A Look Back at CPL T20 Tournament

By Roland Cox
Image: (L-R) Daren Sammy, Johnson Charles and Tarryck Gabriel. (PHOTO: CPL/ CWI)

Another historical footnote was notched on the West Indian cricket highway on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 with the inaugural staging of the Caribbean Premier League T20 Cricket Tournament at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

The St. Lucia Zouks came up against the Barbados Tridents in a keenly contested match that the Tridents won by 17 runs. The following day, the Guyana Amazon Warriors hosted the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in another absorbing encounter where they beat the Red Steel by 19 runs.

It was generally a series of close encounters to begin with and today we take a peep back to see some of the details that featured in that very first tournament. Fasten your seat belts and relax.

At the conclusion of the 2013 Limacol-sponsored Inaugural Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 Cricket Tournament at Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Jamaica Tallawahs emerged as Champions with Guyana Amazon Warriors as Runners-up.

Barbados Tridents’ Shoaib Malik recorded The Most Runs in the tournament. He amassed 272 runs with a highest score of 78 against St. Lucia Zouks during the tournament’s first match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. He complemented that first knock with scores of 33, 5, 31, 48, 14, 14, and 49 in the other matches and finished with an average of 34.00 per innings, along with a Strike Rate of 112.86.

Occupying second position in the aggregate of runs was Lendl Simmons of Guyana Amazon Warriors with 266 runs at an average of 33.25 and a Strike Rate of 101.14. St. Lucia Zouks’ Andre Fletcher followed in third position on 238 runs with an average of 39.67 and a Strike Rate of 111.21. Jamaica Tallawahs’ captain, Chris Gayle was next on 234 runs with an average of 29.25 and a Strike Rate of 105.88, and was followed jointly in 5th position by team mate Andre Russell and James Franklin (Guyana Amazon Warriors) who both tallied 203 runs and finished with identical averages of 50.75 per innings. Russell had a superior Strike Rate of 189.72, while Franklin’s Strike Rate was 133.55.

Left-arm medium pacer, Krishmar Santokie of Guyana Amazon Warriors ended with The Most Wickets in the tournament. In nine (9) matches, he bowled 35.1 overs and captured sixteen (16) wickets for 219 runs at 13.69 per wicket to go with an Economy Rate of 6.23 and a Strike Rate of 13.19. Santokie, who was voted Player of the Tournament, had his best figures of 3 for 19 against Antigua Hawksbills at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua during the latter stages of the preliminaries.

Following Santokie in the category of Most Wickets Taken was Shakib Al Hasan (Barbados Tridents) with 11 wickets, while Muttiah Muralitharan (Jamaica Tallawahs), Veerasammy Permaul (Guyana Amazon Warriors), Dwayne Bravo (Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel), Marlon Samuels (Antigua Hawksbills), Rayad Emrit (Barbados Tridents), and Ashley Nurse (Barbados Tridents) had 10 wickets each.

The Most Overs Bowled in the tournament were 35.4 by Sunil Narine of Guyana Amazon Warriors, while Shoaib Malik registered The Most Maidens – 3. Shakib Al Hasan established The Best Bowling Figures with the amazing figures of 4-1-6-6 against Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, who were bundled out for The Lowest Total in the tournament – 52 at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Other highlights of the tournament included The Highest Innings Total – 179 for 4 off 20 overs by St. Lucia Zouks against Antigua Hawksbills at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, while The Lowest Innings Total was recorded by Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, who suffered the indignity of being all out for a meagre 52 in 12.5 overs at Kensington Oval, Barbados.

The Highest Match Aggregate was 336 runs recorded in Antigua during the penultimate match of the preliminaries when Guyana Amazon Warriors (170 for 5 off 20 overs) defeated Antigua Hawksbills (166 for 6 off 20 overs) by five wickets in a very close and exciting encounter.

The tournament produced thirteen (13) half-centuries with Andre Fletcher (St. Lucia Zouks) recording the most – 2. He made 76 off 53 balls against Antigua Hawksbills in Antigua, and before that, 57 off 41balls against Barbados Tridents in Barbados.

Two openers had the distinction of batting through their team’s allotment of twenty overs. In the tournament’s 18th match (1st of a double-header at Sabina Park, Jamaica), Andre Fletcher remained unbeaten on 46 made from 59 balls as he was one of only three batsmen to reach double-figure scores in St. Lucia Zouks’ meagre innings of 99 for 5. The Zouks never had enough arsenal in their bowling to defend this small total and lost by six wickets to Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, who replied with 105 for 4 in 17.5 overs. In the next match on the same day at the same venue, Dwayne Smith of Barbados Tridents remained unbeaten on 52 from 53 balls in a losing cause as Jamaica Tallawahs reached their target of 114 while losing four wickets in 18.1 overs.

The Most Balls Received by a Batsmanwere 263 by Lendl Simmons, while The Highest Individual Score of 78 (from 51 balls) was made by Shoaib Malik against St. Lucia Zouks. The Most Sixes Hit by a Batsman were 16 by Andre Russell, while Chris Gayle led the way with The Most Fours – 20, in a contest that produced 240 sixes and 413 fours.

The Batsman with the Most Not Outs was Andre Russell, who remained unbeaten on 5 occasions. Russell batted four times at No.5 and remained unbeaten on each occasion with explosive contributions of 42 (23 balls, SR = 182.61), 47 (19 balls, SR = 247.37), 29 (6 balls, SR = 483.33) and 33 (18 balls, SR = 183.33). He also batted at No.6 three times making 2 (run out), 14 (11 balls), and 27 not out from 17 balls. Russell, who was dubbed “Mr Big Six” for his exploits with the bat, was run out for 6 at No.4 and dismissed for 3 batting at No.8.

The Highest Partnership for any Wicket was 102 and that was a third-wicket stand established by Raymon Reifer and Shoaib Malik for Barbados Tridents against Jamaica Tallawahs in the second Semi Final at Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad.

Chris Gayle, who captured the Man-of-the-Match award on two occasions, and who along with wicket-keeper Nicolas Pooran of Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel and Mohammad Hafeez of Guyana Amazon Warriors recorded the fastest Half-Century (23 balls) in the tournament, stood above the rest in the All-Rounders category. He placed 4th in the overall aggregate of runs and also bowled 26.3 overs while picking up eight wickets for 158 at an average of 19.75 per wicket to go along with an Economy Rate of 5.96.

Kieron Pollard occupied the top spot for The Most Catches Taken – 14, while The Wicketkeeper with the Most Dismissal was shared by Denesh Ramdin (Guyana Amazon Warriors) and Umar Akmal (Barbados Tridents) who finished with 8 dismissals each.

Fourteen (14) players – Christopher Barnwell, James Franklin, Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, Denesh Ramdin, Krishmar Santokie, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons of Guyana Amazon Warriors, and Carlton Baugh, David Bernard, Chris Gayle, Danza Hyatt, Nikita Miller, Andre Russell of Jamaica Tallawahs – played in all their teams’ fixtures, but it was only Krishmar Santokie, who was unfortunate in not getting any chance to bat in any of his team’s nine innings.

The Most Bowlers used during an Innings were 8 by Barbados Tridents against Jamaica Tallawahs in a low-scoring contest in Antigua, while The Least Bowlers used during an innings were 3 by Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, who sent down just 8 overs in trying desperately to defend the lowest total (52 all out ) of the tournament against Barbados Tridents.

Albie Morkel (4), Christopher Barnwell (2), Kevon Cooper (2), Sulieman Benn (2), Kieron Pollard (2), Nicolas Pooran, Darren Sammy, Shakib Al Hasan, Umar Akmal, Garey Mathurin, Sheldon Cotterrell, Narsingh Deonarine,Tillakaratne Dilshan and Justin Guillen – all registered the score of naught during the tournament, but Kieron Pollard, Umar Akmal (2), Garey Mathurin, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Devon Smith, Devon Thomas, Kemar Roach, Denesh Ramdin, David Bernard, Rayad Emrit, Shane Shillingford,Tino Best and Yannick Cariah were the unfortunate players to have registered Golden Ducks (one-ball dismissals).

In addition, Barbados Tridents’ Dwayne Smith distinguished himself by entering the record books as he suffered the ignominy in front of a mammoth home crowd, when he was caught behind off the very first delivery of the tournament from St. Lucia Zouks’ Albie Morkel – a truly ‘golden goose’.  When Guyana Amazon Warriors faced Barbados Tridents at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, Lendl Simmons also experienced the embarrassment of being bowled by the first ball of the encounter delivered by Jason Holder.

Albie Morkel who recorded The Most Ducks – 4 in his 7 innings, was unfortunately run out in one of those unproductive innings without facing a ball against Guyana Amazon Warriors. That calamitous situation also befell Kevon Cooper during the second match of the tournament in Guyana.

The Youngest Player in the tournament was 17-year-old wicket-keeper Nicolas Pooran of Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel. He marked his first knock in the competition with a succession of dazzling strokes, hitting 54 from 24 balls with six sixes and one four at a phenomenal Strike Rate of 225.00. During that innings, he recorded the fastest 50 of the tournament from just 23 balls albeit in a losing cause as the Red Steel collapsed from 105 for 4 (16.4 overs) to 136 for 9 (20.0 overs) chasing Guyana Amazon Warriors’ 155 for 5 (20.0 overs). Later in the tournament that feat of the fastest half-century was equalled by Mohammad Hafeez and Chris Gayle.

The Oldest Player in the tournament was 41-year-old Muttiah Muralitharan, who finished third in the categeory of Most Wickets Taken with 10 wickets at an average of 18.00 apiece to go along with an Economy Rate of 5.81. Muralitharan, who played for Jamaica Tallawahs, won the Man-of-the-Match award against Barbados Tridents at Sabina Park in Jamaica where he recorded his best figures of 4-0-12-3.

Jamaica Tallawahs was the only franchised team in the tournament to have played a match in which all its players were locals. Against Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in the final game of the league stage, the Jamaica Tallawahs did not include any of its foreign players (Muttiah Muralitharan, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Kumar Sangakkara – Ahmed Shehzad had left to join Pakistan on tour to Zimbabwe) and went into the dead-rubber match with the following players:- Chris Gayle, Chadwick Walton, Nkrumah Bonner, Andre Russell, Danza Hyatt, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlton Baugh (w), David Bernard, Akeem Dewar, Nikita Miller and Andrew Richardson.

The Most Dramatic Match, in which The Lowest Total of a team being all out was recorded, took place on the night of Saturday, August 3rd at Kensington Oval in Barbados. Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel won the toss and batted against Barbados Tridents who cleaned up the visitors for just 52 runs in 12.5 overs. Only two batsmen (Davy Jacobs 13, and Ross Taylor 11) managed double-figures. Who was the unplayable bowler(s)? Former Bangladesh’s captain and left-arm spinner, Shakib Al Hasan sliced through the Red Steel like a hot knife through butter to end with astonishing figures of 6 wickets for 6 runs from his 4 overs which contained 17 dot balls. His sensational overs went like this:

Over No.1 (Taylor lbw, dot, dot, dot, 1, dot) – 1 for 1

Over No.2 (1, dot, 1, dot, 1, dot) – 1 for 4

Over No.3 (DJ Bravo lbw, dot, dot, Pooran ct Pollard, dot, Cooper bowled) – 4 for 4

Over No.4 (Badree bowled, one leg bye, 1, 1, dot, O’Brien ct Pollard) – 6 for 6

Interestingly, the home team too had a troubled batting time as they were made to sweat chasing down the small target which they needed to get at just 2.65 runs per over. Barbados Tridents got off to a bright start – an opening stand of 25 from just nine balls – only for the innings to stumble to 39 for 6 as right-arm quickie, Fidel Edwards responded well with a terrific spell of 5 for 22 from his 4 overs. Victory, by four wickets, was eventually achieved after eight overs. Opener Jonathan Carter with 14 and Ashley Nursewith an unbeaten 10 batting at No.8, were the only batsmen to reach double figures other than extras which contributed 10. The fall of wickets were 1-25, 2-26, 3-30, 4-32, 5-36 and 6-39.

Winning on the last ball of any match is considered a nail-biter and that situation occurred on two occasions. On August 17 in Antigua, Guyana Amazon Warriors replying to Antigua Hawksbills 166 for 6 off 20 overs, needed 16 runs from the final over for victory. On came Devon Thomas, who had never bowled in T20 cricket prior to the tournament and was yet to bowl in the match. He was duly taken for 15 off the first five balls. With one run required from the final delivery, the Man-of-the-Match, Mohammad Hafeez reached his even half-century (50* from 23 balls) as he calmly deposited the full length over mid-on for 4. This exciting victory by Guyana Amazon Warriors ended up as The Highest Successful Run Chase in the tournament.

The next day at Sabina Park, Jamaica, there was another nail-biting finish between Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel and Jamaica Tallawahs in the final preliminary match of the tournament. This encounter was a dead rubber affair as both teams had already qualified for the semis. Chasing what seemed like a modest target (134), turned into an imposing one following the dismissal of Chris Gayle, who made 51 from 25 deliveries. With one run needed for victory from the final delivery of the match, No.9 batsman, Akeem Dewar crunched Dwayne Bravo to mid-off where Kevin O’Brien displayed a poor fielding effort that allowed Dewar and Danza Hyatt to scramble the required single.

Because of the fielding restrictions (only two players are allowed outside the 30-yard circle), the Power-play period (the first six overs of each innings) provide the opportunity for the batsmen to acquire runs at a faster rate. St. Lucia Zouks made use of that opportunity and recorded The Highest Power-play Score of the tournament – 64 runs and losing one wicket – while chasing down Barbados Tridents’ score of 169. The Zouks were in a very good position and the first match of the tournament appeared to be theirs for the taking. However, they fell short by 17 runs, being dismissed in 19.4 overs as their last eight wickets tumbled for just 57 runs.

There were several good 4-over spells during the tournament, but the one that topped the list and equalled the most economical spell ever in T20s was produced by Barbados Tridents’ Shoaib Malik, who conceded just 3 runs off his 4 overs against Antigua Hawksbills on August 13 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Malik’s feat of 4-2-3-1 (4 overs, 2 maidens, 3 runs, 1 wicket – an economy rate of 0.75) at the time equalled the incredible performance of another Pakistani, Zulfiqar Babar whose 4-2-3-2 was achieved on 1st December 2012 for Multan Tigers against Quetta Bears in a Faysal Bank T20 Cup Tournament at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

The Largest Margin of Victory by Runs was executed by Barbados Tridents over St. Lucia Zouks at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia. Batting first after winning the toss, Barbados Tridents’ total was built around two half-century partnerships. Dwayne Smith (48) and Shoaib Malik (31) added 63 for the second wicket after Jonathan Carter was dismissed on the last ball of the third over. Later on, an audacious 6th wicket stand of 57 between captainKieron Pollard (34*) and Kyle Mayers (14) boosted the visitors’ total from 112 for 5 (16.1 overs) to 175 for 6 at the end of the allotment of overs. Apart from a fourth-wicket stand of 43 from 33 balls between Misbah-ul-Haq (23) and Herschelle Gibbs (21), the Zouks showed little resistance against the economical and penetrative bowling of Ashley Nurse (3 for 12), Rayad Emrit (3 for 19), Kieron Pollard (2 for 8), and Shannon Gabriel (2 for 18).

The Largest Margin of Victory by Wickets was recorded during the 4th match of the tournament between Jamaica Tallawahs and Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. Jamaica Tallawahs’ innings never promised much as the first five wickets fell for 45 runs. Although wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh and David Bernard temporarily steadied the innings with a sixth wicket stand of 36, a total of 117 proved wholly inadequate as Lendl Simmons (67* with 5 fours and 4 sixes off 44 balls) and skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan (24* at more than a run a ball) cantered home with 33 balls to spare.

At the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, Antigua Hawksbills and Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel were involved in the match that brought about The Smallest Margin of Victory by Runs – 1 run via the Duckworth/Lewis Method. The home team decided to bat first and made 169 for 6 from their allotted 20 overs, with the Bravo brothers (Darren, 38 from 30 balls, and skipper Dwayne 46 from 25 balls) flourishing in a 4th wicket partnership of 73 from just 43 balls. Rain during the first over of Antigua Hawksbills’ reply, reduced their target to 134 runs from 15 overs. Johnson Charles provided the impetus at the top of the innings with a quick-fired 48 off 28 balls with four fours and four sixes, before the visitors’ requirement came down to 33 from two overs, and then 19 from six balls. DelornJohnson’s first two deliveries produced 9 runs (a six by Sheldon Cotterrell followed by 3 byes); Ben Rohrer fell for 28 on the third ball; the tall lanky fast bowler restricted the batsmen to two runs from the next two balls to seal a thrilling victory despite another hit for six off the final delivery.

Thirteen (13), including the last seven, of the twenty-four (24) matches played were won by the teams batting second (chasing targets), with the champions, Jamaica Tallawahs, topping the list with six (6) wins against one (1) defeat.

The Duckworth/Lewis Method for determining the winner in rain-affected matches was used in two of the matches during the tournament. In Match No.10 at the Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel totalled 169 for 6 from their allotted 20 overs. Antigua Hawksbills’ reply was interrupted by rain during the first over of their innings and the revised target was 134 from 15 overs. In the end, the Red Steel boys held their nerves to win the gripping encounter by 1 run.

Three days later at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua Hawksbills was again denied their full quota of overs by the ‘fouled’ weather. Chasing a formidable target of 180 set by St. Lucia Zouks, the Hawksbills’ innings was curtailed by heavy rain after 10.4 overs resulting in the home-team falling short by 17 runs behind the Duckworth/Lewis par score of 93.

The tournament produced a total of 898 overs, 10 maidens, 6276 runs and 295 wickets.

Ninety-two (92) players (56 bowled) from the six franchised teams (Antigua Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St. Lucia Zouks and Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel) participated in the Limacol-sponsored tournament, which ran from July 30th to August 24th. During the preliminary stage, teams played each other (in some instances, twice). At the end of that stage each team played seven matches – a total of 21 matches (3 in Antigua, 3 in Barbados, 4 in Guyana, 4 in Jamaica, 3 in St. Lucia, and 4 in Trinidad & Tobago). The top four teams (Guyana Amazon Warriors [10 pts], Jamaica Tallawahs [10 pts], Barbados Tridents [8 pts) and Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel [6 pts]) moved on to the Semi Final stage. Guyana Amazon Warriors qualified for the Final by virtue of their easy victory over Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in the first Semi Final, while Jamaica Tallawahs progressed in similar fashion against Barbados Tridents in the other Semi Final.

Each of the six franchised teams was captained by a prominent West Indies player, namely Marlon Samuels (Antigua Hawksbills), Kieron Pollard (Barbados Tridents), Ramnaresh Sarwan (Guyana Amazon Warriors), Chris Gayle (Jamaica Tallawahs), Darren Sammy (St. Lucia Zouks) and Dwayne Bravo (Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel).

Six stadiums were used – each a home venue for one of the teams:

Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Providence Stadium in Guyana.

Sabina Park in Jamaica.

Beausejour Cricket Ground in St. Lucia

Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.

The two Semi Finals and Grand Final were played at Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad.

Each Franchise contracted fifteen (15) players, including a maximum of four (4) International players and four (4) players under the age of 23. Each team had one local and one International franchise player.

The Local franchise players were: 

Marlon Samuels
Kieron Pollard
Sunil Narine
Chris Gayle
Darren Sammy
Dwayne Bravo.

The International franchise players were:

Ricky Ponting
Shoaib Malik
Mohammad Hafeez
Muttiah Muralitharan
Ross Taylor.

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