The 2019 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) finally has its winner- Barbados Tridents. Their final with the Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad turned out to be a pretty one-sided contest as the Tridents won by 27 runs.
Frustration for the Warriors continued as they went on to lose their fifth final in seven seasons in the history of the league, to their dismay. The Tridents won the CPL twice since 2014, and both times, they had the Warriors as the opponent in the final.
The odds were stacked against Barbados, but the side defied all the odds to emerge victorious. As the league went by, there were a number of standout performers, who carved themselves as indispensable members of their teams. Their respective sides looked up to them.
In the article, let’s take a look at the best XI of the CPL 2019
Brandon King (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
Brandon King has been the find of the CPL 2019, playing for the Guyana Amazon Warriors. He amassed 496 runs in 12 matches at an average of 55.11 and a strike-rate of 148.94. The Jamaica-born hardly looked flustered in the middle and gave his team good starts on most occasions.
The unbeaten 132 he got in the Qualifier 1 versus the Tridents will be etched in the mind for a long time. The Warriors never needed to think of changing their opening combination as King along with Chandrapaul Hemraj kept smothering the opposition bowling without much fuss.
He also scored three fifties on the trot versus the Tallawahs, Tridents and the Zouks. It won’t spring a surprise if he gets called up to the West Indies T20 team with the T20 World Cup in Australia to be played in 2020.
Lendl Simmons (Trinbago Knight Riders)
Lendl Simmons came into the TKR setup as a replacement of Colin Munro, who missed the first three games due to international commitments. But he retained his spot as Dwayne Bravo was ruled out owing to a finger injury.
The right-hander started with two low scores, but a 38-ball 63 over Daren Sammy’s St Lucia Zouks kick-started his campaign. There was lo looking back for Simmons ever since. He backed up that inning with scores of 86 and 90 and 60. In the Eliminator versus the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Simmons scored 51.
The knock helped the Knights chase down 126 on a tricky surface at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. The 34-year-old Trinidadian ended the tournament with 430 runs in 12 matches with five fifties at an average of 39.09 and an impressive strike-rate of 150.04.
Glenn Phillips (Jamaica Tallawahs)
It won’t be wrong in saying that Glenn Phillips was the lone warrior for the Tallawahs throughout the CPL 2019. Barring a few knocks here and there from Chris Gayle and Chadwick Walton, none of his teammates could lend him much support.
The New Zealander was mostly on top of his game. The youngster scored 374 runs in 10 matches at a decent average of 37.40 and a strike-rate of 144.96. His three fifties came versus the Zouks, Knight Riders and Patriots, Unfortunately, all of them came in losing causes.
Like Simmons, he failed in the first two matches after which he started weaving magic. In the match versus the Patriots, he got 87 off only 49 balls and despite that masterclass, the Tallawahs failed to chase down 177 as only three of their batters could cross the double-digit score.
Shoaib Malik (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
Shoaib Malik is 37 years old, but he hasn’t run out of steam by any stretch of the imagination. The Pakistan cricketer don’t like the bowlers to settle into a rhythm. Hence, he always looks to turn the strike over and get the odd boundary from time to time, keeping the opposition on its toes.
The same was evident from the fact that Malik had the lowest dot ball percentage in the tournament. Batting in the middle order, he was the Warriors’ second highest run-scorer with 317 runs at a jaw-dropping average of 63.40. Both his half-centuries came versus the Tallawahs.
The Sialkot-born also had the third-best economy rate of 6.29 among the Warriors bowlers to go with six wickets in 13.3 overs. As a skipper, he was outstanding, having led his side to 11 thumping victories on the trot.
Kieron Pollard (Trinbago Knight Riders)
After being appointed as the TKR skipper in Bravo’s absence, Kieron Pollard showed his class, both in leadership and batting. Whenever he was there in the middle, there was a ray for TKR to get over the finishing line.
The 32-year-old batted in the middle order, yet featured amongst the top run-scorers of the event. He got a stunning 349 runs at an average of 58.16 and a strike-rate of 150.34. The veteran chipped in with his solitary half-century at the Providence Stadium that almost took down the Warriors at home.
Pollard doesn’t have a humongous knock to show for his efforts, but he was TKR’s stalwart in the middle without a shred of a doubt. In the Eliminator versus the Patriots, it was his unbeaten 26 off nine balls that took TKR past the finishing line with eight balls to spare.
Fabian Allen (St Kitts and Nevis Patriots)
Fabian Allen played only 123 balls in the CPL 2019, but the impact he made, batting in the lower middle-order was no less than a top-order batsman. He mostly took the crease with the team in dire need of some quick runs.
Allen is among the rare breed of cricketers who can find the middle of the bat right from the outset and it’s his jaw-dropping strike-rate of 177.23 that manifests the same. He was one of the very reasons why the Patriots managed to qualify for the playoffs in what was a topsy-turvy season for them.
Allen was the Patriots’ third-highest run-scorer after Evin Lewis and Laurie Evans. He got 218 runs at an average of 27.25. Parking aside his batting, he didn’t disappoint his team even in the bowling department and was trusted to bowl inside the field restrictions.
Jason Holder (Barbados Tridents)
Jason Holder saw the Tridents finish at the bottom in the 2018 edition of the CPL. And even this time around, his team could easy have crashed out before the playoffs. The Tridents were a unit that depended heavily on their bowling and had a tough time, especially while chasing modest targets down.
However, Holder with his sharp mind, held the Tridents together and made them champions. Though with the bat, he had an average of 5.55, with the ball, he was their joint-highest wicket-taker with 14 scalps.
He had an economy rate of 7.34 with best figures of 2/21 versus the Tallawahs at home. Holder made the Tridents peak at the right time going into the business end of the tournament. Jason was also effective as a fielder, taking the most catches (13) in the T20 league.
Hayden Walsh Jr (Barbados Tridents)
Hayden Walsh Jr wasn’t a regular member of the Tridents when Sandeep Lamichhane was there. The tweaker played only two out of the first six matches and got four wickets. But once the Nepal leg-spinner left for national duties, Walsh started inflicting mayhem on the opposition with his bag of tricks.
In his third game, he picked the bones out of the Knight Riders’ batting with a five-wicket haul. After only six games, he went to the top of the wicket-takers’ list with 17 wickets. In every other game, the USA tweaker picked up wickets and made a significant impact.
It was only in the Final that he could only manage a solitary wicket, which showed how much authority he had over the batsmen in the T20 league. Walsh was a bit expensive with an economy of 8.28, but finished with 22 wickets.
Imran Tahir (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
Imran Tahir wasn’t a part of the Warriors in the first three matches. It was only after Shadab Khan left the franchise that the former South African spinner came into the mix. But once he started his journey in the tournament, there was no stopping the leg-spinner.
He ended up, having the best economy rate of 5.62 among all the bowlers in the CPL along with an incredible strike-rate of 13.1. The Lahore-born finished as the second-highest wicket-taker of CPL 2019 with 16 wickets from nine matches. In his first six encounters, he got at least two wickets in every match.
The game versus the Trinbago Knight Riders was the only instance when he couldn’t dismiss a batsman. His best figures of 3/12 came against the Tallawahs at the Providence Stadium. The veteran was a tough nut to crack.
Harry Gurney (Barbados Tridents)
Harry Gurney was roped in by the Tridents after it was known that Dan Christian won’t be a part of the tournament. The left-arm seamer’s inclusion turned out to be a master-stroke as he turned out to be their most frugal bowler with an economy of 6.16.
Gurney was mostly given the responsibility of bowling at the death and the opposition batters found it tough to encounter his change of pace. The batsmen had to make all the pace while hitting shots and on sticky surfaces, it was almost impossible to milk him for runs.
In eight matches, Gurney picked up 13 wickets at an average of 14.69 and strike-rate of 14.3. His best bowling figures of 3/17 came against the Zouks in Bridgetown. The left-arm seamer also played a crucial role in the Qualifier 1 and the Final, getting four wickets.
Sheldon Cottrell (St Kitts and Nevis Patriots)
Sheldon Cottrell provided the X-factor to the otherwise lacklustre Patriots’ bowling attack. The southpaw churned out early wickets and also showed his calibre at the death. The left-arm fast bowler was their joint-highest wicket-taker with 12 wickets along with Rayad Emrit.
Even as the latter got the scalps in 11 matches, Cottrell picked up as many wickets in only eight encounters. Among the bowlers, who have played more than two contests, Cottrell has the best bowling average of 14.7. In fact, he went wicketless in only one match.
His best figures of 3/27 came versus the Tridents at the Bridgetown. In one of the matches versus cellar dwellers Tallawahs where Cottrell didn’t play, the Patriots ended up conceding 241 runs. He was Carlos Brathwaite’s go-to-man.
- Barbados Tridents
- Guyana Amazon Warriors
- Jamaica Tallawahs
- St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
- Trinbago Knight Riders
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