After finishing rock-bottom in CPL 2021, Barbados Royals have scripted a remarkable turnaround by becoming the first team to advance to the playoffs this season. With a 29-run victory via DLS method against Guyana Amazon Warriors, Royals not only sealed a playoffs spot but also ensured they will finish top in the league stage and get two cracks at the final.
However, Royals will be without their captain David Miller and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for the final leg of the tournament in Guyana as the South Africa pair will head back home to prepare for a white-ball tour of India, which begins with the first T20I in Thiruvananthapuram on September 28.
Despite the absence of Tim David, who has now linked up with the Australia team in India, St Lucia Kings won both their games in the Trinidad leg. Adam Hose, David’s replacement, didn’t do much, but Kings’ seniors stepped up to brush aside Patriots and then edge Trinbago Knight Riders by one run.
Against Patriots, on a challenging Tarouba track that slowed down as the game progressed, Faf du Plessis and Johnson Charles were proactive enough to make use of the powerplay, helping Kings to 60 for 2 in that phase. In response, Patriots reached only 47 for 2 in the first six overs of their chase. David Wiese then delivered a double-wicket maiden and Kesrick Williams unfurled his slower variations as Patriots’ chase unravelled.
In the last match of the Trinidad leg, du Plessis matched up Roston chase’s offspin with a left-hander-heavy TKR top order. Chase did his job, removing Leonardo Julien, Colin Munro and Nicholas Pooran cheaply. Despite late blows from Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, Kings prevailed, with Roshun Primus defending 21 off the final over to lift Kings to second on the points table.
As for TKR, they are presently fourth, with only three wins in eight games, and having already lost USA quick Ali Khan to injury, they’ve been depleted further by Jayden Seales’ absence for the remainder of CPL 2022. According to Pollard, Seales has a “fitness issue” and has been replaced by England allrounder Samit Patel.
Johnson Charles celebrated his call-up for the T20 World Cup with back-to-back half-centuries. He was particularly aggressive against elite spin, taking on Rashid Khan, Sunil Narine and Akeal Hosein. During his 41-ball 61 against Patriots, Charles also surpassed Chris Gayle to become the second-highest run-getter in the history of the CPL.
Player of the week
Holder claimed six wickets across three games in Trinidad, with his sparkling all-round effort against Amazon Warriors putting Royals in the playoffs. Holder was promoted to No.5, ahead of Azam Khan, who is also a spin-hitter, and captain Miller, and responded with an unbeaten 40 off 33 balls on a tough pitch in a rain-hit fixture. No other batter scored more than 20 runs in that game. Holder was not done yet: he tricked pinch-hitter Keemo Paul with a slower ball and came away with figures of 2-0-8-1. It was a week where Holder cemented his status as one of West Indies’ top allrounders in T20 cricket.
In only his second official T20 game, offspinner Junior Sinclair collected 2 for 12 in his four overs. After having Mayers hole out, Sinclair celebrated with a gravity-defying somersault, which reminded Caribbean fans of the other Sinclair’s – Kevin – signature celebration. Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home.
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