his last two balls somewhat spoiled his figures, he had by then helped to keep Knight Riders down to a total that Zouks ultimately chased down with five balls to spare.
Knight Riders got off to an underwhelming start as their power-packed top three – Brendon McCullum, Hashim Amla and Munro – were dismissed for sluggish starts to leave the home side 58 for 3 after nine overs.
Darren Bravo then combined with Akmal to consolidate with a stand of 66 off 50. That stand was brought to an end when Akmal mistimed a Watson bouncer to offer an easy caught-and-bowled chance.
After Watson closed out a tight 18th over, Darren Bravo went on the attack in the last two, hitting Morne Morkel for a four and a six in the 19th, before hitting consecutive sixes off Watson to close out the innings with a flourish.
In pursuit of 163, Charles got Zouks off to a strong start, stroking six fours and a six in his knock of 52. He fell in the 12th over, when a mistimed attempt at a reverse-sweep off Sunil Narine was caught by McCullum. By that stage, though, Zouks had raced to 93 for the loss of two wickets.
Narine pulled the game back in the middle overs with a stingy spell of 2 for 25, leaving Zouks with 39 to score off the last four. But Miller then tore into medium pace bowler Ronsford Beaton in the 17th over, with two fours and a six off consecutive deliveries. Zouks ultimately eased past the target with five balls to spare. (ESPNCricinfo)