The Caribbean Premier League came to an end yesterday after a gruelling 25 days of action. The league has been a steady platform for many youngsters, and it proved to be no different this year. This edition was in much limelight for it was going to mark the resumption of the shortest format of the game, after a painfully long pandemic-enforced break. And there is no denying the fact that the show was lit and conducted rather smoothly.
The season belonged to the Trinbago Knight Riders in every sense as they ran an incredible campaign of 12 victories on the trot and became the first team that won all the matches it appeared in a single edition. While the Riders put a dominant show, there were certainly many players who were able to stamp a mark through their performances.
Let us take a look at the best XI from the tournament this year:
1. Glenn Phillips – Jamaica Tallawahs
The top-order struggle for almost all the teams was manifest this year. There were hardly any teams that had a settled opening duo and despite many big names available in the slot, none were able to perform as per their reputation. Amidst such struggles, Glenn Phillips stood like a stalwart for his team and kept scripting performances one after the other.
His opening partner Chadwick Walton perhaps was the least supportive of all the openers who participated this year, however, Phillips continued to be the talisman for his team.
He was paired with different partners in the latter half of the tournament, but the story did not change. Despite the lack of support, he kept his game strong and ended up with 316 runs at 35.11 in 10 innings and the highest score of 79*.
2. Lendl Simmons – Trinbago Knight Riders
Lendl Simmons started the tournament on an extremely cold note as he continuously kept throwing his wicket. His scores in after the first 5 games read 17, 0, 21, 0, and 19. However, Simmons upped the ante real quick and found himself going after a couple of decent knocks in the games that followed.
His knock of 96 against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots showed why he happens to be such a potent weapon in this version of the game. His form shot up with incredible speed as he notched up 245 runs in the last four games of the tournament that included an unbeaten 54 in the semi-finals against the Jamaica Tallawahs, as well as his blistering unbeaten 84 off just 49 in the all-important final clash against St Lucia Zouks, that led his team to victory.
Simmons finished the season with 356 runs at 39.55 in 11 innings and also surpassed Chris Gayle tally to become the leading run-scorer in CPL.
3. Shimron Hetmyer – Guyana Amazon Warriors
Shimron Hetmyer started the tournament with a bang as he slammed back to back half-centuries against the Trinbago Knight Riders and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots: 63 and 71 respectively.
However, his form dipped suddenly, and a streak of low scores followed. In the next 7 matches, Hetmyer was able to score in double figures only once, however, he came back strongly against St Lucia Zouks when he slammed 56 off 36 and won the game with ease.
He made a healthy contribution of 32* in a chase of merely 90 against the Barbados Tridents, however, he was dismissed for a duck in the semi-final game against the Zouks. He finished with 267 runs at 33.37 in 11 matches with the highest score of 71.
4. Darren Bravo – Trinbago Knight Riders
Darren Bravo made a slightly slow start as he managed to score 30 and 14 respectively in the first two games. However, what followed were some dazzling performances with the Caribbean fellow’s bat. He remained unbeaten for three consecutive matches where his scores read 54, 23, and 26.
Riders’ top-order dominance did not allow Bravo to bat in every game he featured, although he still managed to amass 297 runs in 9 innings at a whopping average of 59.40 with 3 half-centuries to his credit.
His unbeaten 58 off 47, that included 6 massive sixes alongside Simmons’ 84, led his team to chase 157 runs in only 18.1 overs in the final clash.
5. Nicholas Pooran – Guyana Amazon Warriors
Hetmyer’s countryman Nicholas Pooran’s start in the tournament was quite underwhelming. He scored 18 in the first league game and followed it by a golden duck in the second game against the Jamaica Tallawahs. His 68 against St Lucia Zouks came in a losing cause, however, he found some rhythm.
The best of Pooran came out against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots as he bludgeoned a century in merely 45 balls and toyed with the Patriots’ bowling attack with ridiculous ease.
His knock was the only century this season and he followed it by a couple of cameos, however, the Warriors were mostly chasing such low scores in the latter half that not much of a batting effort was required. Pooran finished with 245 runs at 27.22 from 11 matches and he took 6 catches with the gloves.
6. Kieron Pollard – Trinbago Knight Riders
Skipper Kieron Pollard not only led his team with exceptionality but his own performance was prolific enough to fetch him the title of the Man of the Tournament. The Riders’ top-order was consistently amongst the runs and hence, Pollard did not get too many chances to bat. However, he did not disprove his tag of a limited-overs specialist during whatever chances he got.
He slammed a 28-ball 72 against the Barbados Tridents in what was the only instance in the tournament when the Riders looked like mortals. He snatched a victory off the opponent’s jaws and showed his might again.
Pollard finished with 207 runs in 7 innings at a marvellous average of 51.75 and a strike rate of 205, whereas with the ball, he bagged 8 wickets including his 4-for in the final against St Lucia Zouks. He also slammed 20 sixes, the joint highest with Lendl Simmons this year.
7. Mohammad Nabi – St Lucia Zouks
Mohammad Nabi was one of the star performers this year as he consistently contributed with both bat and ball. His brilliant cameos down the order along with his regular wicket-taking made him be an asset for his side. In the middle phase, he won back to back Man-of-the-Match awards for his all-round performance that led his team to convincing victories.
He scored 154 runs in 9 innings apart from bagging 12 wickets. The surfaces this year were extremely assistive for spinners and Nabi made full use of that as he bowled with an economy rate of 5.08 in the entire tournament.
The best of him came against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots when he bagged his maiden fifer in T20 cricket and broke the back of the opponents, finishing with figures of 5 for 15.
8. Scott Kuggeleijn – St Lucia Zouks
The Kiwi-pacer had an impactful tournament this year as he bagged a wicket almost every time he stepped out for his team. He bowled with immense control in all the phases of the game and continued to make the outings of batsmen difficult.
Kuggeleijn’s economy rate was a slight concern in the initial games, however, he came back well to keep that under check as the tournament progressed.
In the semi-final game against the Guyana Amazon Warriors, he bagged a couple of wickets at the top and gave merely 12 runs with the ball. He ended up as the leading wicket-taker with 17 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 15.64 and an economy of 7.78.
9. Mujeeb-ur-Rahman – Jamaica Tallawahs
Mujeeb-ur-Rahman had a bash in the tournament and he partnered with Sandeep Lamichchane to dominate the opponent batsmen with great ease. The spinners ruled the entire tournament and Rahman was one of those who enjoyed his time thoroughly with the ball.
He started the tournament extremely well and made a hat-trick of 3-wicket hauls. Later, when he was unable to strike with the ball, he bowled in the correct areas and suffocated the scoring.
Rahman took 16 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 13.5 and a brilliant economy of 5.30. Further, he grabbed 8 catches- the joint highest with Mohammad Nabi.
10. Rayad Emrit – St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
The Patriots’ skipper had barely anything to look and smile at in the tournament. With only a solitary win in their 10 league matches, his team hit rock bottom this year and failed to move above the last spot in the points tally throughout the league.
However, one of the very few positives for the team was the skipper’s form. Despite the tournament being dominated by the spinners, the 39-year-old kept bagging wickets in every appearance for his side.
The batsmen did not give him enough to defend, although Emrit’s economy was utterly pleasing on every occasion. He scalped 11 wickets in 10 matches averaging 17.36 and with a stupendous economy of 5.96.
11. Imran Tahir – Guyana Amazon Warriors
The veteran South African leg-spinner has defied age and has continued to perform almost every time he has stepped on the field. Even at 41, his guile and sharpness are intact and he showed that with the way he used his innumerable variations to make the lives of batsmen difficult.
His 3 for 12 with the ball played a major role in the Barbados Tridents’ collapse and the victory almost sealed his team’s entry into the next stage.
He bagged 15 wickets in 11 matches at an economy under 7 and though his team lost the semi-final against St Lucia Zouks to crash out of the tournament, Tahir once again proved himself to be an integral part of the setup in this year’s edition.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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