CPL 2019 week 4 round-up: Walsh Jr makes a splash, Pollard and Holder in send-off face-off
The fourth week of the 2019 CPL was not only full of dazzling individual performances and thrilling finishes but also gave us the three remaining teams for the playoffs. Here's a look at the highlights from yet another action-packed week.
Patriots turn it around, Amazon Warriors maintain winning streak
After losing four out of their first five games of the season and looking down for the count, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots bounced back to register four wins in their next five matches to become the second team after Guyana Amazon Warriors to qualify for the playoffs.
Patriots captain Carlos Brathwaite, who triggered the turnaround with an all-round performance in a Super Over win against Trinbago Knight Riders last week, was again the star of a last-ball win against Barbados Tridents. Chasing 150, Tridents were cruising at one stage but Brathwaite's three quick wickets had them stumbling from 85 for 2 to 99 for 7. Raymon Reifer took the game to the last over but with two required from the final delivery, Dominic Drakes bowled Harry Gurney to seal the game.
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Tridents themselves qualified for the playoffs on Sunday as Harry Gurney and Hayden Walsh Jr helped them defend 141 against St Lucia Zouks. Their victory also ensured Knight Riders a top-four spot.
Warriors, meanwhile, stretched their winning streak to eight games - a new CPL record - and booked a top-of-the-table finish with two games still in hand.
On the other end, Chris Gayle's homecoming didn't prove auspicious for Jamaica Tallawahs as the two-time champions failed to make it to the top four for the first time in the seven years of the CPL.
Fastest CPL fifty and the Pollard-Holder send-offs
During the Tridents v Knight Riders game, JP Duminy put on a show with the bat, the ball and in the field as Tridents snapped their eight-match losing streak in home games. Building on a 110-run opening stand between Johnson Charles and Jonathan Carter, Duminy raced away to the fastest CPL fifty - off 15 balls - breaking Evan Lewis record - 17 balls - set earlier this season. During his 20-ball 65, Duminy smashed seven sixes and four fours.
But he wasn't done yet. During Knight Riders' innings, his brilliant running catch - he sprinted from long-off to complete the catch at long-on - sent a dangerous-looking Colin Munro back. Then he picked up the last two Knight Riders wickets to cap a perfect outing.
During the same match, the two captains - Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder - were involved in a dramatic sequence of send-offs. It started with Pollard dismissing Holder during the first innings and escorting him till the boundary line. Holder then returned the favour when he caught Pollard near the long-off boundary and ran all the way to third man to see off the batsman. However, a hug after the game suggested there was no hard feelings between West Indies' new ODI team captain and his predecessor.
Batsman of the week
Warriors' Brandon King continued his good form with an unbeaten 81 off 59 balls against Zouks. Chasing 162, King played the anchor's role when his opening partner Chandrapaul Hemraj was going at it and took to attack only in the second half of the chase. Having reached to 32 in as many balls, he struck three sixes and a four in his next five balls to shatter Zouks' hopes.
With scores of 12, 81*, 51*, 59 and 49 in his last five innings, King propelled his tally to 287 runs (average 47.83, strike rate 142.78), and is now third on the run-charts.
Bowler of the week
After Sandeep Lamichhane left for the national duty, USA international Walsh stepped up for Tridents and returned figures of 5 for 19 - the third-best in CPL history - in that Duminy game. At one stage, he had figures of 2-0-4-4, including a three-wicket over. The legspinner not only overcame the dewy conditions but also a star-studded batting line-up. His scalps included Denesh Ramdin, Pollard, Jimmy Neesham and Darren Bravo.
In the next game, Walsh got 2 for 37 against Patriots before causing another collapse against Zouks, picking up 4 for 26 that included another three-wicket over. Despite playing only five games, he is currently the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 15 scalps at an average of 9.80 and a strike rate of 7.8.