Gros Islet, St Lucia – At the end of the action-packed first phase of the Caribbean T20 at Queens Park Oval, defending champions Trinidad and Tobago lead the points table. The Trinis played unbeaten at home to record three wins and a no-result due to a wash-out, and stand top of the charts with 13 points. They ended their home games with a rousing win over Guyana on Saturday night in front of a colourful and supportive capacity crowd at the historic Oval.
Under the new tournament format, the team which tops the preliminary round will advance to the Grand Final on Sunday, January 20 at the picturesque Beausejour Cricket Ground. The second and third placed teams will meet in the Play-off on Saturday, January 19. The winner of the Play-off will advance to the Final.
Jamaica sit in second spot on the table on nine points from four matches. There is a three-way tie for third place with Barbados, Windwards and Guyana all on eight points. Windwards and Guyana have both played three matches while the Bajans have played four times.
Combined Campuses and Colleges are in sixth place on four points from four matches – gained from their shock win over Barbados. The Leewards have lost all four matches so far and are yet to register a point.
The leading batsman is Darren Bravo, the T&T left-hander, who hit a career-best 82 not out on Saturday night against Guyana to win the Man-of-the-Match award. He has so far made 164 runs at an average of 82, and an impressive strike rate of 149.09.
Chadwick Walton of CCC is second with 131 runs at 46.33 runs per innings. He made 99 not out against Guyana, which is the highest score in the four years of the Caribbean T20 tournament. Third in the batting charts is Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the Guyana legend, who has so far scored 114 runs in three innings with a top score of 53 against the leaders.
The leading wicket-taker is Tino Best, the experienced Barbados pace bowler. He has so far picked up 10 wickets in four matches at 7.30 runs per wicket. He had the impressive figures of 4-26 in the win against Leewards and then went even better with a career-best 4-19 in the victory over CCC.
Jamaica’s left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie has continued his heroics in this format and is the second highest wicket-taker with eight wickets at 9.87 runs per wicket. He is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament’s history with 41 wickets in 20 matches.
There are four bowlers on seven wickets – Carlos Brathwaite, the tall seamer and Sulieman Benn the beanpole left-arm spinner both from Barbados; Raymon Reifer CCC’s lively left-arm seamer; and Liam Sebastien the wily off-spinner from the Windwards.
Reifer, who also opens the batting, completed this tournament’s first hat-trick on debut against Guyana. His team-mate left-arm spinner Derone Davis also completed a hat-trick in the win over Barbados – with the rare feat of three wickets off the first three balls of the innings.
The Caribbean T20 continues on Tuesday at Beausejour Cricket Ground. Guyana will face Jamaica in a bid to stay in contention for a Play-off spot at 4 pm (3 pm Jamaica Time). In the second match Windward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago will meet at 8 pm (7 pm Jamaica Time).