CPL: Reigning champions Trinbago open tournament with a loss following Charles half-century

The St Lucia Zouks beat the Trinbago Knight Riders by six wickets in the opening game of the 2016 Caribbean Premier League

CPL: Reigning champions Trinbago open tournament with a loss following Charles half-century
Johnson Charles hit 52 in the St Lucia Zouks victory over Trinbago in the CPL (Image source: Sportsfile via Getty)

The Caribbean Premier League returned for it's fourth season, with a victory for the St Lucia Zouks over the Trinbago Knight Riders by six wickets in Trinidad

Shane Watson's three wickets helped restrict the Knight Riders to 162-6 from their 20 overs, despite an unbeaten 63 from Darren Bravo

In reply, Johnson Charles hit 52 to get the Zouks chase off to a good start, before David Miller and Darren Sammy took St Luica home with five balls to spare. 

Shane Watson played well with bat and ball for the Zouks (image via: Sportsfile)

Bravo saves Knight Riders after overseas stars fail to fire

The reigning champions, Trinbago, were inserted after Sammy won the toss, and their overseas top order failed to fire, finding themselves 58-3 after nine overs. 

First to go was Brendon McCullum, who had made 12 before hitting a delivery from Derone Davis straight to Sammy in the third over of the match. 

Fellow New Zealander Colin Munro was next to lose his wicket, handing Sammy his second catch of the innings after mistiming a pull from a short delivery by Watson. 

McCullum's opening partner Hashim Amla had just hit an excellent shot over cover for six, but when trying to repeat the trick he could only find Kyle Mayers waiting on the boundary to give Nitish Kumar a wicket. 

It was then down to Darren Bravo and Pakistanian Umar Akmal to save the innings, and they did so sharing in a partnership of 66 for the fourth-wicket. Akmal had made 30 from 28 balls, before he was caught-and bowled by Watson, leaving Trinbago 124-4 halfway through the 18th over. 

Darren Bravo made 63 for the Knight Riders (image via: sportsfile)

Darren was then joined by his half-brother Dwayne Bravo at the crease, but their partnership did not last long with the new batsman falling for just one, giving Morne Morkel his only wicket of the innings. 

It was then Darren's time to completely take control of the innings, hitting three sixes and a four in the final ten balls to take Trinbago up to a more than competitive total of 162. 

Miller confirms Zouks victory after Charles blitz

Chasing a relatively large total, Johnson Charles and Watson made a strong start during the powerplay, taking the Zouks to 47 before the Australian was duped by a slower ball from Dwayne Bravo, giving Sunil Narine a simple catch in the sixth over. 

Charles continued to take the attack to the Knight Rider bowlers, and brought up his half-century before falling soon after when he was caught by McCullum off Narine with his side still needing 71 for victory. 

Sunil Narine grabbed two quick wickets for Trinbago (image via: sportsfile)

Narine then picked up his second-wicket in quick succession as the home side fought back, having Andre Fletcher caught behind for 23 by Akmal. 

South African left-hander David Miller joined Michael Hussey at the crease, and the pair shared a strong fourth-wicket partnership of 43 in five overs which put the Zouks in touching distance before Hussey was bowled by Dwayne Bravo for a run-a-ball 16. 

It was then captain-to-captain, with Bravo bowling to Darren Sammy and it was the Zouks leader who came out on top, stroking a pair of fours from the final two deliveries of the penultimate over to leave St Lucia needing just three to win from the final over. 

Ronsford Beaton's poor showing with the ball was completed, when with the first ball of the final over, Miller smashed him over cover for a boundary, leaving last year's champions with an opening day loss on their home pitch.