Red Steel crowned CPL champions

Port of Spain, July 27 (IANS) Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel crowned themselves the new champions of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) when they produced a clinical all-round performance to beat title-holders Barbados Tridents by 20 runs in the final here.

Playing in front of a sold-out crowd at Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday night, Red Steel successfully defended their 178/5, stifling the Tridents’ dangerous batting line-up to take their first ever CPL title in the third edition of the regional Twenty20 tournament, reports CMC.

Opting to bat, Red Steel were propelled by Pakistani Kamran Akmal who top-scored with 60 off 46 balls while South African opener Cameron Delport hit 50 from 38. The pair put on 102 for the second wicket after opener Jacques Kallis (8) fell cheaply with the score on 18 in the third over. Captain Dwayne Bravo struck an unbeaten 29 off 15.

Seamers Rayad Emrit (2/25) and Kieron Pollard (2/28) picked up two wickets apiece.

In reply, Tridents started well but then fell away as the runs dried up. Opener Dwayne Smith lashed a top score of 49 from 30 balls, putting on 47 off 25 balls for the first wicket with Steven Taylor, who hit 20 off 10.

Once Smith fell in the 10th over with the score on 85/2, Tridents stumbled badly and the run rate climbed steadily, leaving them needing 26 off the last over.

Barbadian left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn (2/24) performed the final rites, sending down the final over which cost just six runs to hand Red Steel the title.

Akmal earned Man-of-the-Match for his electrifying innings while Dwayne Bravo was voted Man-of-the-Series for his 28 wickets and 173 runs.

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