A sensational team performance, led by Mark Deyal with the bat and David Wiese with the ball proved to be too good for champions Trinbago Knight Riders, as they were ousted from the competition in the semi-finals. It was a high scoring thriller at Warner Park in the first semi-final of the 2021 HERO Caribbean Premier League, but ultimately the Saint Lucia Kings made it through with a 21 run win.
Batting first in the semi-final, the Kings didn’t have the best of starts as opener Rakheem Cornwall was dismissed without opening his account. The wicket though brought Mark Deyal to the crease, and the southpaw clobbered into Ravi Rampaul’s first over, claiming a six and a couple of overs.
Deyal continued to play aggressively even when spin was introduced, as Akeal Hosein was hammered over mid-wicket the moment he erred on length. He then welcomed pacer Ali Khan into the attack with a staggering six on the leg side, and followed that up with a four to bring up the fifty run partnership for the second wicket.
The 28-year-old got to his fifty immediately after the powerplay, getting there off just 23 balls to push the team score to 73/1. The breakthrough however came in the next over for TKR, as Andre Fletcher was out caught in the deep trying to hook Rampaul.
New man Roston Chase though carried the baton on for the team, as he picked up a couple of consecutive fours to get the scoreboard reading 97/2 at the midway stage. A few overs later, Chase picked up consecutive sixes when challenged by opposition captain Kieron Pollard to keep the run rate beyond ten an over.
The 14th over however brought about the demise of Deyal after scoring 78 runs, as he miscued one against Sunil Narine to find the fielder in the deep. The Knight Riders picked up another wicket shortly after, as Chase was out skying one in the air to leave the Kings at 133/4 after 15 overs.
New man David Wiese though put the pressure back on the bowlers, as he tonked Rampaul for two big sixes either side of the wicket. Tim David from the other end also joined in the act, as he made the most of spin in the slog overs, hitting Khary Pierre for three consecutive sixes to bump the scoreboard to 171/4 with two to go.
Having got his eye in, Wiese bludgeoned Rampaul in the penultimate over of the innings to pick up 19 runs off it. The final over also proved to be expensive, as the Kings scored 15 off it to end at a formidable score of 205/4.
The Kings got an ideal start with the ball, as Alzarri Joseph got the outside edge of Lendl Simmon’s bat in the very first over. The follow up over from Wahab Riaz however wasn’t what the doctor ordered, as Colin Munro hit him for a six and a four.
The Knight Riders promoted Sunil Narine as a pinch-hitter after the early wicket, and the southpaw also found his groove early on, hitting Roston Chase for three fours in his first over to keep up with the asking rate. Riaz proved expensive in his second over as well, conceding 12 as the chasing team ended the powerplay with 66 runs on the board.
David Wiese though managed to provide the breakthrough shortly after, forcing Narine to miscue a shot which was well grabbed by Kadeem Alleyne at mid-off. The Namibian struck again in the same over, as Munro got an inside edge that crashed into the stumps.
New man Darren Bravo though didn’t let the ball drop, as he slammed a four and a six against Jeavor Royal to push the score to 95/3 after nine. The chasing side continued to score at a healthy rate, as Bravo and new man Denesh Ramind targeted the medium pace of Alleyne to snatch 13 runs off it.
Ramdin got his first six of the game in the next over, hitting Chase over mid-wicket to push the team score to 119/3. Wahab Riaz however returned into the attack and provided the much needed breakthrough, as he knocked over Bravo with a ball that nipped back in.
The wicket temporarily slowed down the Knight Riders, as the next two overs went for just eight runs. The champions however made the most of Keemo Paul’s introduction into the attack, getting 22 runs off his over with captain Kieron Pollard doing most of the damage.
Pollard added another maximum in the next over against Wiese, but the all-rounder once again induced the breakthrough as a short of a length ball was skied haplessly into the keeper’s gloves by the TKR skipper.
A couple of overs later, the other set player of the chasing team was also dismissed, as Ramdin hit one straight into the long-off fielder off Riaz’s final ball of the innings, leaving the team at 173/6 after 18.
New man Akeal Hosein though kept his team in the hunt, getting off the mark with a six against Wiese. The Kings all-rounder however once again came back strong, as he dismissed Hosein and Tim Seifert off successive deliveries, leaving Keemo Paul to defend 22 runs in the final over.
Paul kept his calm in that final over, picking up the final two wickets within three balls to give the Saint Lucia Kings a 21 run win over the champions in the first semi-final of the 2021 HERO CPL.
Saint Lucia Kings: 205/4 (Mark Deyal 78, Akeal Hosein 1/27)
Trinbago Knight Riders: 184/10 (Sunil Narine 30, David Wiese 5/39)