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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