When it comes to cricket in the Caribbean, it’s always with a dash of style and aggression. Not since the Twenty20 format began has the world seen such profound interest back to where it once belonged (during the halcyon days of Sir Viv, Lloyd and, Holding’s era), the West Indies.
On Sunday the party began with loud thuds and jubilation at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad as the Trinbago Knight Riders erupted in celebrations upon clinching what was their second CPL title.
But what made the top 5 moments from this year’s amazing feast of free hitting and timber crushing CPL?
1 Trinbago Knight Riders clinch second title
It wasn't what the fans might have expected as St. Kitts & Nevis came so mightily close in their defending of a modest 135, having reduced TKR to 7/90 at one stage.
But even that wasn't enough to dash the hopes of a side that powered itself on the charisma of Kevon Cooper, finishing with a 14-ball 29, punctuated by 2 lofty grand hits into the stands.
In what became only the second title triumph for Trinbago Knight Riders, who snatched the CPL crown from Barbados Tridents - winners of the previous edition - the T20 tournament unfurled a vital lesson.
The winner isn't necessarily the one with a massive score on the charts. Rather, one who performs collectively well in all departments of the game. Whether it was Dwayne Bravo's electrifying fielding all along, Darren Bravo's slamming with the bat throughout the tournament or, Ronsford Beaton's economical bowling- it all played out well for the Trinbago Knight Riders, even as the trio failed to fire in the finals.
2 Evin Lewis - the new standout T20 star
When he hits it, it stays hit. We've heard the phrase in the context of big slashers of the ball: Sehwag, Gayle, Hayden, Pietersen and, Afridi, haven't we?
But, now, at least, as far as the T20 circuit is concerned, Evin Lewis' big-hitting credentials warrant his name to be elevated to this checkered league.
Until the much awaited final played out between St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Lewis, along with Gayle, contributed 54% of the runs for his side.
That's a massive figure considering the Trinidadian-born left hander hasn't really played all that much. Or has he? But little would Lewis complain considering his willow has blazed what might be called a stellar run in CPL 2017, courtesy knocks such as- 97* against Barbados Tridents, 40 against Jamaica Tallawahs, 39 against T&T Riders, 69 against Tallawahs and, 92 against St. Lucia Stars.
3 The irrepressible Kevon Cooper
Kevon Cooper is among the few impact players to have emerged from the lair of the Caribbean Premier League.
But even before he mesmerised his Trinbago Knight Riders with an impressive tally of 16 wickets in the tournament, the local hero made his name by playing in several T20 franchises around the world, most noticeably, the then Dravid-led Rajasthan Royals.
He might not have steaming pace in his arsenal or the most technically profound strokes in that armoury but what Cooper does have is the immense ability to chip in when needed.
In CPL 2017, Kevon Cooper contributed handsomely in the finals by bailing out a fledgeling T&T, that were 7 wickets down with a shade under 100, in chasing another 36 more for their second title, before those cross-batted squats started flying from the 28-year-old's bat.
4 Chadwick Walton versus Kesrick Williams 'notebook style' banter
It might have been Kesrick Williams' moment when he gave West Indies limited over wicketkeeping-batsman Chadwick Walton a send-off in the first game between the Jamaica Tallawahs and Guyana Amazon Warriors.
A little banter, one notes is just fine. It doesn't increase the price of fish. Then, when Williams 'wrote off' Walton in what wasn't really a disgraceful ouster- things appeared fine.
But that was until the next game between the two sides came about.
Deciding this time that it would be him that would 'write off' Kesrick Williams' medium pacers from the game, Walton was all flair and firepower with the bat as he stroked 4 boundaries in as many deliveries to leave the bowler disenchanted.
Not that it was a pretty site for either teams to have two Caribbean competitors who play together under a singular identity called the West Indies squaring off like they did, but little would Walton complain, ending with an impressive 84. As for Williams, he might have to try something else to irk his competitors.
5 Pollard's deliberate no-ball
When it's Kieron Pollard, pretty much anything can be expected.
He's vehemently hurled a bat at Royal Challengers Bangalore's Mitchell Starc in 2014, gone without being reprimanded.
Pollard's exchanged poetry from the slash of the tongue with Sammy and Bravo earlier and has even fielded with a duct-tape applied to his face.
Perhaps not sure as to where his real talents belong, the ever confusing Pollard who plays T20s regularly but despises the tag of being called a freelancing T20 mercenary went an extra mile ahead on the CPL turf this time- figuratively speaking.
In bowling a deliberate no-ball to Evin Lewis, who was approaching a hundred, batting on 97, Pollard denied the dashing left-hander an opportunity to reach a hundred.
But one can only hope that the lanky Polly as he's often called turned back to see the scorecard that read his Barbados Tridents had still been crushed by 10 wickets. How does that make you feel Kieron?
What were your highlights from the 2017 CPL? Let us know in the comments below.
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