Review of 2022 CG United Super50 tournament: Caribbean batsmen need to score more centuries
By Brandon Corlette
The 2022 CG United Super50 tournament has recently been concluded. It was won by the Jamaica Scorpions, who defeated the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in the ultimate game played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
While it was good to see some of the region’s top players in action, there is room for improvement relative to the quality of cricket that was played. In an era wherein 300 runs per team is around par in 50-over games, this Super50 tournament saw only five scores per team in excess of 300.
And while the pitches in the Caribbean are not the greatest for batsmen, teams were in position to score in excess of 300 runs, but lost their way. Only seven centuries and 48 half-centuries were recorded in the tournament.
It was a good season for Rovman Powell. The Jamaican skipper led his team to glory, and scored 346 runs in the process — the most runs scored by an individual in the season. He had an average of 69.20, with one century and one half-century. He showed maturity in a batting order that lacked star-studded players.
Nicholas Pooran, the Red Force captain, scored two fifties and one century, finishing with 342 runs in seven innings at an average of 114. Brandon King, who failed to score a century, had two half-centuries and an aggregate of 337 runs. Shai Hope of Barbados Pride scored 311 runs at an average of 51, with three fifties under his belt.
With most teams playing seven matches, only four batsmen were able to score in excess of 300 runs this season. Kjorn Ottley, who got starts in most of his matches for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, finished with 297 runs at 49.5. Alick Athanaze of the Windward Islands, who started the tournament with back-to-back centuries, faded in the end, as he finished with 292 runs at an average of 48.66. Guyana’s shining light with the bat, Tevin Imlach, made 268 runs at an average of 44, while Kaveem Hodge, who received the “best all-rounder award” with ten wickets, scored 261 runs at an average of 52.2.
Darren Bravo, who is looking for a West Indies recall, scored 240 runs at an average of 48, with three fifties to his name. Bravo, along with Hope and King, would have wanted to score at least one century.
Meanwhile, the veteran Shannon Gabriel showed his class and pace with 15 wickets at an average of 14.20. Gabriel, Odean Smith and Nicholson Gordon have each claimed 15 wickets. In addition to Odean Smith, who claimed a five-wicket haul, Jonathan Carter had a five-wicket haul.
The off-spinner Kofee James had 14 wickets, while Dennis Bulli and Gudakesh Motie each had 14 wickets. Jeavor Royal and Yannic Cariah each had 12 wickets, while Romario Shepherd, Kaveem Hodge and Akeal Hosein each had 10 wickets in the season.
King, who dropped catches in the crunch matches, ended with the most catches by a fielder in the season, with eight catches, while the veteran Chadwick Walton, who played a match-winning 80 in the final, had the most dismissals. He finished with nine in the season.
The 2022 Super50 season had only one 200-plus run partnership, with Alick Athanaze and Hodge scoring 208 runs for the second wicket for Windward Islands Volcanoes.
For most of the matches, fans were not out in their numbers, and this shows the lack of interest in regional cricket in the Caribbean, in contrast to the earlier days where fans showed up and supported.
Kudos must be given to Cricket West Indies for organising this tournament and giving Caribbean people the opportunity to live stream matches on YouTube. Another bright light that emerged from the tournament was the involvement of the West Indies Academy. However, some fans in the United States of America were not able to livestream these matches, and the US$250 “Player of the Match” prize money, especially in the finals, should be reviewed for future tournaments.