Five Players to watch out for in the CPL final
By Krunal Gandhi, MyCricketHighlights Cricket Writer
The CPL final is less than 24 hours away. The title clash will be between Chris Gayle’s Patriots and Dwayne Bravo’s Knight Riders. Both champion players in their own terms and both have got two champion sides, capable of lifting the cup. If St Kitts and Patriots win, it’ll be their first-ever championship, but for Gayle, it will be a second consecutive title after having won the previous edition with Jamaica Tallawahs. On the other hand, the team from Trinidad and Tobago will be aiming at their second championship triumph.
The chances of either team becoming the champion will hugely depend on the performance of the five men listed below. They have been in scintillating form right throughout this tournament and are match-winners for their respective sides.
There is no doubt that The Universe Boss is among the best players in T20 cricket. He is the most powerful striker of the cricket ball and when on song, he can decimate any bowling attack. Along with Evin Lewis, the two form a destructive opening pair for the Patriots. Gayle has also been among the top two run-getters in this year’s tournament with 375 runs to his name. He has scored 4 half-centuries so far, which also includes a 47-ball 93. With Lewis firing at the other end, Gayle has curbed down his attacking instincts and decided to play the supporting anchor role in some of the matches. His unbeaten 54 against TKR in the first qualifier is a rightful example of that.
After struggling to score runs in the first couple of matches, Evin Lewis came back with a bang in the match against St Lucia Stars and played a splendid knock – he scored a 52-ball 92. From thereon, the left-hander has not looked back and played some match-winning innings for his team. His belligerent knock against Barbados Tridents is still very much fresh in the minds of cricket lovers. If he gets going in the final, then there is very little chance for the Knight Riders to restrict the Patriots from scoring a big total or chasing down the target.
Post the injury to Brendon McCullum, the responsibility of Trinbago’s batting department has come upon the shoulders of two men – Darren Bravo and Colin Munro. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Darren is in the form of his life. Whenever his team has been in trouble, he stood up to the occasion and has delivered more often than not. Although there might not be any 50+ score to show for his efforts, he has played some really valuable knocks, at a brisk pace, to take the match away from the opposition.
This season of CPL has been a mixed one for a player like Munro. On one hand, he has played some match-winning knocks at the start of the season, and then on the other, he has failed to register a double-digit score in as many as five matches. Having said that, whenever the southpaw has got a start, he has made sure to convert it into a 30+ score. After having played the majority of the season at no. 3, Munro was sent to open the innings in the last match and he didn’t disappoint. By scoring an unbeaten 57, he along with (Darren) Bravo, helped TKR to march into the final.
A very canny kind of a bowler in the shorter format, Tabraiz Shamsi is one of those rare breeds, who bowl left-arm wrist spin – also known as ‘chinaman’ bowler. Now, Shamsi didn’t have the kind of start that he would have liked in CPL, giving away plenty of runs and not picking up many wickets. But as the tournament progressed, he has been able to restrict the opposition batsmen and has provided his team with important breakthroughs. His style of celebrating a wicket is unique and one has to see what celebrations he does if his team lifts the trophy.