After finishing as runners-up in the previous two editions, Saint Lucia Kings continued their impressive run in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) as the Faf du Plessis-led side qualified for the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
Despite a challenging start to the CPL 2022 season, the Kings peaked at the right time to finish third in the league phase.
Here’s how their journey through the season looked like.
A challenging start
The Kings opened their campaign with back-to-back losses against Trinbago Knight Riders and Barbados Royals in their first two matches of the tournament. While the two-time finalists faced a three-wicket defeat against the Knight Riders, they also recorded a 11-run loss (D/L method) against Barbados Royals in a rain-curtailed second fixture.
Experiencing an unfortunate start, the Kings quickly bounced back to beat the formidable Jamaica Tallawahs by chasing down 164 and secure a two-wicket win in their third match of CPL 2022.
In the next two matches, the Saint Lucia Kings encountered a dip in form as they succumbed to a six-wicket loss against the dominant Barbados Royals and also suffered defeat against the Guyana Amazon Warriors by the same scoreline.
With the CPL 2022 playoff qualifications on the line, the Kings showcased their true abilities to register three victories on the trot under newly-appointed head coach and former West Indies captain Daren Sammy.
The Faf du Plessis’ men thrashed St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in back-to-back matches before continuing their resurgence with a solitary-run win over three-time CPL champions Trinbago Knight Riders in a nail-biting fixture.
In the business end of the tournament, the Kings went down to Guyana Amazon Warriors by six wickets while their fixture against Jamaica Tallawahs was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Into the playoffs, again
With nine points from 10 matches, Saint Lucia Kings stormed into the playoffs for the third year in a row.
Having finished third, Saint Lucia Kings faced Jamaica Tallawahs in the Eliminator, which resulted in a 33-run defeat for the Kings, thus ending their CPL 2022 campaign.
Interestingly, the Kings reached the CPL 2022 playoffs on the back of some incredible individual performances.
Opening batter Johnson Charles was in scintillating form throughout the season as he amassed 345 runs in nine matches at an impressive average of 43.12 and a strike rate of 133.20. He smashed four fifties in the tournament.
Along with Charles, skipper Faf du Plessis was one of the standout players for the Kings, accumulating 332 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 168.52 while also maintaining an average of 41.50. He registered one hundred and one fifty in CPL 2022.
In the bowling department, Alzarri Joseph was the wrecker-in-chief for the Kings as he picked 18 wickets in 11 matches at an economy of 6.75.
South African-Namibian cricketer David Wiese also played a crucial role for the Kings this season, scoring 126 runs and claiming 12 wickets in the 10 matches that he played.
With a noteworthy CPL 2022 campaign, the Saint Lucia Kings will certainly hope to go all the way to the summit in the next season.