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Ramdin is still the best keeper in the region - Part I
The 2017 Hero CPL Tournament has come and gone and the Trinbago Knight Riders have captured the trophy for the second time in five years. Congratulations to Dwayne Bravo and his men! They were the most consistent team by a wide margin and they thoroughly deserved to come away as champions although the final was not smooth sailing.
It appeared that the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots wanted to spoil the party for the highly partisan crowd that gathered at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy; until the TKR’s own storm in the form of Kevon Cooper took the game from the Patriots and blew them away ensuring the victors won by three wickets with six balls to spare.
Brendon McCullum who was sorely missed by the TKR, was their best performer, followed by his compatriot Colin Munro. Denesh Ramdin also was good with the bat, superb behind the stumps and remains the best wicketkeeper in the region. Sunil Narine and Shadab khan were the best spinners of the tournament. Those five were the most consistent performers for the TKR and they must be given the recognition they deserve.
The Bravo brothers were excellent at times but did not display the level of consistency that they both possess. Dwayne still seems to be carrying the effects of his injury and I would love to see Darren getting back to his best. He is a much better batsman than he showed during the tournament. He needs to go back into the nets and regain the form he had a year ago. The other team members all played their part and came good when it mattered. A good and impressive all-round team performance from the champions.
I predicted the Patriots would get into the last four but never did I imagine they would reach the finals. Chris Gayle and coach Phil Simmons did a magnificent job with the team. The batting depended too heavily on Gayle and the batting sensation of the tournament - Evin Lewis. The other batsmen showed glimpses of their prowess. Brandon King looks to be a good player in the making, Mohammad Hafeez was good with the ball but didn’t contribute with the bat. Sheldon Cotterell, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Mohammad Nabi did well at times but I could not understand why Samuel Badree did not play in the final. He had taken eight wickets for the tournament at an economy rate of 7.92 and he was dropped; it was a mindboggling decision.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors were as usual a force to be reckoned with and in Chadwick Walton and Sohail Tanvir, they had two players that had the most runs and wickets for the tournament. Luke Ronchi was a great addition to their team, Rashid Khan was always a handful to contend with and in Rayad Emrit, Roshan Primus, Jason Mohammed and Steven Jacobs they were always a threat. They just don’t seem to handle big games well mentally.
The Tallawahs surprised me by getting to the playoffs but in Kumar Sangakkara, they have a tremendous leader and fighter; a captain who instilled a winning spirit through the team. Along with his batting, he was well supported by Andre McCarthy and Glenn Phillips. I expected much more of Lendl Simmons and Rovman Powell. Their bowling depended on Mohammad Sami, Krishmar Santokie, and Kesrick Williams who fell away badly in the playoff game. They certainly missed the steadying influence of Imad Wasim at the end.
The most disappointing team was the Barbados Tridents. On paper, they looked an exciting squad however their batting was atrocious. Apart from Dwayne Smith and skipper Kieron Pollard, they never clicked. Kane Williamson, rated in the top three best batsmen in the world was horrible. Shoaib Malik had to leave early and young Nicholas Pooran whom I felt should have been opening from the start, only showed glimpses of his ability. Their bowling was not good enough. Wayne Parnell and Wahab Riaz were not consistent and showed their ability too few times in the tournament. Where they really missed out was on a top class spinner and if the Tridents are to do better in 2018, they need to look at their attack in the middle overs. They need a top class spinner that the younger ones can learn from. Too many players just did not perform for the Tridents.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Look out for Part II in tomorrow’s edition.