Photo Credit: Cricket West Indies
We at CricViz are back with another look back at some of the prolific performers in the Caribbean Premier League. This time, we’re looking at the most lethal bowlers in the powerplay. Wickets at the top of the order and in the powerplay is a big win for any bowling team. Today we look at the bowlers who pick up wickets at regular intervals often compared to any of their contemporaries in the competition. Of the bowlers to have bowled at least 20 overs in the powerplay – we look at ten of them with the best strike rate.
TEN. Ravi Rampaul – The right-arm seamer from Trinidad and Tobago played three seasons for the Barbados Tridents from 2014 to 2017. With a strike rate of 20.2 in the powerplay picking up 21 wickets – Rampaul takes the #10 slot in our list. A powerplay specialist, 53% of the overs he bowled in the CPL were in the opening phase on par with his T20 average of 54%. He picked up 47 wickets overall for the Tridents, and still remains their leading wicket taker in the competition.
NINE. Veerasammy Permaul – The first of the two spinners in the list, the left arm orthodox bowler from Guyana takes the #9 slot with a strike rate of 20.1 and 20 wickets in the powerplay in the CPL. Permaul has bowled 37% of his overs in the powerplay well above the average of 28% for spinners in the CPL. Conceding at 5.69 runs per over in the powerplay, he’s very miserly in the opening phase. Permaul has featured in six CPL seasons playing 56 matches, all for the Guyana Amazon Warriors making him their most capped player.
EIGHT. Fidel Edwards – The fast bowler from Barbados who was renowned for his raw pace—who averaged close to 140 kph in limited overs for the Windies—slots into #8 in the list with a strike rate of 19.2 picking up 14 wickets in the powerplay. Edwards played only three seasons for the CPL from 2013 to 2015. One of his claims to fame in the competition is that he is one of the seven bowlers to register a five-wicket haul.
SEVEN. Rayad Emrit – A CPL veteran, Rayad Emrit is probably a surprise entry to this list at #7 with a strike rate of 18.4 taking 13 wickets in the powerplay. The medium pacer with all his subtle variations predominantly operated in the middle overs, with 52% of his overs coming in the phase. Given his limited deployment in the powerplay, he’s done well especially against left-handers with a strike rate of 12.3 compared to 23.7 against right-handers.
SIX. OSHANE THOMAS – The young fast bowler is the quintessential description of an attacking bowler. Oshane Thomas slots in at #6 in our list with a strike rate of 18.0 taking 11 wickets so far in the powerplay. On the other hand, with an economy rate of 8.6 runs per over, he’s one of the most expensive bowlers in the competition. In his CPL career, across all phases, Thomas has taken 32 wickets at a very healthy strike rate of 13.8 – which is in fact the best of all bowlers to have bowled 50 overs in the competition. But he has conceded at 9.47 runs per over, making him the most expensive bowler in the competition with the same filter – he picks wickets often, but also leaks runs.
FIVE. Ali Khan – The right arm seamer from the United States of America playing for TKR sneaks in to #5 in the list with a strike rate of 18.0 picking up 15 wickets. Ali Khan made his T20 debut in the 2016 CPL playing for Guyana Amazon Warrior and with his first ball in the match (and his T20 career) picked up the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara. He then moved to TKR in 2018 and has taken 26 wickets in the last two seasons – the most by any TKR bowler – a key part of their bowling unit.
FOUR. Imran Tahir – The leg spinner from South Africa has become a cult hero with his incredible performances in T20 leagues across the world. Playing the last two CPL seasons for the Guyana Amazon Warriors, he’s placed at #4 in our list with a strike rate of 17.2 taking eight wickets in total. Tahir has bowled 28% of his overs in the CPL in the powerplay, significantly higher than his overall T20 career average of 10% – a clear sign of the tactics used by Guyana- who were a significantly spin dominant team.
THREE. Sheldon Cotterell – One of Windies’ key cog in the International limited overs team, the left-arm seamer slots into #3 with a strike rate of 17.1 picking up an incredible 36 wickets at 6.65 runs per over in the powerplay. No bowler in CPL history has taken more powerplay wickets compared to the left arm seamer. Featuring in each of the seven CPL seasons despite numerous injuries, Cotterell with 69 wickets, is the fifth leading wicket taker in the competition. He’s been particularly impressive against left-handers in the powerplay averaging 9.9 at 4.78 runs per over compared to an average of 24.9 at 7.37 runs per over against right-handers – which is odd considering he poses challenges aplenty swinging the ball both ways.
TWO. Alzarri Joseph – Alzarri Joseph takes the #2 spot with a strike rate of 15.0 picking up eight wickets in the powerplay. The St Kitts and Nevis Patriots star burst onto the scene a few years ago, but has been a consistent performer in recent times, the only blot on his record a slight tendency to be expensive conceding at 8.2 runs per over. Generating quick pace along with steep bounce, the right arm seamer is a very tough bowler to negotiate early on in the game.
ONE. Mohammad Irfan – The bowler taking the top spot isn’t a local player, but the tall left arm seamer for Pakistan, Mohammad Irfan with a strike rate of 13.8, picking up 10 wickets at a miserly 5.95 runs per over. Irfan featured in only one season, in 2018 for Barbados Tridents – but made a huge impact with his impressive performances, taking him to the top of our list. The left arm seamer induced a false shot off 41% of his deliveries in the powerplay – making him literally unplayable. The highlight of Irfan’s CPL career was his performance against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. In that game, he ended with remarkable figures of four overs, three maidens, one run and two wickets – the most economical four-over spell in Twenty20 cricket history.