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Feature

CPL 2022 week three: Holder sparkles for high-flying Royals, Kings soar despite David's absence

A round-up of all the thrills and spills from the Trinidad leg of CPL 2022

Deivarayan Muthu
19-Sep-2022
An impressive spell of bowling from Jason Holder saw him finish with 2 for 21 in three overs, Barbados Royals vs St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, CPL 2022, Basseterre, September 1, 2022

Jason Holder picked up six wickets in three games during the Trinidad leg of CPL 2022  •  CPL T20 via Getty Images

The Trinidad leg of CPL 2022 ended on Sunday with a thriller between hosts Trinbago Knight Riders and St Lucia Kings. ESPNcricinfo brings you the highlights from the week gone by.
Barbados Royals storm into the playoffs
After finishing rock-bottom in CPL 2021, Barbados Royals have scripted a remarkable turnaround by becoming the first team to advance to the playoffs this season. With a 29-run victory via DLS method against Guyana Amazon Warriors, Royals not only sealed a playoffs spot but also ensured they will finish top in the league stage and get two cracks at the final.
However, Royals will be without their captain David Miller and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for the final leg of the tournament in Guyana as the South Africa pair will head back home to prepare for a white-ball tour of India, which begins with the first T20I in Thiruvananthapuram on September 28.
The only blemish in Royals' otherwise incredibly successful run was their six-run defeat via DLS to Jamaica Tallawahs in Port-of-Spain. On the day, the usually rapid Kyle Mayers dawdled to 1 off 17 balls, and although de Kock (74 off 43 balls) and Miller (34 off 27) teed off thereafter, Royals could manage only 146 for 6.
Seamers Jason Holder and Obed McCoy made a good fist of the defence, but a six from Tallawahs captain Rovman Powell in the 17th over put them ahead of the DLS par score and snapped Royals' winning streak.
No Tim David? No problem for Kings
Despite the absence of Tim David, who has now linked up with the Australia team in India, St Lucia Kings won both their games in the Trinidad leg. Adam Hose, David's replacement, didn't do much, but Kings' seniors stepped up to brush aside Patriots and then edge Trinbago Knight Riders by one run.
Against Patriots, on a challenging Tarouba track that slowed down as the game progressed, Faf du Plessis and Johnson Charles were proactive enough to make use of the powerplay, helping Kings to 60 for 2 in that phase. In response, Patriots reached only 47 for 2 in the first six overs of their chase. David Wiese then delivered a double-wicket maiden and Kesrick Williams unfurled his slower variations as Patriots' chase unravelled.
In the last match of the Trinidad leg, du Plessis matched up Roston chase's offspin with a left-hander-heavy TKR top order. Chase did his job, removing Leonardo Julien, Colin Munro and Nicholas Pooran cheaply. Despite late blows from Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, Kings prevailed, with Roshun Primus defending 21 off the final over to lift Kings to second on the points table.
As for TKR, they are presently fourth, with only three wins in eight games, and having already lost USA quick Ali Khan to injury, they've been depleted further by Jayden Seales' absence for the remainder of CPL 2022. According to Pollard, Seales has a "fitness issue" and has been replaced by England allrounder Samit Patel.
How have the WI players who made the T20 World Cup squad via the CPL fared?
Johnson Charles celebrated his call-up for the T20 World Cup with back-to-back half-centuries. He was particularly aggressive against elite spin, taking on Rashid Khan, Sunil Narine and Akeal Hosein. During his 41-ball 61 against Patriots, Charles also surpassed Chris Gayle to become the second-highest run-getter in the history of the CPL.
"He is someone who should've played more T20 cricket for West Indies," Kings head coach Daren Sammy told the franchise's YouTube channel. "He is going back to Australia; I remember the last time he was there he scored a brilliant hundred in Sydney [Melbourne] against Mitchell Johnson and co. He's been very consistent and I'm quite happy to see him back into the line-up."
Raymon Reifer began the Trinidad leg with a scorching unbeaten 40 off 26 balls for Tallawahs but his form has cooled off since. He scored only 1 against Royals before bagging a duck against TKR. Since he is working his way back from a niggle sustained during the inaugural 6ixty, Reifer has bowled only sparingly this CPL. In all, he has bowled just 11 balls in the tournament so far.
Player of the week
Holder claimed six wickets across three games in Trinidad, with his sparkling all-round effort against Amazon Warriors putting Royals in the playoffs. Holder was promoted to No.5, ahead of Azam Khan, who is also a spin-hitter, and captain Miller, and responded with an unbeaten 40 off 33 balls on a tough pitch in a rain-hit fixture. No other batter scored more than 20 runs in that game. Holder was not done yet: he tricked pinch-hitter Keemo Paul with a slower ball and came away with figures of 2-0-8-1. It was a week where Holder cemented his status as one of West Indies' top allrounders in T20 cricket.
Celebration of the week
In only his second official T20 game, offspinner Junior Sinclair collected 2 for 12 in his four overs. After having Mayers hole out, Sinclair celebrated with a gravity-defying somersault, which reminded Caribbean fans of the other Sinclair's - Kevin - signature celebration. Disclaimer: Don't try this at home.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo