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Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel clinch CPL title

Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel celebrating their maiden CPL win in Port of Spain.
Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel celebrating their maiden CPL win in Port of Spain.
©Caribbean Premier League

Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel 178-5 (Kamran Akmal 60) beat
Barbados Tridents 158-4 (Smith 49) by 20 runs
Final, Caribbean Premier League, Port of Spain

Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel defeated reigning champions Barbados Tridents by 20 runs in the final of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in Port of Spain to claim their first ever title.

Trinidad & Tobago won the toss and chose to bat first, but lost Jacques Kallis (8) in the third over, bowled by Robin Peterson (1-24).

Making sure that there were no more hiccups to the innings, Kamran Akmal (60) and Cameron Delport (50) batted cautiously when necessary, while smashing the odd boundary, as they kept the scoreboard moving at a good pace.

Delport, who got off the mark with two consecutive fours in the second over, took two more off Kieron Pollard (2-28) in the fourth, before adopting a calmer approach as Akmal began to take charge.

He reached his fifty in 41 balls with a six over mid-wicket, off Ravi Rampaul (0-47), who soon dropped a chance off his own bowling, handing the batsman a reprieve.

Delport smashed two more sixes in the 15th over, to take Trinidad to 116 for one with five more overs left in the game, giving the team a shot at a formidable total.

Delport was dismissed by Pollard right after getting to a fifty, while Akmal was sent back to the pavilion off the very next ball, allowing Barbados to stage a comeback.

However, Trinidad plundered 53 runs in the last four overs, with Dwayne Bravo (29 not out) playing a fantastic cameo laced with four fours and a six, which took the team to a formidable total of 178 for five.

Peterson was the most economical bowler for the Tridents while Rayad Emrit (2-25) and Pollard got two wickets each.

Chasing a formidable total in a final, Barbados raced away to a superlative start, scoring 61 for one in the powerplay with Dwayne Smith (49) leading the charge.

Opener Steven Taylor (20) too played a cameo before he was dismissed, which brought Kyle Corbin (20), who was playing his first ever match in this edition of the CPL, to the crease.

Corbin was unable to handle the pressure well as he scored at less than a run-a-ball when the required rate was climbing, putting additional pressure on Smith.

The pressure soon got the better of Smith, who played one onto his stumps, looking to get a boundary away, leaving Barbados to get 92 runs from the final ten overs.

Corbin’s struggle at the crease finally ended when he holed out to Delport at long-on off Sulieman Benn (2-24), while Misbah-ul-Haq (21) was sent back by Derone Davis (1-18) to leave Barbados reeling at 120 for four after 15 overs.

Despite Jason Holder (20 not out) and Pollard (20 not out) doing their best, Barbados did not recover as they fell short by 20 runs, giving Trinidad their maiden CPL trophy.

Akmal was named as the man of the match for his flamboyant knock, while Dwayne Bravo, the tournament's highest wicket-taker with 28 victims to his name, bagged the man-of-the-series award.

© Cricket World 2015