CPL 2019: Shoaib Malik, Brandon King and the other top performers

Adithya Sundar 22:42 13/10/2019
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Shoaib Malik turns back the clock.

The 2019 Caribbean Premier League came to a close this weekend with the Barbados Tridents defeating Guyana Amazon Warriors to claim the title for the second time in the tournament’s history.

It was a cruel end to the Warriors’ campaign which had seen them make the final on the back of 11 straight wins with their first defeat in the edition costing them the title.

The six-team tournament had a good mix of veterans and rookies and there were quite a few sensational performances. Here, we look at who the top five star performers were.

Brandon King

A new star in the making.

A new star in the making.

The 24-year-old opener lit up the tournament with his audacious batting at the top of the order and was instrumental in the winning run of the Guyana Amazon Warriors. He started off slowly, with just 35 runs from his first three knocks. However, once he found his range with a useful little knock of 49 against St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, there was no turning back for the right-handed batsman.

He followed that effort with three consecutive fifties and also scored the highest individual score of the tournament when he smashed a superb ton in the first Qualifier against the Barbados Tridents. He scored an unbeaten 132 (72) which included ten fours and 11 sixes. Overall, King scored 496 runs from 12 innings to finish as the tournament’s top run-scorer. King also took the crown for the most number of maximums in the tournament with 32 sixes under his belt.

Hayden Walsh Jr. 

Some impact from the American leggie.

Some impact from the American leggie.

The American leg-spinner was picked up for a mere $3000 at the auction by the Tridents as a support bowler for Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane. Walsh Jr. played just two of the first six games where he managed to impress with four wickets.

However, once Lamichhane was unavailable due to international commitments, Walsh Jr. grabbed the opportunity with both hands. He picked up a five-wicket haul against the defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders and it ended up being the only five-for by any bowler in the entire tournament. He followed that up with an even better spell under pressure against St. Lucia Zouks in a must-win game, picking up 4-26. His triple strike in the 17th over completely turned the game on its head as Tridents completed a win by 24 runs.

Lendl Simmons 

Simmons was in his elements in the CPL.

Simmons was in his elements in the CPL.

The 34-year-old T20 veteran enjoyed a great season with the bat opening for the Trinidad and Tobago Knight Riders. He managed to score five half-centuries and notably smashed a 45-ball-90 against St. Kitts and Patriots in a game that ended as a high-scoring tie. On the two occasions the Knight Riders made it past the 200-run mark this season, Simmons providing a rapid start proved to be key.

Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir.

Imran Tahir.

The South African veteran might have bowed out of the international game recently but his wily leg-spin proved to be mighty effective in the CPL. He bowled thirty five overs in total and maintain a miserly economy rate of just 5.62 in the process. He finished the season with 16 wickets and equalled his tally from the 2018 edition.

Shoaib Malik 

Shoaib Malik wrote himself into the record books.

Shoaib Malik wrote himself into the record books.

The 37-year-old Pakistani all-rounder proved that he still has a lot to offer in the shortest format and finished the tournament with 317 runs scored at an average of over 63.

He also picked up 6 wickets with his part-time off-spin to aid Guyana’s incredible run. He was the only overseas captain in CPL 2019 and led his team to eleven consecutive victories with supreme efficiency. Malik won the player-of-the-match in a crucial game against the Jamaica Tallawahs for his timely unbeaten knock of 73. He also became only the fourth player in history to register more than 9,000 T20 runs during the course of the tournament.

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George Linde replaces injured Keshav Maharaj for South Africa's final Test against India

Sudhir Gupta 21:18 13/10/2019
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South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj.

South Africa’s woes in the ongoing series against India have only worsened with left-armed spin ace Keshav Maharaj being ruled out of the third and final Test in Ranchi.

The 29-year-old injured his shoulder in the recently concluded second Test in Pune which the visitors lost by a mammoth margin of an innings and 137 run. The southpaw has been one of the better performers for the Proteas in the two matches so far with both bat and ball.

Maharaj has claimed six wickets with his orthodox spin while he has also been a lively figure with the bat after registering his career-best 72 in the first innings in Pune.

With Maharaj set for a two-three week spell on the sidelines to recuperate from his injury, South Africa have handed a maiden call-up to George Linde for the Ranchi Test which is set to get underway on Saturday.

Like Maharaj, Linde too is a left-armed orthodox spinner with 45 first-class matches under his belt in which he has claimed a total of 160 wickets.

The 27-year-old was a part of the South Africa ‘A’ outfit which recently toured India and claimed six wickets in his four appearances during the unofficial one-day series against India ‘A’.

South Africa already have two other spinners currently on the tour in the form of Senuran Muthusamy and Dane Piedt. Neither have really been impressive with the former claiming just two wickets in as many matches while the latter was dropped for the Pune Test after picking just the solitary dismissal in Vizag.

The visitors trail by 0-2 in the three-match series after their comprehensive losses in Vizag and Pune and they will hope to put up a much stronger fight in the Ranchi clash.

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Chris Silverwood feels James Anderson, Eoin Morgan should end England career on their own terms

Press Association Sport 19:44 13/10/2019
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James Anderson.

England head coach Chris Silverwood believes record wicket-taker James Anderson and World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan deserve to end their international careers on their own terms.

Anderson missed the majority of the Ashes because of a calf injury, which will preclude the 37-year-old’s involvement for the trip to New Zealand next month in Silverwood’s first assignment since being promoted.

But in a bid to prove his fitness for the following tour of South Africa, Anderson is training at Manchester City’s Etihad Campus over the next two months alongside England’s strength and conditioning team.

With 575 Test wickets to his name, a record for a non-spinner, Anderson is not about to be summarily discarded and neither is his long-term opening bowling partner Stuart Broad, who dispelled any doubts about his England future by taking 23 Ashes scalps at an average of 26.65 this summer.

While succession planning is high on Silverwood’s agenda, the former Essex coach admitted the veteran pair – who he worked with at close quarters in his two-year stint overseeing England’s fast bowlers – are almost automatic selections provided they are both injury-free.

Silverwood said: “If they’re both fit, it’s difficult to look past them, isn’t it? It’s a great headache to have. When you look at the amount of wickets they’ve got between them it’s phenomenal.

“Jimmy’s great. He takes wickets, he’s got a lot of knowledge in there that he can share with the players coming in.

“I think it will be up to him to let us know, and I think he will, when he’s had enough, but who wouldn’t want a world-class bowler like him in the line-up? He is phenomenal. He gets wickets all round the world.

Chris Silverwood (l) has been given the coveted England job.

Chris Silverwood (l) has been given the coveted England job.

“So yes I want him around as long as I can, but equally we’ve got to be realistic and say ‘right we’ve got to do some future planning here’.

“We’ve got to sit down and make sure we’ve got depth so when guys do retire we’ve got people coming through who can take their places.”

Silverwood is similarly determined not to be caught out when Morgan eventually stands aside as limited-overs skipper, with the Irishman’s future uncertain beyond next year’s T20 World Cup.

Silverwood seems content to defer to Morgan about when to quit, after the Dubliner presided over their historic World Cup triumph this summer, but would welcome his input in choosing a successor.

“The way he leads that one-day side and T20 side, and the influence he’s got with the players, is phenomenal,” Silverwood said.

“He’s so respected and the ideas he has, moving them forward. My job is to give him as much support as I can, to help him get where he wants to get to with them.

“There’s got to be an eye on when it’s not Eoin any more, who is it going to be? Eoin’s got to be very much involved in that conversation as well.

“He’s earned the right to tell us when he’s had enough but certainly we’ve got to have one eye on transitioning that period.”

Silverwood gave his blessing for Morgan’s Test counterpart Joe Root to return to four in the batting order.

The Yorkshireman was at first drop during the Ashes, contributing four half-centuries but also three ducks, while an average of 38.12 after 28 Tests at three is in stark contrast to 48.39 in 36 matches batting one place lower.

Silverwood said: “Joe’s got to decide where he wants to bat and we’ve got to support him in that. If he goes back down to number four that’s absolutely fine by me.”

Silverwood also had some comforting words for Alex Hales, who was dropped from the World Cup squad following his suspension for failing a recreational drugs test and has subsequently lost his central contract.

The controversial batsman was unsurprisingly left out of the five-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand next month that will mark the start of Silverwood’s tenure after he was appointed as Trevor Bayliss successor this week.

Silverwood said: “I believe in never say never but equally he’s got to prove that firstly he’s getting the runs. Time is a great healer, so it’ll be a case of watch this space, really.”

Provided by Press Association Sports

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