The Caribbean Premier League hit top gear this past week, with stars old and new showing up during a phase of 200+ scores, Super Overs, and genius captaincy. Here's a round-up of week 3:
Super Ricky shows up, Allen's stock rises further
After an up-and-down show last week, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots needed to get points on the board and captain Carlos Brathwaite was at the forefront. He took two wickets as Trinbago Knight Riders made 216 on the back of a Lendl Simmons 90, then made a 30-ball 64 after coming in at 80 for 4 and helped them tie the game as birthday boy Jimmy Neesham followed up a 31-run first over by failing to defend 19 in the last.
In the Super Over, he starred in both halves - making 17 not out and then warding off protests from his team-mates, the management, and pretty much half the dugout to take the ball and concede only five against Kieron Pollard, the man who took the T20I captaincy from him recently.
Some physical contact ensued between Knight Riders' Ali Khan and Patriots' Evin Lewis during the Super Over, causing a bust up as the batsman wasn't pleased. Both of them were fined.
Fabian Allen continued to show off his new and improved batting dimension, putting in a breathtaking performance from No. 7 after Patriots fell to 82 for 6 against Jamaica Tallawahs. Allen made an unbeaten 27-ball 62 as Patriots finished with 176 and killed the momentum Tallawahs have long sought in this edition of the CPL.
Perfect Malik and his perfect team
Tallawahs were at the receiving end again when Guyana Amazon Warriors captain Shoaib Malik had the perfect game: his 37-ball 67 took them to 218, his bold strategy of starting the innings with eight straight overs of spin paid off against a powerful line-up, and he even added two catches and a run-out as they capped off an 81-run win.
Malik went one better on Sunday, even getting his bowling into the picture. As one of three spinners alongside Chris Green and Imran Tahir, he conceded only 10 in his four overs, and took the wicket of Barbados Tridents captain Jason Holder. The trio took a combined 7 for 46 in 13.3 overs as Amazon Warriors made it six in six to seal a playoff spot with four games to go.
Bowler of the week
It could have been either one of Green and Tahir, but the offspinner snuck in a career-best four-for in the last match of the week to sneak ahead of the veteran. Green has gradually become a player of interest to many franchises over the last year or so - his specialist ability bowling in Powerplays and at the death still a rare combination in T20 cricket all these years later.
Green took five wickets from three games at an economy of 6.00 this past week. Trailing closely behind on a concentrated list of bowlers with four wickets in that period were Holder with an economy of 5.63 and Tahir with an economy of 5.37.
Batsman of the week
It was a pity what happened around Glenn Phillips during his magnificent 87 against Patriots. Having singlehandedly kept them in the chase - no, really, he made 87 of the 123 they had when he was dismissed - he missed out on both a hundred and an entry into the newly-founded Order of Exceptional Individual Innings. His 40 against Amazon Warriors was an impressive stay too, and joint top score in the Tallawahs innings.