CPL 2020 – Tournament Summary
The eighth season of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2020) came to an end with Trinbago Knight Riders winning their fourth title against St. Lucia Zouks in the finals. Caribbean Premier League is the first major T20 league to happen successfully after the pandemic halt that stopped cricketing action all over the world. CPL 2020 season saw a lot of foreign players in action despite a few travel issues and strict travel conditions across the world.
Spinners took the center stage in this year`s CPL as the pitches were slow and uneven in nature. Run scoring was very difficult this year as teams succumbed to totals below 140 runs in most of the matches. Both Brian Lara Stadium and Queen`s park oval pitches were subjected to wear & tear due to the repeated usage consistently over the time frame. Let us look at some of the stats of the tournament before going into the Individual performances of each team.
Total Matches: 33
Won by batting first: 12
Won by Chasing side: 20
Champions: Trinbago Knight Riders
Runners-up: St. Lucia Zouks
Most number of wins: 12 matches (Trinbago Knight Riders)
Least number of wins: 1 match (St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots)
Highest Total: 185/3 (Trinbago Knight Riders vs. Barbados Tridents)
Lowest Total: 55/10 (Guyana Amazon Warriors vs. St. Lucia Zouks)
Highest Successful chase: 165/3 (Barbados Tridents vs. Jamaica Tallawahs)
Lowest Score defended: 92/10 (St. Lucia Zouks vs. Barbados Tridents)
Highest run scorer: Lendl Simmons – 356 runs (TKR)
Highest wicket-taker: Scott Kuggleijn – 17 wickets (SLZ)
Highest score: Nicholas Pooran 100* runs (GAW vs SKNP)
Best bowling figures: Mohammed Nabi 5-15 (SLZ vs SKNP)
Player of the tournament: Kieron Pollard (207 runs & 8 wickets)
Now, let us discuss the performance of each team and analyze what worked for them and what did not work well for them this year.
TRINBAGO KNIGHT RIDERS (TKR) – CPL 2020 CHAMPIONS
Played: 12, Won-12, Lost -0
Trinbago Knight Riders became the first team to win an entire tournament unbeaten in CPL history and they overhauled Guyana Amazon Warriors’ streak of 11-match unbeaten record in a single season. Knight Riders were unstoppable this season even with their senior players Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, and Dwayne Bravo not available for most of the matches. Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, and Kieron Pollard di the bulk of run scoring. They had a wide pool of bowlers who contributed to the team in crunch situations like Akeal Hossain, Khary Pierre, Ali Khan, Fawad Ahmed, and Pravin Tambe making a name for themselves.
ST. LUCIA ZOUKS (SLZ) – CPL 2020 RUNNERS-UP
Played: 12, Won-7, Lost – 5
St. Lucia Zouks had their best season this year as they qualified for the finals for the first time in CPL history. Darren Sammy led the team with good tactical thinking acumen. All-rounders Mohammed Nabi and Roston Chase were the top performers as they took crucial wickets and runs this season. Scott Kuggleijn was the pick of the bowlers as he ended up as tournament`s leading wicket-taker. Young players Javelle Glen, Mark Deyal, and Zakir Khan showed glimpses of their potential this season. Andre Fletcher, Rakheem Cornwall, and Kesrick Williams did not have a good season by their standards.
GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS (GAW) – SEMI-FINALISTS
Played: 11, Won-6, Lost – 5
Guyana Amazon Warriors surged into the playoffs by winning their last 4 matches on a trot. Their semi-final game ended as a lop-sided contest as they were bowled out for just 55 runs. Shimron Hetmyer top scored with the bat while Nicholas Pooran`s century will be the highlight reel of the season for them. Brandon king, Ross Taylor, and Chanderpaul Hemraj failed to get going with the bat. Spin twins Imran Tahir and Chris Green lead the bowling attack superbly in different phases. Naveen-Ul-Haq, Romario Shepherd, and Keemo Paul performed well with the ball.
JAMAICA TALLAWAHS (JT) – SEMI-FINALISTS
Played: 11, Won-3, Lost – 7, No result -1
Jamaica Tallawahs were lucky to enter the semi-finals despite winning only three league games. Glenn Philips was the only consistent batsmen in their team this season scoring 300+ runs. Jermaine Blackwood and Andre Russell played some vital knocks with the bat to help the team. On the bowling front, Spinners Mujeeb Ur Rehman and Sandeep Lamichchame were exceptional as they took wickets and also restricted the opposition effectively. Jerome Taylor too was amongst the wickets this season picking wickets in power play. Carlos Brathwaite, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, and Oshane Thomas are the big names that failed to make an impression this season.
BARBADOS TRIDENTS (BT)
Played: 10, Won-3, Lost – 7
Barbados Tridents title defense came to a halt in the group stages itself as they failed to qualify for the knockouts. They lost 4 matches consecutively in the second half of the league phase to bow out. Jason holder picked up wickets in the power play consistently but conceded a lot of runs in the death overs. Rashid Khan was not at his usual best this season. Mitchell Santner was the find the season for their team as he bowled superbly in the power play. Kyle Mayers looked good in patches but was not able to continue his rhythm. Tridents lacked specialist batsman and bowlers who could perform consistently.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS PATRIOTS
Played: 10, Won-1, Lost – 8
Patriots suffered an early setback even before their first match as their star player Fabien Allen missed the flight to reach Trinidad. Skipper Rayad Emrit tried to marshal his troops but lack of all-rounders and quality spinners hurt them big time. Evin Lewis and Ben Dunk reasonably good with the bat but failed to have a big impact. Chris Lynn had a miserable season with the bat. JR Jaggesar and Imran Khan performed their roles decently with the ball. Alzarri Joseph and Sheldon Cottrell too had poor season in the pace bowling department and failed to make their experience count.
CPL 2020 season was dominated by the slow bowlers and we had a lot of low scoring contests. Few cricketing fans were not impressed with the quality of pitches on offer. But, we had a lot of better matches in the last leg of the league phase and a competitive final game to end the season on a high. CPL was a pioneer in bringing back the T20 league action after the pandemic and they must be really proud of this successful season despite tough conditions. In the end, Cricket emerged as the winner with its ability to awe the audience even in this situation. Now we’re looking forward to the IPL 2020 that starts on the 19th.
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