Tridents Crowned CPL Champions
Controversy reigned on Saturday evening in St Kitts as the Barbados Tridents were crowned champions of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) after a rain-affected final against the Guyana Amazon Warriors was decided by the Duckworth/Lewis method.
Their innings twice interrupted by the elements, the Barbados Tridents posted 152-6, a total built on half-centuries from Dwayne Smith and Shoaib Malik, before the Amazon Warriors replied with 107-4 from 15.5 overs when a shower sent the players and umpires scampering off the field.
According to the Duckworth/Lewis system, the Amazon Warriors needed to be at 116-4 at that stage, hence victory for the Tridents by eight runs.
When the covers were taken off, hopes off an exciting finish loomed with the Amazon Warriors needing 46 off 25 balls, with Christopher Barnwell and skipper Denesh Ramdin being the not out batsmen.
However, that was not to be as about 15 minutes after the covers were removed, it was announced that the Tridents had won the tournament. No definitive reason was given for the shock decision.
The Amazon Warriors players then boycotted the presentation ceremony and the franchise later announced that it will be appealing the decision to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The game was also marred by several questionable umpiring decisions by Barbadian Gregory Braithwaite, as Malik was given the benefit of the doubt in a leg before decision to the first ball he faced from Krishmar Santokie. Television replays showed that the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps.
All-rounder Navin Stewart was also on the receiving end of a few dubious wide calls, while James Neesham was ruled caught behind off Jason Holder, although video footage could not produce conclusive evidence that the ball had touched the gloves.
That decision prompted an angry reaction from Ramdin, who was at the non-striker’s end. The Amazon Warriors skipper slammed his bat down and took off his gloves in a show of disapproval for Brathwaite’s ruling.
At the start of the run-chase, the Amazon Warriors, also losing finalists in 2013, lost the prolific Martin Guptill, bowled by Kyle Mayers for seven in the third over, before the competition’s leading run-scorer Lendl Simmons fell for 20 at 49-2 in the ninth over.
At the Busta drink break, the Amazon Warriors were 55-2 from 10, way behind the 74-2 the Tridents were at that stage.
After the interval, Mohammad Hafeez was brilliantly caught by Reyad Emrit off Holder for 28 at 74-3 in 12.2 overs. Three balls later, Neesham was sent packing by Braithwaite, adjudged to have been caught behind.
Ramdin and Barnwell then took the score to 107 when the rain came to effectively bring the tournament to an anti-climax.
Sent in to bat after Ramdin called correctly at the toss, the Tridents fell into a hole right away, slipping to 8-2 after Krishmar Santokie first removed William Perkins caught at backward point, before shattering the Zing stumps of Jason Holder first ball.
Both batsmen failed to score and Shoaib Malik could have suffered a similar fate, as Santokie’s next delivery crashed into his pads, only for umpire Braithwaite to surprisingly rule it not out.
Thereafter, Malik and Dwayne Smith, who shared a century partnership in a losing cause when the two teams met in the preliminary stage, battled through two rain interruptions to add 88 in 10 overs to repair the early damage created by Santokie.
At 17-2 after four, the Amazon Warriors were dictating the pace, but the next two overs produced 31 runs to swing the momentum Tridents’ way as they raced to 48 at the end of the six overs of powerplay.
Fast bowler Ronsford Beaton went for 17 in the fifth, including a six and two fours by Smith, before Malik struck left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul for a six and two fours in the next over.
Sunil Narine produced some magic in his first over only for it to be spoiled by a six by Smith off the last ball, before he came back in the 13th over to break the partnership with a massive double strike.
Smith was caught on the long-on boundary for 59 and next ball Kieron Pollard’s leading edge was taken low down by Narine to make it 94-4 with seven to go.
Unflustered by the double blow and the dismissal of Raymond Reifer, bowled by Santokie, Malik continued to bat positively, bringing up his 50 with a four that was preceded by a six in the 19th over bowled by Santokie.
Beaton was hammered for 16 in the final over, including a six off a waist-high full toss at the start, a wide and a four off the penultimate ball, before Jeevan Mendis was run out for 15, leaving Malik on 55.
As it turned out, Malik’s stroke of luck earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.