TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
Who is the most successful South African with the bat in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL)? It’s not AB de Villiers. Nor is it David Miller or Faf du Plessis, or wild cards like Wayne Parnell and David Wiese.
Instead, it’s Hashim Amla, whose 187 runs in four innings for the Trinbago Knight Riders makes him the competition’s leading batsman.
Which might prompt questions about the financial nous of those running the CPL: Amla’s services were acquired for the equivalent of R1.3-million, De Villiers and Du Plessis for almost R1.9-million each, and Miller’s for R2.3-million.
Amla’s 81 against the Barbados Tridents in Port of Spain on Friday is the second-highest score of the tournament.
Part of that innings was a stand of 150 Amla shared with Dwayne Bravo – a T20 world record for the fifth wicket.
Amla’s runs flowed off 54 balls, featured five fours and four sixes, and were taken off an attack that included Parnell and Wiese.
Parnell was drilled for 25 runs off the 11 balls he bowled to Amla, 20 of which were smashed in boundaries. Wiese got off more lightly, conceding 11 runs off his dozen deliveries to Amla.
The triseries between West Indies, Australia and SA in the Caribbean last month served as Amla’s warm-up for the CPL. He was the only SA batsman to score a century and top 200 runs in the tournament.
“I’m very fortunate starting the CPL to have had the last three weeks already here playing at most of the venues,” Amla told the Trinidad Guardian before the start of the CPL.
“So to have some sort of experience of the different conditions is gold, but T20 cricket is a completely different format to ODIs.”
Du Plessis has scored 66 runs in three trips to the crease for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. Miller’s two innings for the St Lucia Zouks have produced 37 runs. De Villiers has played just one game for Barbados, in which he made 12.
The leading SA bowler in the tournament is left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who is joint second among the wicket-takers with three scalps in four games for St Kitts and Nevis. Shamsi is also ahead of his compatriots in terms of average and economy rate.
They include Dale Steyn, who has 2/77 from his two games for the Jamaica Tallawahs, and Morne Morkel, who has had two matches for St Lucia and taken 2/71.