Pakistan sensation Shadab Khan and explosive Brandon McCullum shine as Trinbago Knight Riders comfortably beaten St Lucia Stars in the opening match of Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2017.
Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro blasted half-centuries in an unbroken second-wicket century stand as Knight Riders razed down the 133-target with 56 balls to spare.
The Daren Sammy-led franchise were ousted by Knight Riders by five wickets in the first elimination playoff last year.
Any hopes of avenging that season-ending defeat were dashed by Shadab Khan, the Pakistan leg-spinner, on CPL debut.
He picked 2 for 15 – the effort earned him the Player of the Match award – as Stars limped to 132 for 9. On a true surface with even bounce, it was far from enough.
Andre Fletcher triggered a pulsating start, hitting Khary Pierre, the left-arm spinner, for three successive fours in the second over, but Shadab’s introduction brought the runs under check.
Fletcher, looking to whip one by walking across, only to see Shadab cleverly fire the ball in, was trapped plumb in front for 26, which would be the highest score of the innings.
A thin middle-order left the St Lucia franchise vulnerable on a number of occasions last year.
Shane Watson played a key role in propping them out of trouble. On a day when they needed him, he was forced to sit out after a calf injury flared up on the long flight across the Pacific.