Captain Keiron Pollard grabbed four wickets and Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo bashed the Zouks bowlers to give their team a historic fourth Hero CPL title at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba yesterday.
SCORES: Zouks 154 all out (19.1) v TKR 157-2 (18.1). TKR won by 8 wickets.
Pollard was brilliant with the ball in pegging back the Zouks after they had a strong start. Simmons and Bravo then played as they did all tournament, creating a strong base for the final onslaught.
Pairing up with the score on 19-2, Simmons and Bravo weathered the early storm and blossomed beautifully towards the end to take TKR home. They added 138 runs in 14.4 overs to secure a 12th successive win for TKR and their fourth CPL title. Simmons finished with 84 not out off 49 balls including four sixes and eight fours. Bravo hit six sixes and two fours in an unbeaten 58. Simmons finished the tournament with the most runs—356, while Bravo was third with 297.
Afterward, Pollard, who scored 207 runs, took eight wickets and hit 20 sixes during the series, said he was very pleased with the title-winning effort.
“Great, a great feeling. We have worked really, really hard. When we sat in the dressing room last year, you could have seen the disappointment (after losing in the semi-finals). We had rigorous conversations and the mentality the guys came through even before the camp, this was destined to happen. They always wanted to improve every game. Total, total team effort,” Pollard said.
He added, “We knew they (Zouks) were going to come hard, they had a lot of confidence from the semifinal. But that’s where we used our experience. We knew in the team, Bravo wasn’t going to bowl but just having him in the field was a boost. We said we’re not going to play the pitch or the conditions, we’re going to play the round, white ball. We knew that each time we set up the game, we will finish well. We had the power in our line-up. Each and everyone who came in did their role. The guys believed in what we wanted to achieve. It would have been brilliant if the fans were here but we know what’s going on (the pandemic). We hope we entertained each and everyone.”
Losing skipper Daren Sammy said his team was about 20 runs short.
“We still felt we had enough when we put them under pressure in the first six overs. But these guys, Bravo and Simmons, have played so much together, they absorbed the pressure and put it back on us. Of course, when you lose a final you think about things you could have done differently. Maybe I should have been more sure about the decision I wanted to take towards the end. But we’ve been resilient, we showed commitment and we played a brand of cricket that shows you don’t need superstars. For 8 years we have been trying to get to the final and we got here. I think we really pushed TKR in all three games we played against them in the tournament and I’m really proud of that.”
He congratulated Pollard and his team and the CPL organisers for actually getting cricket in at this time.
“We created an opportunity in the Caribbean for people to smile. And thanks to my team for the way they have turned up.”