CPL: Chandrapaul Hemraj looking to build on starts
By Avenash Ramzan
Opener Chandrapaul Hemraj is looking to build on his starts in the Hero Caribbean Premier League 2019, after helping the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a third consecutive win with a career-best knock on Sunday evening.
The dashing left-hander has cemented his spot at the top of the order, and the early indicators suggest he is a significant part of the Warriors quest for a maiden CPL title.
The Guyana Jaguars and West Indies ODI opener cracked a career-high 63 off 55 balls, stabilising the Warriors top order after the early loss of fellow opener Brandon King, the in-form Shimron Hetmyer and skipper Shoaib Malik against Barbados Tridents at Providence.
“It’s a great experience you know (to get a maiden T20 fifty),” the 26-year-old said after the game. “I must thank the crowd for the turnout for the past three games; it’s been really amazing.”
The solidity provided by Hemraj at the top allowed the young pair Nicholas Pooran (61* off 30) and Sherfane Rutherford (32* off 14) to tee off at the end, adding 78 in 4.5 overs to effectively bat the Tridents out of the contest. Warriors racked up 180-4, a total good enough to secure a 47-run victory.
“Watching those two guys bat (it’s really amazing) and the way the hit the ball has been really clean,” Hemraj observed.
After his own contribution with the bat and the heroics of Pooran and Rutherford, Hemraj was handed the ball to open the bowling. He struck with the very first delivery, removing the dangerous Alex Hales, the ball crashing into the stumps as the Englishman played back to one that spun sharply.
Meanwhile, many Caribbean-based players are using this tournament to put their names in the ring ahead of the T20 World Cup in 2020, but Hemraj is not looking too far ahead.
“I just want to enjoy my cricket and whenever I get the opportunity I just want to make the most of it,” he said. “I think I’ve been timing the ball pretty well; I just want to keep going and hopefully we go deep into the tournament.”
With scores of 14, 39 and 63 thus far, Hemraj is the League’s leading runscorer with 116 runs. He will have another opportunity to add to that tally when the Warriors come up against hosts St. Kitts Patriots on Saturday from 20:00h.