After 22 days and 32 matches, we have arrived at the judgement day, the day we've all been waiting for. For the final, we have Trinbago Knight Riders up against St Lucia Zouks, undoubtedly two of the best teams in the tournament so far. But let's look back at how the 7th edition of CPL went so far.
The CPL 2020 will be remembered for so many reasons. It will be written in history as the first major domestic T20 competition that took place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also be written for being the first T20 league that took place behind closed doors.
The first match of the CPL 2020 was a rain-marred encounter. It was between Trinbago Knight Riders and Guyana Amazon Warriors. Sunil Narine announced the start of the tournament in style with 50 off 28 and 4-0-19-2. It was unfortunate for him to miss second half of the season due to Kidney Stones surgery. But he is back in the Trinbago team and upbeat for the final. The team so far has been unbeaten in the tournament. Right from the first match, they've been competitive, balanced, and versatile in their approach.
St Lucia Zouks, on the other hand, had a roller coaster ride. They kept on winning and losing matches and never really maintained a streak. But in the end, they found themselves on the third spot of the table and now are in the finals. The final will be a golden opportunity to get rid of the tag of "whipping boys, minnows, and the basement dwellers" they've earned over the years because of underwhelming performances. Simply put, the last time they qualified for semis was in 2016 when they secured the fourth position.
Looking at the scoreboard, we can conclude CPL 2020 belongs to the bowlers. Many of the matches were low scoring. Teams struggled to score on the slow pitches. Matches were played on the same surface over and over again which deteriorated the pitches. Because of the bio bubble, the entire CPL 2020 was played in Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba and Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain.
The star of the tournament so far have been Afghan spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman and Scott Kuggeleijn. Both have picked up 16 wickets each. Meanwhile, Mohammad Nabi tasted his first T20 5-wicket haul when he took 5/15 in his 4 overs against St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots. St. Lucia will once again bank on Mohammad Nabi for one last time.
Talking about the most disappointing team of the season, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, they never really got going in the tournament. They were only able to win one game in CPL 2020. Failure of top players like Evin Lewis, Chris Lynn, Ben Dunk, and Sheldon Cottrell meant captain Riyad Emrit had no one to look up to. This is a season they'll like to forget.
The IPL teams must've closely followed the CPL 2020. Not only the matches and performances, but also how to conduct a league safely and in the right way. Not a single contamination case was reported in the entire league. This shows how successful the 2020 season has been.