Defending champs Knight Riders crumble late in tall chase as Wiese claims second five-for of CPL 2021
St Lucia Kings 205 for 4 (Deyal 78, David 38*, Wiese 34*) beat Trinbago Knight Riders 184 (Narine 30, Ramdin 29, Pollard 26, Wiese 5-39) by 21 runs
St Lucia Kings booked their place in the CPL final, knocking out defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders in a pulsating contest by 21 runs.
Mark Deyal led the charge for the Kings in a high-scoring contest. He smashed six sixes en route a 44-ball 78 as his side amassed 205 in the first innings. The Knight Riders, despite a shaky start, never quite let the run rate get out of hand until very late in the piece, with contributions right through the batting order keeping them in the hunt.
It looked like a game set perfectly for Kieron Pollard to finish off, but once David Wiese – who took a five-wicket haul – got rid of him, things began to get out of hand, and the Kings closed out the game.
The Kings opted to bat after winning the toss and got off to a pulsating start despite losing Cornwall for a duck and finding Fletcher out of form. The man on the attack was Deyal, whose glorious timing and stunning ball-striking flayed the Knight Riders bowling attack to all parts of the ground. So complete was his dominance over the contest that by the end of the Powerplay, the Kings had rocketed to 73 – Deyal was responsible for 60 of them.
The Knight Riders came back strongly through the middle overs once Fletcher and Deyal were removed, thanks largely to another wondrously wily four over spell from Sunil Narine, who put the brakes on the Kings immediately. While he had ball in hand, the Kings boundaries dried right up, and once he was done, he had allowed just 12 runs in his allotted four overs.
The last four overs, though, all hell broke loose with Wiese and Tim David at the crease, as monstrous power hitting combined with some fairly shoddy Knight Riders bowling. A staggering 70 runs came off the final four overs, undoing the good work that had followed previously, and setting the Knight Riders an improbable 206 for victory.
The Knight Riders’ response was hampered by an absence of the kind of role Deyal had played through the early overs, with no batter able to hang around to thread the innings together. Sunil Narine’s breezy cameo up top set up a platform, but it was notable the Kings kept chipping away with regular wickets; by the end of the game, no one besides Narine had managed to reach 30. Four other batters fell between scores of 25 and 29, and they all succumbed playing their shots, the longevity Deyal, Wiese and David had managed at the crease was proving the difference between the two sides.
Under pressure, the experienced Wiese made an equally telling contribution with ball in hand, forcing Pollard to top edge through to Ramdin just as he appeared to be hitting his groove. He would follow up with another couple of wickets in his final over to make it a five-fer, before the Kings ran through the Knight Riders’ lower order to end their dreams of retaining the title.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000