St Lucia Zouks 56 for 0 (Cornwall 32*) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 55 (Deyal 2-2, Zahir 2-12, Kuggeleijn 2-12) by 10 wickets
The Guyana Amazon Warriors may have picked up momentum with three straight wins to storm into the semifinals, but they came unstuck in staggering fashion against the St Lucia Zouks in the contest that really counted. Put in to bat by Daren Sammy, they melted into irrelevance, bowled out for 55 in under 14 overs for what was the second lowest total in CPL history.
In response, the St Lucia Zouks needed just over 4.3 overs to seal the shortest chase in T20 franchise history, and surely the most dominant win knockout T20 cricket has ever seen, with Rahkeem Cornwall and Mark Deyal putting the Warriors’ bowlers to the sword. It takes them to their first ever CPL final, where they face the unblemished Trinbago Knight Riders, after what shaped up to be a potentially mouth-watering contest turned into something of an uncomfortable embarrassment. It perhaps serves as the exclamation mark to a competition that has lacked the competitive edge and drama that made it arguably the most fun T20 league around.
Start as you mean to go on
The Zouks were in control literally from start to finish, with Scott Kuggeleijn finding himself on a hat-trick after the fourth ball, having coaxed an edge from Brandon King, one ball before Shimron Hetmyer mysteriously shouldered arms to one heading straight for middle stump. The Warriors went into their shell thereafter, and as the wickets continued to tumble, the runs dried up further still. Kuggeleijn aside, it was a masterclass in strangling a side by spin, with Mohammad Nabi, Roston Chase, Zahir Khan, Javelle Glen and Mark Deyal sharing the wickets around. It was perhaps a sign of how listless the Warriors were with the bat that opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, who hung around until the 13th over and hit one of just two sixes all innings, is worthy of a mention.
Mohammad Nabi’s discipline
Having watched the bounce, swing and seam movement that Kuggeleijn achieved in that first over, Nabi might have wondered if this wasn’t the spinners’ paradise the CPL has generally thrown up this year. The New Zealander was a tough act to follow, but Nabi showed there would be no let-up from the other end, varying his pace and flight expertly as he kicked off with a maiden and intensifed the pressure on two new batsman. In a unit that teems with spinners, he was rewarded with three straight overs, and repaid his captain’s faith by allowing just six runs. He might have only taken Nicholas Pooran’s wicket, but could claim plenty of cricket for the ones that tumbled at the other end.
No hanging around
When it seemed like the Warriors’ day couldn’t get worse at the halfway mark, Cornwall and Deyal displayed otherwise, making a mockery of the Warriors’ struggles with the bat. There were complaints about the nature of the pitch when Chris Green’s men had bat in hand, but with the Zouks having taken 4.3 overs to gun down 56 without loss, you wonder if the demons were all in Warriors’ heads. Cornwall took apart the famously economical Green – setting a surprisingly passive field for such a low chase – in his first over, smashing two sixes over deep midwicket to set the tone for what would be a very brief innings. eyal, named Man of the Match for his all-round contribution, joined him in that approach, later saying he did not wish to get trapped in one of those horrible, low-scoring T20 games that chasing sides fall victim to. In 27 balls, the Zouks hit five fours and four sixes; the Warriors had only managed two of each all innings.
WBC creates ‘frontline’ championship belt for Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr., will also handle fight scoring
Despite being an exhibition bout, there will be a championship belt on the line when Mike Tyson returns to the ring to battle fellow former champion Roy Jones Jr. The WBC has created a “Frontline championship” that will be awarded to the winner of the fight, which has been titled the “Frontline Battle.”
Tyson, 54, and Jones, 51, are set to meet on Nov. 28 on pay-per-view. While the fight will be overseen by the California State Athletic Commission, the bout will be scored by a panel of three champions using the WBC’s remote scoring program, according to a press release.
CSAC executive director Andy Foster has insisted that the fight will be stopped if either man suffers a cut and that both Tyson and Jones should not be looking to score a knockout.
“I wanted to have their assurances that they understand, ‘I don’t care if they spar. I don’t care if they work.’ They are world-class athletes, even still,” Foster told BoxingScene.com in July. “They have a right to earn, and all these types of things. They’re about the same age. We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight. They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt. They know the deal.
“It’s an exhibition. They can exhibit their boxing skills, but I don’t want them using their best efforts to hurt each other. They’re going to spar hard, but they shouldn’t be going for a knockout. This isn’t a record-book type of fight. This is not world-championship boxing right now. It’s not what this is. People shouldn’t be getting knocked out. The public can see what kind of shape Roy and Mike are still in.”
YouTube star Jake Paul will fight former NBA player Nate Robinson in the night’s other featured bout, with former world champion Badou Jack also taking on Blake McKernan on the pay-per-view main card.
A press conference will be held for the event at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 29.
Rishabh Pant omitted from India’s white-ball squads, Varun Chakravarthy in T20I squad
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been omitted from India’s ODI and T20I squads for the upcoming Australia tour. Rohit Sharma, India’s white-ball vice-captain, who is currently nursing a hamstring injury in the IPL in the UAE, isn’t part of both the squads as well.
Tamil Nadu and Kolkata Knight Riders mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy earned his maiden national call-up on the back of his stellar performances in the ongoing IPL. Varun is the only player with a five-wicket haul so far this season, and in all he is the highest wicket-taker for the Knight Riders with 12 strikes at an excellent economy rate of 7.05.
India’s premier allrounder Hardik Pandya is set to play his first limited-overs international since September 2019. Pandya has undergone a back surgery surge and he returned to action in the IPL though he hasn’t bowled yet this season. According to Zaheer Khan, Mumbai Indians’ director of cricket operations, Pandya was “very keen” to bowl, but the team management has adopted a cautious approach, using him as a specialist batsman.
In the absence of Sharma, KL Rahul, who is captaining Kings XI Punjab, has been named Virat Kohli’s deputy in both the white-ball squads. Rahul is the only wicketkeeper in the ODI squad while India have another wicketkeeping option in Sanju Samson for the T20Is.
Varun, who had turned 29 just before IPL 2020 just August, played only 11 T20s before Monday. However, he has seven variations in his repertoire, and his victims in the IPL include David Warner, MS Dhoni, Pant, and Shreyas Iyer. Varun had also been the second-highest wicket-taker in the 2018-19 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy, with 22 scalps in nine matches at an economy rate of 4.23. However, a finger injury, sustained during his maiden IPL stint with the Kings XI Punjab in 2019, forced him out of action for more than a year.
Despite not playing any competitive cricket for a year, Dinesh Karthik, the former Knight Riders captain and the current Tamil Nadu white-ball captain, punted on him, with the Knight Riders shelling out INR 4 crore (USD 563,000 approx.) to get him on board. Varun has rewarded their faith, stepping up when Sunil Narine was placed on the IPL warning list, before his action was subsequently cleared. Varun’s Knight Riders team-mate Kuldeep Yadav was left out of the T20I squad, but was part of the ODI squad.
Ravindra Jadeja, who was the Chennai Super Kings’ finisher with the bat but struggled with the ball, was picked in both the white-ball squads over Axar Patel. Axar’s economy rate of 5.78 is the third best among bowlers who have bowled at least 25 overs this IPL. Under this condition, only Rashid Khan and Washington Sundar, who features in the T20I squad, have better economy rates.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will lead the seam attacks in both ODIs and T20Is. Fast bowler Navdeep Saini, who had suffered a split webbing in his bowling hand in the fixture against the Super Kings on Sunday, has been named in both squads well. Deepak Chahar is the fourth seamer in the T20I squad, with his Super Kings team-mate taking that spot in the ODI squad.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is currently nursing a thigh injury, will have to wait further for his international comeback. Kumar, who hasn’t played international cricket since December 2019, was set to make that comeback in the home ODI series against South Africa earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic struck and forced that series to be called off.
Karnataka and Kings XI’s Mayank Agarwal, who found a place in both sides, could be the back-up opener behind Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. Punjab and Knight Riders’ Shubman Gill wasn’t selected in the T20I squad, but could be another opening option for the ODIs.