Sep 21, 2021 Sports
Selected for Everest Premier League in Nepal…
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News – Left-handed opening batsman and useful left-arm spinner Chanderpaul Hemraj scored the only century by a Guyana Amazon Warriors batsman in the recently concluded ninth edition of the Hero CPL T20 cricket tournament in St Kitts.
The dashing stroke-player fashioned an enterprising unbeaten 105 against the Barbados Royals to join Faf du Plessis and Evin Lewis as the only batsmen in this year’s CPL to register a three-figure score.
Although Hemraj ended with 254 runs, second only to Skipper Nicolas Pooran’s 263 for the Warriors, he failed to convert five starts in fifties including when he looked well set on 39.
“I thought I should have been more consistent and that is something I have to work on” said the former West Indies U-19 batsman who played the first of his six ODIs for the West Indies against India in 2018.
Hemraj made his CPL debut in 2018 for the then St Lucia Stars and made 37 in his only innings before he played the first of his 31 games for the Warriors in 2019. In his debut season for his home Franchise he made 299 runs with two fifties but just managed a top score of 27 in 2000 before getting his only T20 ton this year.
“The century against Barbados was pleasing because of the amount of work I did before coming into this tournament” explained Hemraj, who has a hundred and 10 fifties in 31 First-Class games since making his debut against Trinidad & Tobago as a teenager in 2012.
Hemraj, who turned 28 on the 3rd of this month, said that all the teams had quality players which made the tournament very competitive. St Kitts Patriots, who beat St Lucia Kings in the final, defeated the Warriors twice in the preliminary round and again in the semi-final.
“Every team except Barbados, could have qualified for the semis at the start of the final round. So yes I think this year was one of the most competitive CPL’s. I am disappointed that we could not make it past the semis,” continued Hemraj, who has two centuries and three half-centuries from 40 Regional 50-over matches.
In the semi-final, Hemraj and Brandon King, who both made 27, give the Warriors a solid start of 33 in 3.3 overs while Shimron Hetmyer hit a belligerent unbeaten 45 as the Warriors posted 179-9.
However, Chris Gayle (42) and Lewis (77) added 76 in 7.2 overs before Dwayne Bravo (34) ensured that patriots galloped to 181-3 with 13 balls to spare. Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair, who dismissed Gayle, had 1-31 with an economy rate of 7.75.
Sinclair, who was not given many opportunities in the CPL despite being a member of the West Indies T20 team, was the only bowler with an economy rate of less than 10. Hemraj, who disclosed that living in the ‘bubble’ was really mentally draining for him, explained why he thought Guyana did not reach a sixth final (they have never won a title) in nine-year history of the CPL.
“I thought we had a good score but it’s just that the bowlers had an off-day…they were really good throughout the tournament except in the semi-final” Hemraj said.
Only TKR’s pacer Ravi Rampaul (19) had more wickets than Warriors fast bowlers, Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith (18 each) while leg-spinner Imran Tahir was sixth on the wicket-takers list with 13 scalps.
Hemraj, who says his bowling is coming along pretty good and helping in his overall cricket, has been playing for the past few years in the USA where he says the cricket has really been developing at a fast pace.
The East Coast, Demerara player informed that he was selected for the Everest Premier League in Nepal. “I see that as a really good opportunity and hopefully I will get some success in the sub-continent,” concluded Hemraj, who stressed that he is always available to play for Guyana in the First-Class and 50-overs formats.
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