Mixed fortunes for IPL recruits

Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran were all a part of the victorious Mumbai Indians squad at the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Like the other West Indians at this year’s edition they all had a mixed tournament.

Many of the players were inconsistent while some showed glimpses of why they were there. Pollard had a very impressive season scoring 385 runs from his 17 matches consisting of three half- centuries and a top score of 70.

Sunil Narine, better known for his crafty bowling and bamboozling batsmen, surprised many with his batting displays, recording the joint-fastest half-century ever scored in the IPL. The Trinidadian off-spinner was promoted to open the batting after Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) star batsman Chris Lynn suffered a shoulder injury. Narine took instantly to the role and among his swashbuckling knocks was a rapid 50 from 15 balls. Narine finished the tournament with a career-high 224 runs and picked up 10 wickets before his KKR team were knocked out in the playoff round.

Dwayne Smith and his Gujarat Lions team struggled to get going throughout the tournament. Smith began the tournament batting in the middle order where he was not as effective. He was soon promoted to his regular position, opening the batting, where he got going. In his 12 matches smith scored 239 runs including two half centuries and picked up two wickets. He had a top score in the tournament of 74 in a match winning innings.

Nicholas Pooran suited up for Mumbai Indians in the nets only during IPL 2017.

Chris Gayle’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had a horrible tournament. The team recorded three wins from fourteen games. Gayle who looked to be struggling with fitness issues only managed to play nine games in this year’s tournament tallying 200 runs and scoring one half century, 77, in the tournament. This was his poorest performance ever in the IPL.

Samuel Badree also played for RCB and his season was satisfactory. Badree picked up nine wickets from 7 matches, including a hattrick against the Mumbai Indians to finish with figures of 4 for 9 in a losing cause.

Lendl Simmons at the beginning of the tournament found it difficult to get a game. He eventually got his chance in the closing stages of the tournament producing mixed performances. He featured in seven games scoring 137 runs, scoring two half centuries with a top score of 66.

Marlon Samuels was called up late in the tournament as a replacement player for the Delhi Daredevils and he never showed up. In five matches Samuels only managed to score 29 runs with a highest score of 27.

A few other West Indians featured in the tournament but were reduced to limited to no games due to the number of overseas players allowed per game. These other West Indians at the IPL included Darren Sammy (Kings XI Punjab), Carlos Brathwaite (Delhi Daredevils), Darren Bravo (Kolkata Knightriders), Nicholas Pooran (Mumbai Indians) and Rovman Powell (Kolkata Knight Riders). Sammy did not get a game, nor did Powell. Bravo played once while Brathwaite failed to shine in the few outings he got and the Daredevils seemed reluctant to play him. At one stage though allowed to play four overseas cricketers, the Delhi franchise played only three with Brathwaite on their books.

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