CPL

Gayle returns to SKN Patriots, Shakib al Hasan joins Jamaica Tallawahs

By Sports Desk May 27, 2021

Chris Gayle, Shakib al Hasan and Faf du Plessis will be playing at 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which takes place in St Kitts & Nevis from 28 August to 19 September.

Chris Gayle will be back with the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, a team he played for in 2017 and 2018. Gayle guided the Patriots to their only Hero CPL final in his first year with the franchise. As the leading run-scorer in T20 history, he brings a huge amount of experience to the Patriots squad. 

Shakib al Hasan has joined the Jamaica Tallawahs for the 2021 season. This will be the second time that the world’s leading spin-bowling allrounder has represented the Tallawahs having been with the franchise in 2016 and 2017.

Faf du Plessis will be playing for the St Lucia Zouks this season. The former South Africa captain has been in outstanding form in recent months for the Chennai Super Kings at the Indian Premier League where he made four consecutive half-centuries, including 95 not out against Kolkata Knight Riders. This is his second stint at the Hero CPL having played for the Patriots in 2016.

 

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    St Kitts and Nevis Patriots claimed their first-ever Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title as they defeated the Saint Lucia Kings by three wickets in a closely contested encounter at Warner Park. 

    The Saint Lucia Kings won the toss and chose to bat, as they did in their semi-final match. Despite losing wickets at key stages of the game, they built a total around the batting of Roston Chase, who stabilised the innings, allowing the likes of Rahkeem Cornwall and Keemo Paul to play with attacking intent and guide them to 159-7.

    In what was a dramatic final, the Patriots managed to successfully chase their target with Dominic Drakes the hero with the bat, scoring 48 off 24 balls and securing a remarkable victory with the last ball of the match.

    Saint Lucia Kings started their innings with the loss of both captain Andre Fletcher and Mark Deyal in the Powerplay.

    Cornwall got the innings back on track with some power hitting but the Patriots utilised spin to great effect; Fabian Allen, Jon-Russ Jaggesar and Fawad Ahmed working in unison to pick up three wickets in the middle overs and leave the Kings in peril. Roston Chase anchored the innings and a late burst from Paul, which saw him hit three consecutive sixes in an over as he scored 39 runs off just 21 balls, took the Kings to a challenging total.

    It was a dream start for the Kings with the ball, as Chris Gayle was bowled by a Chase delivery, and not long after, Evin Lewis was caught out, with Chase being the fielder.

    Joshua da Silva and Sherfane Rutherford began to rebuild, but quick wickets, including that of captain DJ Bravo, saw the Patriots in trouble at 95-5. However, things would take a dramatic turn as Drakes recorded his highest ever score in cricket, firing six boundaries to take the Patriots over the line in dramatic fashion with a single off the last ball.

    In a contest worthy of any final, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots prevailed and lifted their maiden Hero CPL title in front of a joyous home crowd.

    St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 160-7 (Drakes 48*, Da Silva 37; Riaz 2-36, Chase 1-17) beat Saint Lucia Kings 159-7 (Cornwall 43, Chase 43; Naseem 2-26, Fawad 2-32) by three wickets.

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    West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has expressed delight at the success achieved by St Kitts and Nevis Patriots after joining the team as part of a personal challenge earlier this year.

    The 37-year-old all-rounder announced his decision, in April, to join the Patriots after seven years with Trinbago Knight Riders, where he won four CPL titles.  Ahead of requesting a trade to the eastern Caribbean team, Bravo had cited a desire to help mould a new generation of upcoming cricketers.

    With the performance of some of the Patriot's younger players this season, the move might just have paid dividends.  Opening batsman Evin Lewis has an astounding season to date, having racked up a record 420 runs so far, with Wednesday’s final still to be added to the tally.  Sherfane Rutherford has also done well with the bat, tallying 237 runs in 10 games so far, with a number of eye-catching performances, while Dominic Drakes has featured prominently among the league’s top bowlers with 15 wickets to date.

    “When I decided on making the move I said I wanted to challenge myself.  I wanted to try and help the younger players in different teams.  So to get to the finals, to see the way that Sherfane Rutherford played through the tournament and Evin, young Drakes, that gives me all the pleasure and I think I achieved what I wanted to achieve,” Bravo said, following the team’s semifinal win over the Guyana Amazon Warriors.

    “I wanted to help build a team that could actually compete in the tournament and press on to try and win a trophy and we have one more game, it’s going to be a difficult game because the St Lucia Kings have been playing well.”

    The final will be the second for St Kitts and Nevis who also made the 2017 final where they lost to a Knight Rider team of which Bravo was a part.

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