With the group stages of the Caribbean Premier League now concluded, ANITHA MADIKIZELA looks at the top five performances by South African players during the tournament ahead of this week’s upcoming knockout stages.
1. Imran Tahir (Guyana Amazon Warriors): 2-23 vs St. Lucia
The Warriors staked their claim as title contenders early in the tournament with a narrow win over the St. Lucia Stars in a low-scoring encounter. Defending just 141 runs, Tahir stunted the St. Lucia chase by picking up both opening batsmen in his first over, before finishing with figures of 2-23 at an economy rate of 5.75 in his four overs. Tahir then went on to pick up 15 wickets in his 10 matches and is currently second on the wickets leaderboard heading into the knockout stages.
2. Rassie van der Dussen (St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots): 45 not out vs Tallawahs
Rassie van der Dussen showed patience and character to help the Patriots win a rain-interrupted fixture against the Tallawahs to secure the fourth and final playoff spot for his team. Rain played a big part in the fixture but Van der Dussen wasn’t perturbed as his 45 not out off 24 balls (including four fours and two sixes) shepherded his team home with five balls remaining on the DLS method. The big-hitting South African (a late call-up into the team) earned himself the Player of the Match award on the day but he will be desperate to play his part once again in the eliminator against the Tallawahs on Thursday.
3. Tabraiz Shamsi (St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots): 2-16 vs Tridents
Another late change for the Patriots saw them call up South African left-arm wrist-spinner Shamsi for the final stages of the tournament. In his only fixture so far against the Tridents, he picked up 2-16 in his four overs, dismissing dangermen Dwayne Smith and Shai Hope to help his team to victory. Having represented the Patriots for the past three seasons, he’ll be keen to make his mark during the knockout stages to help his team past the Tallawahs and, possibly, to the title.
4. David Miller (Jamaica Tallawahs): 72 not out vs Trinbago
Miller has been one of the many consistent run-scorers for the Tallawahs this season, and his 72 not out off 34 balls (S/R 211.76) against Trinbago was definitely his standout innings, albeit in a losing cause on the day. The explosive left-hander struck five fours and five sixes, taking his series total to 12 fours and 11 sixes in 2018. His contribution with the bat to the Tallawahs cause helped them finish third on the log, although Miller and his teammates will be disappointed about narrowly missing out on second spot, losing out on net run rate. They will, however, back themselves to get past the Patriots in the first eliminator on Thursday to earn a chance to qualify for the final if they are victorious in the second qualifier.
5. Imran Tahir (Guyana Amazon Warriors): 4-22 vs Patriots
Another entry for Tahir as he starred with the ball to help Guyana edge past the Patriots in a close encounter. Posting the second-best bowling figures in the tournament in 2018, Tahir ripped through the Patriots top order before finishing with 4-22 in his allocated overs to help his team restrict the opposition to 168-7 in their 20 overs. Guyana then claimed victory by four wickets with one ball remaining. Tahir’s contributions throughout the tournament will have him confident that he can help Guyana to the CPL 2018 title, but first they will have to take on the table-topping Trinbago Knight Riders in the first qualifier on Wednesday.
Knockout stage fixtures
Wednesday, 12 September – Qualifier 1: Trinbago Knight Riders vs Guyana Amazon Warriors
Thursday, 13 September – Eliminator: Jamaica Tallawahs vs St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Saturday, 15 September – Qualifier 2: Q1 Loser vs Eliminator Winner
Sunday, 16 September – FINAL: Q1 Winner vs Q2 Winner
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