THE ST LUCIA Kings maintained the core of the squad from the 2020 CPL (Caribbean Premier League), with former South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis, Australian batsman Tim David, Pakistan left-arm pace bowler Wahab Riaz, South African-born Namibian all-rounder David Wiese, as well as West Indian pacers Alzarri Joseph and Keemo Paul joining the fray.
All-rounder Roston Chase topped the batting average and was the most economical with the ball. The 2021 Most Valuable Player scored 446 runs at 49.55 and captured ten wickets with an economy rate of 6.92. Chase’s contributions proved key as he earned his maiden West Indies T20 International call-up, for the 2021 ICC World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
Du Plessis, who entered the 2021 CPL on the mend after suffering a concussion weeks earlier, missed both the semi-final and final with a groin injury. However, he compiled 277 runs with a topscore of 120 (the highest innings score of the competition), against the Patriots.
David (282 runs at 35.25) and vice-captain Andre Fletcher (229 runs at 20.81) were steady, rather than spectacular, with the bat, each posting one half-century throughout the tournament.
With the ball, left-arm spinner Jeavor Royal led the way with 12 wickets, while Riaz, Wiese and the experienced Kesrick Williams took 11 apiece.
The TKR were unable to reach the heights of 2020, when they won all 12 of their encounters.
Colin Munro’s highest score in 11 innings was 47, but he finished as the team’s leading run-getter with 267, six more than skipper Kieron Pollard. Lendl Simmons (193) and Tim Seifert (177) were the only other batsmen to accumulate more than 150 runs.
With the ball, fast bowler Ravi Rampaul earned a WI recall, for the T20 World Cup, with a tournament-leading 19 scalps at an average of 16.21.
Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein was a key contributor with 13 wickets, while vice-captain and off-spinner Sunil Narine had 12, left-arm pacer Isuru Udana 11 and fast bowler Ali Khan eight.
The Amazon Warriors had three batsmen who gathered more than 200 runs – captain Nicholas Pooran (263), opener Chandrapaul Hemraj (254) and vice-captain Shimron Hetmyer (218).
For a team renowned for their spin prowess, it was pace which did a lot of the damage for the Amazon Warriors, as Odean Smith and Romario Shepherd each captured 18 wickets.
Evergreen leg-spinner, Pakistan-born South African Imran Tahir, claimed 13 wickets while Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Moti each had eight wickets.
For the second straight year, inconsistency plagued the Tallawahs. In 2020, the Tallawahs managed to finish in the top four, but there was no such luck this time around.
Hard-hitting opening batsman Kennar Lewis and stylish middle-order strokemaker Shamarh Brooks topped the batting aggregate and average respectively for the Tallawahs.
Lewis’ belligerent style saw him tally 262 runs at 26.20 while Brooks, one of the revelations in the 2021 CPL, made 214 runs at 30.57.
Captain Rovman Powell (168 runs), Andre Russell (160) and ex-WI T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite (147) played all ten matches for the Tallawahs, but they all averaged between 16 and 23.
South African Migael Pretorious, in his debut season, led the Tallawahs attack with 16 wickets, followed by fellow pacer Russell (11) and Pakistani left-arm spinner Imad Wasim (nine).
The Barbados Royals, in terms of their batting, only came good in their last match, when they successfully chased a target of 191 to defeat the Kings by eight wickets, with 1.1 overs to spare.
Glenn Phillips, who moved from the Tallawahs during the off-season, led the way with the bat with 254 runs at 31.75. Former West Indies batsman Johnson Charles contributed 216, burly Pakistan newcomer Azam Khan 178 and Kyle Mayers 160.
Recently-retired Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir was the chief wicket-taker for the Royals with 11 wickets, followed by the exciting, youthful all-rounder Nyeem Young (eight) and Raymon Reifer (seven).