Kevon Cooper helps TKR clinch second CPL title
By Krunal, MyCricketHighlights Cricket Writer
Final: St Kitts and Nevis Patriots vs Trinbago Knight Riders at Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad, Sep 09 - 2017, Cricket Highlights
The stage was set. The two best teams in the tournament were out in the middle for the final battle. With some destructive power-hitters on both sides, the final was expected to be a high-scoring one. However, with the bowlers creating an impact, it turned out to be an exciting low-scoring finale. The match swung like a pendulum, and finally, it was the Trinbago Knight Riders, who were crowned the CPL champions – for the second time – after they defeated St Kitts and Nevis Patriots by 3 wickets.
To begin with, it was Javon Searles who gave the Knight Riders a perfect start by getting rid of Chris Gayle and Mohammad Hafeez in his first couple of overs. The wicket of Gayle was a huge one as he has been in the man-in-form for the Patriots and to get him out cheaply was a big confidence booster for Bravo and his men. Another batsman that they need to get rid of was Evin Lewis and that job was done by Sunil Narine, who got Lewis trap in front for 16.
With 3 wickets already down in the first 8 overs, the Patriots were battling hard to make a comeback. Also, the credit should be given to TKR bowlers, who were on the money for most of the time. After the first 10 overs were done, Dwayne Bravo brought Kevon Cooper into the attack and the right-arm seamer struck on the very first ball as he got Brandon King back in the pavilion. In his very next over, Cooper picked up his second wicket when he got rid of the dangerous looking Devon Thomas.
The next few overs were also quite like the previous ones as Narine and Christian gave away just 13 runs in the 3 overs between them. Narine, as usual, was economical and finished with amazing figures of 1 for 8 in his four. Quite brilliant, isn’t it?
At the end of 16 overs, the Patriots scorecard read a sorry 79/5. What they needed was a cameo from somewhere to help them reach at least 120. Thankfully, there were two batsmen who did the job and helped their team finish with a fighting total. First, it was the big Barbadian Carlos Brathwaite, who swung his bat hard and smashed a few lusty blows. Courtesy of his hitting, the Patriots managed to get past 100 at the end of 18 overs.
The penultimate over was brilliantly bowled by Ronsford Beaton as he gave away just 8 runs and also picked up the wicket of Jonathan Carter. Kevon Cooper still had two overs up his sleeves, but Bravo decided to ball the final over himself. The move backfired as the new batsman, in Mohammad Nabi, took Bravo to cleaners by smashing him for a couple of huge sixes and a boundary. 21 runs came off that last over as the Patriots finished with 135.
To defend a small total, it was important for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to get a couple of early breakthroughs. The same was provided by Sheldon Cottrell, who gave a double blow to the Knight Riders by getting rid of Narine and Dwayne Bravo in his very first over.
After the fall of wickets, Hamza Tariq and Colin Munro revived the innings with a 35-run partnership. Munro, especially, looked in a destructive mood when he thrashed Mohammad Nabi for 3 towering sixes in one over. However, in the very next over, he perished to another off-spinner – Mohammad Hafeez – and was out at long-on. Hafeez was not done yet and in his next over, got another big fish back in the pavilion. Darren Bravo had a rare failure and was out after scoring just 1.
Wickets kept on tumbling for the Knight Riders and by the end of 12 overs, they had lost two more in the form of Tariq and Christian. While Denesh Ramdin was holding the fort at one end, the wickets kept on falling at the other. Tabraiz Shamsi, who was denied an LBW appeal in his previous over, got Javon Searles out in his next over.
TKR had lost five wickets for 42 runs and from 48/2 they had now slipped to 90/7. They still needed 43 runs to get off the last 5 overs, but the problem was that they were left with just 3 wickets.
Brathwaite and Shamsi bowled two tight overs as they gave away just 10 runs. Now the equation was a bit trickier as Trinbago required 33 to get from the last 3. Cottrell was back for his third over and just when it seemed that his over would also cost 5-6 runs, Kevon Cooper smashed a magnificent six over cover to make it a 11-run over. That shot signalled the beginning of the end for the Patriots as Cooper turned the match on its heads in the very next over.
Hilfenhaus, who gave away just 8 runs in his first 2 overs, was smoked to all corners of the park by Cooper. 22 runs were required for victory and it was because of some tremendous hitting by the Trinidadian, that the Knight Riders were able to chase it down in the 19th over itself. No doubt, he was awarded the Man of the Match for his all-round performance.
- Chris Gayle (c)
- Evin Lewis
- Mohammad Hafeez
- Brandon King
- Carlos Brathwaite
- Jonathan Carter
- Mohammad Nabi
- Devon Thomas (wk)
- Ben Hilfenhaus
- Sheldon Cottrell
- Tabraiz Shamsi
- Sunil Narine
- Hamza Tariq
- Colin Munro
- Darren Bravo
- Dwayne Bravo (c)
- Denesh Ramdin (wk)
- Daniel Christian
- Javon Searles
- Yasir Shah
- Kevon Cooper
- Ronsford Beaton