Marshall and Cush top CT20 batting and bowling charts

The West Indies Cricket Board’s Caribbean T20 Tournament switches from Kensington Oval in Barbados to Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad with the final round of preliminaries on Wednesday. The first leg was full of drama and excitement and after eight matches the semifinalists have already been decided.

Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago both have eight points and have qualified from Group A; while Barbados and Guyana also have eight points and have moved forward from Group B. The matches on Wednesday and Thursday will determine the final positions on the table.

Xavier Marshall of Jamaica has emerged as the leading batsman with two half-centuries. Lennox Cush, the Guyanese off-spinner, is the leading bowler with two four-wicket hauls. Marshall smashed 62 not out against Leewards to win the Man-of-the-Match award and cracked equally-impressive 52 in the next match against Canada in the second match. So far he has made 114 runs at an average of 114.00 and a strike rate of 114.

“I have been given the chance to open the batting and my plan was to take that opportunity with both hands. I have been batting really well and basically things are going according to plan,” said the 26-year-old right-hander. “They (team-mates) asked me to show some responsibility and provide the team with a good start. So far things have worked out.”

The 35-year-old Cush, who has also represented the United States of America at the international level, is a veteran with 15 years experience in regional competitions. The wily slow bowler has so far bagged eight wickets off his eight overs at an average of 6.87 per wicket. In his team’s opening match against the Windwards he took 4-25 to help then secure victory. In the second match against Combined Campuses & Colleges he took an amazing hat-trick in the final over of the innings to end with 4-30.

“Bowling at the end of a T20 game is always tough but I know once I get the ball in the right areas, most of the time, I will get wickets. As a slow bowler, batsman are always tempted to come after me, and I see this as an advantage on my part … once they come after me I always have a chance of getting a wicket,” Cush said. “We are taking it as it comes. We came to the tournament to win five games – three in the first round, a semi and the final. We have two in the bag so its three more to go.”