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CPL 2016: Best XI of the tournament

Jamaica Tallawahs steamrolled over Guyana Amazon Warriors in a repeat of the 2013 finale, to take home the Caribbean Premier League trophy for the second time on Sunday at St Kitts. In a highly anticipated clash between the two best teams of CPL, Jamaica prevailed over the Rayad Emrit led side quite comfortably.

Gayle had done his homework, Guyana never won a match batting first this year and after winning the toss, his bowlers proved him right. The Warriors batting folded like cards against the Tallawahs’ bowlers. Sohail Tanvir, who top scored with a 37-ball 42, was promoted up the order to counter the left-arm spin tactics of Tallawahs but the rest of the batsmen had no answers to them.

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With just 95 needed to take home the trophy, Chris Gayle ensured there was no drama with a quickfire 54 off 27 balls and Sangakkara sealed the championship with a four, thus handing Guyana a third defeat in finals within 4 years.

We saw a variety of skills on display from a number of players, some of whom could stay for the whole season such as De Villiers or Steyn and we wonder what would have been if they had stayed, but let us look at the Best XI of the season from players who participated in the majority of the games:

1. Chris Gayle
 (C):

Jamaica Tallawahs
Chris Gayle. (Photo Ashley Allen/Sportsfile)

(13 Matches, 425 Runs, 108* HS, 42.50 Avg, 155.81 SR, 1­- 100, 2­- 50s)

The world’s most destructive opener, Chris Gayle, is undoubtedly our number 1 pick for the opening slot in the best XI of CPL 2016. With 425 runs from 13 matches, Gayle was at his destructive best against the Trinbago Knight Riders in a 192-run chase where he smashed his 18th T20 century, scoring 108 runs off just 54 balls including 11 sixes.

The “Universe Boss” provided Tallawahs good starts throughout the tournament scoring quite a handful of 30s and 40s as well, silencing his critics who remarked that he has a habit of fizzing down after a ton in every tournament. Gayle also collected the award for Most number of Sixes in CPL 2016. The skipper of the CPL champs is also the captain of our team.

2. Johnson Charles:

Johnson Charles CPL
Man of the match Johnson Charles during Match 23 of the Caribbean Premier League match between St Lucia Zouks and Guyana Amazon Warriors. (Photo Source: Ashley Allen/Sportsfile)

(11 Matches, 441 Runs, 94* HS, 44.10 Avg, 143.18 SR, 4­- 50s)

Johnson Charles was the most consistent batsman of this year’s CPL. His average of 44 with a healthy strike rate of 140+ shows how good he has been at the top of the order for St Lucia Zouks. Only twice has he been dismissed for less than 25 runs in 11 innings.

After a match winning effort against India in the semi-final of World T20, Charles’ best came against Barbados Tridents when he scored 94 not out off 52 balls in a crucial tie to lift Zouks up to the third spot in the points table. Needless to say, it was Charles who crossed the 50 runs mark most number of times in the tournament.

3. Chris Lynn:

Chris Lynn
Chris Lynn (L) of Guyana Amazon Warriors Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile

(12 Matches, 454 Runs, 86 HS, 45.40 Avg, 133.13 SR, 3­ 50s)

After a highly successful season with the bat, Chris Lynn’s stars looked aligned for a championship victory after years of hard work only to be spoiled by the Tallawahs this time. Chris Lynn may be the most talented batsman ever to end up on the losing side eventually.

All through the season, he was in sublime touch, winning matches for his team one after another, but a failure in the all-important final once again eludes him of the trophy. Hands down the best batsman of the league, Lynn ended as the top scorer of CPL 2016 just like he did in the BBL with Brisbane Heat but would be a lot happier this time with his team’s effort.

4. Kumar Sangakkara (wk):

CPL
Kumar Sangakkara (R) of Jamaica Tallawahs. (Photo Source: CPL/Sportsfile)

(13 Matches, 297 Runs, 65 HS, 24.75 Avg, 132.00 SR, 2­- 50s)

Though many batsmen had a better season with the bat than Sanga but no one could match him for his wicket keeping abilities which gets him the nod ahead of the likes of Jason Mohammed, Colin Munro or Andre Fletcher for the number four batsman and specialist wicket keeper.Sangakkara scored two brilliant half centuries in winning causes which included a 47­ball 65 after Gayle and Walton were sent back to the pavilion early by the St Kitts bowlers. He also collected as many as 11 catches behind the wickets to go with 5 stumpings from 12 outings.

Kumar Sangakkara scored two brilliant half centuries in winning causes which included a 47-­ball 65 after Gayle and Walton were sent back to the pavilion early by the St Kitts bowlers. He also collected as many as 11 catches behind the wickets to go with 5 stumpings from 12 outings.

5. Shane Watson:

Shane Watson CPL
Shane Watson. (Photo Ashley Allen/Sportsfile)

(11 Matches, 287 Runs, 57 HS, 31.88 Avg, 151.85 SR, 2­ 50s, 12 Wickets @7.65 rpo)

One of the best and most complete all-rounders in the shortest format, Shane Watson may have announced his retirement from International Cricket but his professionalism still remains the same. Watson chipped in with handy contributions with either bat or ball to help Zouks secure a playoff berth.

Watson recorded back to back blazing 40s against the Tallawahs apart from the two quickfire fifties he scored earlier. He was useful with the ball in the middle and death overs as well and chipped in with some crucial wickets at less than 8 runs an over.

6. Darren Sammy:

Darren Sammy
Darren Sammy celebrates his 50 in front of his home crowd. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile)

(11 Matches, 212 Runs, 59 HS, 42.40 Avg, 168.25 SR, 1­ 50, 8 Wickets @7.60 rpo)

Darren Sammy was his inspirational self all through the league and led Zouks to an improbable playoff spot. Sammy stepped up to the occasion when Zouks needed their captain the most and provided high-quality late flourishes featuring some trademark Darren Sammy eye catching shots. Though he bowled a lot lesser than an ideal all rounder, he still had a decent impact with the ball accounting for 8 wickets at a reasonable economy of 7.60 runs per over.

Also Watch: Darren Sammy flicks one over square leg for a huge six

7. Andre Russell:

Andre Russell
Andre Russell of Jamaica Tallawahs. (Photo By Randy Brooks/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

(11 Matches, 286 Runs, 100 HS, 31.77 Avg, 172.28 SR, 1­ 100, 11 Wickets @8.42 rpo)

CPL 2016’s Player of the Tournament, “Dre Russ” is on a dream run. He’s been there, done that with all of the teams he plays for in the shortest format be it Sydney Thunder, Islamabad United, KKR or the West Indies national team. Wherever he has gone for the past year or so, he has been in golden touch with both bat and ball.

Russell is one player who can bowl the opening spell as well as smack the ball a long way whenever required, and he does it so often that his match winning ability is unmatchable at present. Russell boosted up his statistics with a whirlwind 100 off only 42 balls against TKR in the 3rd Qualifier and helped Jamaica record yet another final appearance.

8. Dwayne Bravo:

Dwayne Bravo CPL
Dwayne Bravo. (Photo by Randy Brooks/Sportsfile)

(12 Matches, 177 Runs, 66* HS, 22.12 Avg, 140.47 SR, 1­ 50, 21 Wickets @8.42 rpo)

The highest wicket taker of the tournament, Dwayne Bravo has most certainly earned his pace in CricTracker’s Best XI of the Caribbean Premier League 2016. As he has often done for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, Bravo was the number one wicket taker for his team thanks to his death bowling skills.

Leading from the front, Bravo finished with 21 wickets from 12 matches. He also scored a 46-­ball 66 in a record partnership of 150 with Hashim Amla, rescuing his team from 20­4 after 5 overs to hand them an improbable victory over a dangerous looking Barbados Tridents.

9. Sohail Tanvir:

Sohail Tanvir
Sohail Tanvir, right, of Guyana Amazon Warriors. (Photo By: Ashley Allen/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

(12 Matches, 20 Wickets @6.45 rpo)

Another brilliant performer who ended up on the losing side, Sohail Tanvir was a class apart from the rest of the bowlers. He picked up 20 wickets from 12 matches at a phenomenal economy rate of 6.45 runs per over. Tanvir was the best bowler of the tournament and second highest wicket taker after DJ Bravo.

He often laid the platform for the Warriors by picking up a wicket in the opening spell, and then finished the innings with pinpoint accuracy in the death overs. The Pakistani all-rounder also had the best average (14.85) by any bowler who bowled more than 30 overs.

10. Sunil Narine:

Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine of Trinbago Knight Riders. Photo by Randy Brooks/Sportsfile

(12 Matches, 14 Wickets @5.55 rpo)

The most miser of them all, Sunil Narine has maintained an incredible economy rate of 5.55 runs per over. The mystery spinner is the only bowler to bowl two maidens in the CPL 2016. Though Narine seems to have lost some of his wicket taking ability ever since remodeling his action, but he has been as consistent as ever despite that.

Narine recorded figures of 9/1 from four overs twice in the tournament against the most feared batting attacks of the CPL. He was the only one along with Dwayne Bravo to hold the frail bowling line up of Trinbago, he gave away at least 3 to 4 runs less than his companions.

11. Adam Zampa:

Guyana Amazon Warriors v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots CPL
Adam Zampa (L) and Martin Guptill of Guyana Amazon Warriors celebrates the dismissal of Jon-Jon Smuts. (Photo By Randy Brooks/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

(12 Matches, 15 Wickets @7.07 rpo)

For a leg-spinner resembling the run-up and action of Shane Warne, Adam Zampa has a lot to prove in his career but one thing is certain that he has started on the right note. In a short span of time, he has made a name for himself as one of the best leggies emerging around.

After a successful season in the BBL with Melbourne and a short stint in the IPL, Zampa repeated his success in the Caribbean picking up 15 wickets. He bowled positively and looked hungry for wickets. His focus and control were enviable and if he can keep that going for Australia at the international level, he will soon be entering the record books for sure.

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