Bravos blaze away, Stars somersault and nosedive

first_imgCPL week two round-up:Kieron Pollard torched the second week of CPL 2018 with the bat along with the Bravo brothers, while David Warner blew hot and cold. These are the major highlights from the week gone by…St Lucia Stars trapped in Groundhog DayShimron HetmyerIt took Kieron Pollard’s blistering maiden T20 hundred and a CPL record total of 226 to break St Lucia Stars’ 14-game losing streak and give them their first win since July 2016. Afghanistan teenager Qais Ahmad unleashed a celebratory reverse somersault, captain Pollard and his predecessor Darren Sammy later led the team huddle, David Warner blew a kiss to his wife Candice in the stands, and it seemed like Stars had escaped the loop.However, they were back in it in the very next match, collapsing for 69 in 12.3 overs, in the shortest 20-overs-a-side CPL match ever. After the game against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, when Pollard was asked what went wrong, he replied candidly: “Everything… and we are back to square one”.Kavem Hodge given out caught behind for a duck off Carlos Brathwaite in that game, despite not nicking the ball, and Pollard flinging his hands across in utter shock, has been one of the enduring images of Stars’ season so far.Trinbago Knight Riders’ encoreTKR’s batting line-up is perhaps the cricketing equivalent of the Avengers from the Marvel Universe. No target is too far from the reach of a line-up that reads: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Colin Munro, Brendon McCullum and the Bravo brothers. And they proved it in consecutive matches against Stars and Jamaica Tallawahs.In their last five overs against Stars, TKR needed a whopping 85 off 30 balls, but McCullum and Darren Bravo blazed them home with a ball to spare. The highlight of the assault came when Darren Bravo tonked Pollard for five sixes in a 32-run over – the most expensive in the CPL. While we were still wondering about the breathtaking chase, TKR did it again: mowing down 74 off 36 balls in their next game against Jamaica Tallawahs. Darren Bravo was at it again, but it was his brother Dwayne who had provided the finishing kick with 36 off 11 balls.Batsman of the weekIn week where several TKR batsmen sparkled and Guyana Amazon Warrors’ Shimron Hetmyer, 21, became the youngest CPL centurion, it was Pollard who stood out with the bat. The most experienced T20 player in the world slammed an 18-ball half-century against TKR – the joint-fastest in the league – but it wasn’t enough for Stars.In Stars’ next match against Barbados Tridents, he smashed a 53-ball century, which eventually gave Stars some joy. The innings was filled with his signature lofts and leg-side hoicks, with 87 of his 104 runs coming in the arc between midwicket and long-off. He ended with a strike rate of 192.59 and smart strike-rate of 237.79.Bowler of the weekEighteen-year-old Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane had a smart economy rate of 4.97 across two matches this week. In the game against Tallawahs, he was bludgeoned for a pair of sixes by opener Kennar Lewis, but he still dared to toss another legbreak up and the reward was the wicket of Lewis for 49 off 24 balls. He then teased Ross Taylor, who touched only one out of four balls from Lamichanne.Then, against Stars, he unfurled the googly, which dipped sharply, creating distance between Warner’s bat and the pitch of the ball and broke away to take the outside edge, which was superbly held by Ben Cutting at deep point. Lamichhane later said he has five or six variations in his repertoire, which Patriots will miss next week when he leaves the tournament for national duty.Smith, Warner watchSteven Smith made a cameo – 28 off 16 balls – against Stars following his match-winning 41 against Amazon Warriors last week. Warner, meanwhile found form against TKR, with an unbeaten 72 off 55 balls, in front of his family at Gros Islet. He pillaged 42 off 24 balls from TKR’s best bowlers Ali Khan and Sunil Narine, helping swell Stars’ total to 212. However, his form has cooled off since, adding to Stars’ misery. (ESPN cricinfo)last_img

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