Chase, Shepherd, Lewis, Smith, Rampaul among CPL standouts
By Avenash Ramzan
A League that started with six franchises on August 26 has been narrowed down to the top four, who remain in the hunt for the title of Caribbean Premier League champions 2021.
Reigning and four-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders are atop of the table behind Guyana Amazon Warriors and St. Kitts Patriots in that order based on Net Run Rate, after they all finished on 12 points garnered from six wins each.
St. Lucia Kings complete the semi-final line-up, accumulating 10 points from five victories. Jamaica Tallawahs (eight points) and Barbados Royals (six points) had disappointing campaigns that ended at the League phase.
Semi-final action is billed for Tuesday (September 14) in Basseterre, St. Kitts, with Knight Riders up against the Kings at 10:00h and Amazon Warriors facing the Patriots at 14:30h. They play for a place in the final, set for 10:00h on Wednesday (September 15).
The League has served up some outstanding performances, especially by Caribbean players with the likes of Roston Chase, Romario Shepherd, Ravi Rampaul, Evin Lewis and Odean Smith being among the standouts.
Chase, turning out for the St. Lucia Kings, has been a model of consistency in CPL 2021. With four fifties, the most by any player in a single season, the tall right-hander has emerged as the leading runscorer to date with 367 runs in 10 innings.
He averages 52 and has a strike rate of 147, numbers that no doubt influenced his selection to the West Indies World T20 squad.
Lewis, the dashing Patriots opener, one of three centurions in the tournament, is the second leading runscorer with 343 runs in nine innings. Add two fifties, an average of 42 and a strike rate of 158 and you’re looking at the premier opener in the competition.
For good measure, he has struck a tournament-high 30 sixes, eight more than Nicholas Pooran in second place.
South African Faf du Plessis, overlooked by the South African selectors for the World T20, has done well for the Kings, scoring 277 runs, the third most in the competition.
He averages 34, has a healthy strike rate of 143 and has the notched the highest individual score in the competition- 120*against the Patriots.
The big-hitting Kennar Lewis was a revelation and bright spark for an otherwise disappointing Jamaica Tallawahs this season. The powerful opener finished the League with 262 runs, the fourth most, striking at an astonishing 164.
He struck 20 sixes, the most by a Tallawahs batsman.
New Zealander Glenn Phillips finished the League with the fifth most runs- 254 in 10 innings- and was the second most productive overseas batsman behind du Plessis.
For the Amazon Warriors, skipper Pooran has been the franchise’s leading scorer with 237 runs, which puts him seventh on the overall list.
Opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, the other centurion in the competition, is the Warriors second leading runscorer with 227 runs in 10 innings, followed by Pakistani Mohammad Hafeez (179) and Shimron Hetmyer (173).
Guyanese Sherfane Rutherford, playing for the Patriots, is the second leading runscorer for his franchise behind Lewis. He has amassed 226 runs in eight innings, including three half-centuries.
Shepherd of the Guyana Amazon Warriors and Rampaul of Trinbago Knight Riders are the joint-leading wicket-taker up to this point, with 18 scalps each.
Shepherd has played eight games, one less than Rampaul, and averages 12.44 with an economy rate of 7.46. Five times in the competition Shepherd has taken a three-wicket haul, a clear demonstration of his consistency.
Rampaul’s wickets have come at an average of 14.00, while he has an economy rate of 7.26. Warriors speedster Odean Smith is the third leading wicket-taker with 16 at an average of 13.75 and an economy rate of 6.98.
South African pair Migael Pretorius (Jamaica Tallawahs) and Imran Tahir (Guyana Amazon Warriors) complete the top five wicket-takers with 16 and 13 strikes respectively.
There have been two five-wicket hauls in the competition to date, by Isuru Udana (5-21) for Trinbago Knight Riders against Barbados Royals and David Wiese (5-25) for St. Lucia Kings, also against the Royals.
Jamaica Tallawahs leg-spinner Imran Khan has the best economy rate in the competition of 4.00, having played just two games.
Roston Chase (St. Lucia Kings)- 367 runs at 52; 9 wickets at 23.88
Romario Shepherd (Guyana Amazon Warriors)- 108 runs at 27; 18 wickets at 12.44
Odean Smith (Guyana Amazon Warriors)- 117 runs at 19; 16 wickets at 13.75
Andre Russell (Jamaica Tallawahs)- 160 runs at 22.85; 11 wickets at 27
Dwayne Bravo (St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots)- 103 runs at 34.33; 8 wickets at 24.12
Fabian Allen (St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots)- 117 runs at 23.40; 8 wickets at 30.75