The 2022 Women's CPL got off to an exciting start, as the opening encounter between Barbados Royals and Trinbago Knight Riders concluded with a last-ball finish at Warner Park on Wednesday. Despite a strong performance from the Royals, the Knight Riders went on to win the match by a solitary run.
Earlier, Knight Riders captain Deandra Dottin won the toss and elected to bowl first. Some useful contributions from the top order followed by Hayley Jensen's unbeaten knock helped them finish with a total of 114/7. For the Royals, skipper Hayley Matthews and Shakera Selman bagged two wickets each, with Fatima Sana and Afy Fletcher also chipping in with a wicket apiece. Having lost just one wicket after the first six overs, the Knight Riders were set for a big total, but Matthews and co. kept striking at regular intervals and restricted the run-flow with some tight middle overs. By the time Dottin was dismissed in the 15th over, only 80 runs were on the board.
The chase began with opener Aaliyah Alleyne getting off to a watchful start. At the other end, Matthews looked in good touch, smashing three fours before being dismissed for a 16-ball 18. However, it was Chloe Tryon who once again brought her scintillating form in the middle. Her 26-ball 38 included three fours and three sixes, setting up the Royals for a deserving win. But Lee-Ann Kirby struck in back-to-back overs to remove Britney Cooper and a well-set Tryon, leaving the Royals in a tricky situation. With 11 runs needed in the last over, Dottin removed Fletcher on the first ball and despite Qiana Joseph hitting a six, the Royals ended up falling short by one run.
Here are captain Matthews' thoughts on the close finish and what lies ahead for the team: