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Pooran’s perfection propels TKR to victory over Royals in RBL CPL 2023

By Brandon Corlette

Nicholas Pooran’s prolific unbeaten century propelled Trinbago Knight Riders to a 42-run win against Barbados Royals in the 2023 Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League.
On yet another working day in Trinidad, fans turned out in great numbers to witness a Pooran special at Queen’s Park Oval. TKR racked up a massive 208-6 in their 20 overs, while Royals reached 166-7 in 20 overs.
Barbados Royals started their chase with the loss of the big wicket of Rahkeem Cornwall. After hitting a boundary with the first ball he faced, Cornwall was caught for four, having faced only two balls.

Pooran, Hosein et al celebrating a wicket

Kyle Mayers was partnered by Laurie Evans, and the duo took Royals to 46-1 at the powerplay. Mayers survived a close call to Ali Khan, while Evans manipulated the field to perfection early on. However, the mystery of Sunil Narine proved too much for Evans. Narine bowled a maiden, and Waqar Salamkheil then prised the wicket of Evans for 20 from 23 balls.
At 54-2, Rovman Powell joined Mayers, and the duo took Royals’ score to 68-2 in 10 overs. When Mayers reached his fifty from 38 balls with a boundary off Russell, the Royals were 90-2 in 12 overs, requiring 119 runs from 48 balls at that stage.
The left-arm wrist spinner Salamkheil then removed Powell (09) with a googly to reset the score at 90-3. Salamkheil ended with 2-18 from four top overs. Akeal Hosein also chipped in with 2-21 from three overs.

Royals celebrating the wicket of Pollard

Ali Khan returned to remove Mayers for 70 from 45 balls, and that was all she wrote for the Royals. Mayers had struck seven fours and four sixes in his innings.
Royals captain Rovman Powell had won the toss and opted to bowl first. TKR lost the out-of-form Mark Deyal (06) at 20-1 when he was brilliantly caught by Rolef van der Merwe. Martin Guptill and the class act Nicholas Pooran pushed on, and TKR reached 49-1 at the powerplay.

Pooran jumping for joy

Guptill looked busy at the crease while Pooran mixed brutality with class in his strokeplay. Guptill lost his balance and was stumped around his legs off the bowling of Rahkeem Cornwall with the score at 76-2 after 9.2 overs.
A poor bit of communication then resulted in the run-out dismissal of Kieron Pollard (02) with the score at 78-3. Both Pooran and Pollard were at the one side of the wicket, but Pooran had his foot grounded, while Pollard had his bat away from the line.

Nicholas Pooran celebrating his milestone

In the 10th over, Pooran had already left for the dugout on 27. He returned upon the review, and continued his elegant strokeplay. Loran Tucker fell cheaply for eight, but Pooran stood firm. The left-handed Pooran reached his second fifty of the season in 36 balls with a boundary off Nyeem Young, followed by a six.
Young, who holds the record for the most expensive over in CPL history, was taken for 26 off Pooran in the 16th over. Andre Russell, who walked to the crease with the score at 106-4 in 12.3 overs, surpassed 50 runs with Pooran in just 23 balls.

Andre Russell was all power

Pooran continued his way, and despite losing Russell (39), and Akeal Hosein (01), he was brutal. Pooran reached his hundred from 51 balls in front of his home crowd. He was unbeaten on 102 from 53 balls in an innings laced with 10 sixes and five fours.
TKR posted 208-6 in their allotted 20 overs. Jason Holder claimed 2-39 in his four overs.
The 2023 CPL continues today, Saturday September 9, with St Lucia Kings taking on St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and TKR playing Jamaica Tallawahs at 20:00h Eastern Caribbean Time.