Two two-time champions, packed with match-winners, chasing their third 3rd CPL trophy. It all comes down to September 30 in Guyana.
It has been a season to remember for Barbados Royals, who scripted a remarkable turnaround from a bottom-place finish last season, winning 8 of their 10 league matches and a sensational victory in Qualifier 1 to head straight to the final of CPL 2022. From dodging the tricky rains in St Kitts to cruising through St Lucia, Trinidad and Guyana, they have dominated the opposition on different pitches and in varying conditions in their own, 'Royals' way. That they've done it without their regular skipper David Miller and the experienced Quinton de Kock towards the end speaks volumes of the bench strength and the quality in the squad.
This year continues to be special for the Royals as a franchise group as well, with Rajasthan Royals first finishing as IPL 2022 finalists, followed by Barbados Royals Women winning the first-ever edition of The 6IXTY. Under Kyle Mayers, the men's team too was sensational throughout The 6IXTY but were faced with a loss in the semi-final. Now, as they prepare for yet another final, skipper Mayers will hope they go one step further this time around and complete the circle.
Rovman Powell's Jamaica Tallawahs have also been impressive, to say the least. The 2021 season wasn't their finest, where they finished just one spot above the Royals in fifth place. But this season not only saw them finishing in fourth place on the points table with 4 wins in 10 matches, but also fighting their way through the Eliminator, and then winning Qualifier 2 to book their berth in the finale.
With over 1700 runs each, both teams are leading the batting charts in CPL 2022, meaning we've got a cracker of a batting contest on the cards. The Royals have also picked the most wickets by any team in this tournament, and are arguably the best fielding side among all.
The Numbers Game
The two sides have faced off in 20 T20s, 10 of which have been won by Tallawahs and the Royals aren't too far behind with 9 victories. 1 game ended without a result. And since 2020, the Royals have had an upper hand, winning 4 of the 6 encounters against them.
Both teams have had enough experience of playing in a high-pressure final of a tournament like the CPL. The Royals have won two of their three finals (2014 & 2019), whereas the Tallawahs have a 100% winning record, winning their two titles in 2013 and 2016. The Providence Stadium in Guyana has been an equally happy hunting ground for the two teams, who have a success rate of over 50% here.
In the Spotlight: Rahkeem Cornwall
"For the past few games, they stuck with me and today I wanted to give something back to the team."
What a revelation Jimbo has been this season! Against Guyana Amazon Warriors in Qualifier 1, his brilliant 91 became his team's highest individual score of the tournament so far and also set the Royals up for an important win. Despite coming off a string of low scores and having missed some games earlier in the season, the 'batting all-rounder' as he likes to call himself, showed tremendous confidence and repaid the team's faith in him with his all-round performance.
Rahkeem's daring approach with the bat not only makes him an able partner to Mayers at the top but also ensures the Royals have a successful Powerplay first up. With 206 runs, he's already the third joint-highest run-scorer for his team this season and also loves batting at this venue. Except for spinner Imad Wasim who has dismissed him on two occasions, Rahkeem has dominated the Tallawahs' bowling unit, striking at over 140 against Chris Green and at a whopping 290 against Raymon Reifer.
• Jason Holder needs 1 six for 100 sixes in T20s
• Azam Khan is 2 short of 100 T20 sixes
• Jason Holder needs 38 more for 1000 runs for Barbados Royals
• Barbados Royals needs 1 win for 50 wins in T20s.