Charles, Miller shine as Zouks shock CPL title-holders
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
West Indies opener Johnson Charles belted an attacking half century, and South African David Miller produced an entertaining late cameo as St Lucia Zouks stunned title-holders Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR), by six wickets in the opening game of the Caribbean Premier League on Wednesday night.
Set a competitive 163 for victory at Queen's Park Oval, Zouks got home off the first ball of the final over when the left-hander Miller clobbered fast bowler Ronsford Beaton to the cover boundary, well after midnight.
Charles top-scored with 52 off 38 balls with six fours and a six, while Miller counted four fours and a six to end on 33 not out from 20 deliveries. Andre Fletcher made 23 from 22 balls.
Champion off-spinner Sunil Narine was the best of the TKR bowlers with two for 25, while medium pacer and captain Dwayne Bravo claimed two for 43 from his four.
Rallied from slow start
Sent in earlier, the hosts rallied from a slow start to reach 162 for six, thanks mainly to Darren Bravo's superb unbeaten 63 off 44 balls.
The innings was stuttering at 58 for three at the end of the ninth over when Bravo and Umar Akmal, who made 30, combined in a 66-run, fourth wicket stand to pull things around.
Bravo lashed two fours and four sixes, while the energetic Akmal faced 28 balls and counted two fours and a six.
They were separated in the 18th over when Akmal tried to slap a short one from seamer Shane Watson down the ground and was caught and bowled.
However, Bravo went into overdrive as TKR briskly gathered 39 runs from the last three overs of the innings.
When New Zealander Brendon McCullum pummelled two boundaries off the opening over from South Africa Morne Morkel, Zouks seemed in for a long night.
But left-arm spinner Derone Davis removed him for 12 in the third over with the first delivery of his spell - caught at slip by captain Darren Sammy - and Watson, who finished with three for 26, knocked over Colin Munro for 11 courtesy of a catch at mid-wicket also by Sammy.
In reply, Charles and Watson got stuck into opening bowlers Beaton and left-arm spinner Nikita Miller, as they set the foundation for victory with a 47-run, opening stand off 35 deliveries.