By Neto Baptiste
The St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots are champions of the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League following their nail-biting final ball victory over the St. Lucia Kings in Wednesday’s final at Warner Park in St. Kitts.
Dominic Drakes, who top scored with 48 from 24 balls including three sixes and three fours, hit the winning run off the final ball to see Patriots to a three-wicket victory and their first title in the CPL.
The triumph prompted massive celebrations by Patriots fans at the venue while players rushed onto the pitch to celebrate with Drakes and last man, Nasheem Shah, who came to the crease after Sheldon Cottrell was controversially run out with the score on 151. Cottrell, who made five runs from two balls, collided with bowler Wahab Riaz as he turned for a second run, lost his bat and was run out by wicketkeeper Andre Fletcher.
Drakes, who was named Man of the Match, had help from Joshua Da Silva who made 37 from 32 deliveries, hitting five fours in his 44 minutes at the crease. Sherfane Rutherford contributed with 25 before he was caught off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph while Fabian Allen made 20.
Riaz was the pick of the bowlers for Patriots, claiming two wickets for 36 runs in his four overs.
Winning the toss and opting to bat, Kings posted 159 for seven in their allotment of 20 overs with top scores of 43 coming from both Rahkeem Cornwall and Roston Chase. Cornwall hammered five fours and two sixes in his 32-ball knock before he was bowled by Allen, while Chase hit four fours and two sixes for his 43 before falling to Shah. Keemo Paul made 39 down the order to push Kings past 150.
Fawad Ahmed and Nasheem Shah both claimed two wickets bowling for Patriots. Ahmed had two for 32 while Shah snatched two for 26.