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Feature

CPL week one: Bravo's Patriots outplayed, Powell's class act, Hosein's injury scare

Fletcher's statement, Royals fielding five overseas players, and all the highlights from the week gone by

Deivarayan Muthu
05-Sep-2022
Rovman Powell's 44 led Jamaica Tallawahs to the win, Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Jamaica Tallawahs, CPL 2022, Basseterre, September 3, 2022

Rovman Powell's Jamaica Tallawahs notched up two wins in as many games  •  CPL T20/Getty Images

These are still early days in CPL 2022, but there are signs that this could be a highly competitive season, with the rest of the teams narrowing the gap between themselves and pre-tournament favourites Trinbago Knight Riders and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots. ESPNcricinfo brings you the highlights of the first leg of the tournament, in St Kitts
Tallawahs, Royals set the early pace
Rovman Powell's Jamaica Tallawahs and David Miller's new-look Barbados Royals have dashed out of the blocks, notching up two wins in as many games.
In the season opener, Brandon King, who had previously represented Guyana Amazon Warriors, marked his return to his home franchise - Tallawahs - with a fiery 57-ball 89 that set up a 47-run victory against the defending champions Patriots. King only flickered briefly in Tallawahs' second game, against his former franchise Amazon Warriors, but his captain Powell played an innings of remarkable maturity to usher his team home in a tense finish.
On a pitch that offered sharp turn and bounce, Powell played out Amazon Warriors' trio of spinners and then cranked up to top gear against the quicks to ruin Shimron Hetmyer's CPL captaincy debut. Powell scored only eight off 24 balls from Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir and Gudakesh Motie, but walloped 36 off 14 balls from Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith to help Tallawahs chase down 143 with four balls and four wickets to spare.
King's West Indies opening partner Kyle Mayers has been the star for Royals so far. In their first match of the season, against Patriots, he shellacked 73 off 46 balls as Royals hunted down 150 with plenty to spare. Their South African import Corbin Bosch also contributed handsomely to the opening victory by taking five catches - a CPL record.
Against St Lucia Kings, Mayers sparkled with both bat and ball. After hitting 36 off 23 balls that helped Royals to 162 for 7, he ripped through the opposition's top order with four wickets in two overs. Mayers, who had started his career as a new-ball bowler before an ankle injury forced him to remodel himself into a batting allrounder, produced the inswing of old, yorking Roston Chase and Johnson Charles. Mayers also got rid of Mark Deyal and Roshon Primus, ensuring there would be no way back for Kings, despite Faf du Plessis' unbeaten 47 off 20 balls in a rain-hit game.
What's up with the Patriots?
Not many would have predicted that Patriots would end their home leg without a single win. Dwayne Bravo's men were outplayed in their first two matches before rain washed out their next two. Patriots dropped at least eight chances across their first two games and were put to shame by Bosch alone. With Fabian Allen moving to Tallawahs, Wanindu Hasaranga being unavailable because of Sri Lanka duties and Evin Lewis missing their second game, Patriots didn't look as strong as they were last season. Dewald Brevis and Duan Jansen, twin brother of Marco, were both part of the Mumbai Indians contingent that had recently travelled to the UK, but they are yet to fire for Patriots.
Fletcher spices things up
With West Indies likely to name their T20 World Cup squad midway through the CPL, the early exchanges of the tournament are particularly significant for players who are looking to push their cases for selection. Andre Fletcher, the self-styled 'Spiceman' who was ignored in West Indies' recent white-ball squads, has already made a statement by following up his Player-of-the-Series performance in the inaugural 6ixty with scores of 31 and 81 in the CPL. Bosch was named the Player of the Match in Patriots' fixture against Royals, but Fletcher had made a bigger impact than him, according to ESPNcricinfo Smart Stats.
How did Royals field five overseas players?
On Sunday, Royals' XI featured captain David Miller, Quinton de Kock, Azam Khan, Bosch and Harry Tector. According to the rules of the CPL, a side can play five overseas players if they pick an emerging player until they finish the quota of five appearances for that player. As Royals picked left-arm seamer Ramon Simmonds, who has graduated from the West Indies Under-19 system, they could slot in an extra overseas player in their XI.
Injury scare for Akeal Hosein
Akeal Hosein, West Indies' premier white-ball spinner, bowled an outstanding boundary-less spell of 4-0-13-4 for Trinbago Knight Riders against Kings. After ending his shift with the ball, Hosein, though, suffered an injury scare when he dived to his right from mid-off and landed awkwardly. Hosein immediately hobbled off the field and sat out of Knight Riders' next game against Patriots. According to captain Kieron Pollard, Hosein had twinged his leg and was rested to recover. Knight Riders will be reinforced by the arrival of Colin Munro, from the Hundred, for the second leg of the CPL in St Lucia.
Celebration of the week
It's quite hard to imagine the CPL without its eye-catching celebrations. Shamsi, the left-arm wristspinner, who picked the CPL over the Hundred final, brought out his 'shoe-telephone' celebration after having Tallawahs' Imad Wasim carving a catch to extra cover. Tahir, Shamsi's mentor and senior at South Africa, also joined the fun by taking off his own shoe and answering Shami's call from the outfield.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo