The inaugural final of the Hero CPL Esports Series saw Colin Munro of the Trinbago Knight Riders take on Ish Sodhi of the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots with the difficulty level of the game turned up to really challenge these players.
The Knight Riders won the toss and put the Patriots into bat and the first over of the final was full of drama with Khary Pierre picking up both Patriots’ openers with Evin Lewis and Chris Lynn dismissed going for big shots. That left the Patriots 10/2 at the end of the first over, and that became 17/3 when Sodhi was caught in the ring off the bowling of Ali Khan.
Things didn’t improve when Nick Kelly was run out for a diamond duck to leave the Patriots innings in tatters at 18/4.
Sunil Narine kept the carnage coming when he bowled Ben Dunk for 6 and then did the same to Denesh Ramdin two balls later to leave the Patriots at 22/6.
Fawad Ahmad’s introduction into the attack only further cemented the Patriots’ woes as three more wickets fell, two of them soft run outs as the batting team finished with 32 all out.
It was a small target but Munro was still feeling the pressure. The Patriots could have had Lendl Simmons dismissed in the first over but Chris Lynn put down a tough chance off Alzarri Joseph at mid-off.
At the other end Narine found the boundary twice before Simmons was gone, dismissed by Imran Khan. By the end of the second over the Knight Riders were 18/1 with 16 needed from 18 balls.
Sodhi brought himself on to bowl and after a tricky start thanks to two wides he came back well to get Narine bowled for 10.
That left the Knight Riders needing 11 from 12 and a powerful on drive for four from Pollard seemed to swing things in his teams favour before he was yet another run out.
At the start of the last over five were needed and the Knight Riders seemed happy to get there in singles, but a wide and a no ball from Sheldon Cottrell also helped.
It was Munro who hit the winning runs, cover driving for two to win the game by seven wickets with one ball to spare in a thrilling last over finish to seal the first ever CPL Esports title.