T20 Challenge

T20 Challenge: 9 players who stood out

2017-12-18 08:42
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The RAM SLAM T20 Challenge, thrown together at the last minute after the postponement of the T20 Global League, is over for another year. 

READ: Titans win T20 title for third straight year

Saturday's final between the Titans and Dolphins at Centurion was an incredibly disappointing end to the season as the hosts secured the easiest of victories, but it was fully deserved given how dominant the star-studded Titans have been throughout the competition. 

Attention will now turn to the national side as they play in the first ever four-day, day/night Test against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth on Boxing Day. 

But, for now, let's take a look back over the past few weeks and see who the biggest performers were throughout the T20 Challenge. 

The Titans, naturally, have more players than any other franchise included. 

REEZA HENDRICKS (Lions)

Runs - 361

Average - 120.33

S/R - 137.78

Hendricks, who hasn't really kicked on since making his Proteas T20I debut in 2014, finished the tournament as the leading run scorer despite having only batted seven times. With two 50s and one very impressive century - one of only two in the tournament - to his name, he has thrown himself right back into the national equation ahead of the India tour.

FARHAAN BEHARDIEN (Titans)

Runs - 234

Average - 234

S/R - 165.95

Behardien may only have finished 12th on the run chart, but his sublime form was highlighted by the fact that he was only dismissed once all competition. Behardien has always had a reputation as one of the best finishers on the domestic circuit, and that has been even further enhanced after this T20 campaign. At 34, he is running out of time to transfer it to the international stage, though. 

AB DE VILLIERS (Titans)

Runs - 259

Average - 64.75

S/R - 200.77

De Villiers proved that his shot-making is still very much his strength and that is good news for the Proteas as they plot the way through the next couple of years. His ability to clear the ropes from seemingly any length or line is almost super-human, and having him play in a South African domestic tournament was incredibly refreshing.

TABRAIZ SHAMSI (Titans)

Wickets - 16

Average - 15.31

Economy - 7.00

Shamsi was a threat throughout the campaign and finished as the tournament's leading wicket-taker. With Keshav Maharaj now South Africa's first-choice spinner in Test cricket, Shamsi has put up his hand to take over the limited overs mantle from Imran Tahir. Consistency has always been the key for Shamsi, who seems to bowling less and less freebies. 

LUNGI NGIDI (Titans)

Wickets - 13

Average - 12.84

Economy - 7.15

Ngidi has been out with injury for a long time and this was one of the most encouraging things to come out of the tournament from a Proteas perspective. Still just 21, Ngidi has an incredibly bright future and he demonstrated throughout the T20 campaign that the hype is warranted. He did play two games less than Shamsi and may have challenged his team-mate as the tournament's leading wicket-taker had he played a couple more matches.  

DANE PATERSON (Cape Cobras)

Wickets - 12

Average - 17.16

Economy - 7.35

Another good sign from a Proteas perspective. Paterson has struggled somewhat since being introduced into the national set-up, but he had a good tournament here that will do wonders for his confidence. The Cobras, of course, were knocked out in a controversial washed out semi-final against the Dolphins, but Paterson will hope that he has done enough to feature in the limited overs matches against India early next year. 

MORNE VAN WYK (Dolphins)

Runs - 262

Average - 52.40

S/R - 150.57

Still going strong at the age of 38. Van Wyk is often criticised for not being explosive enough in this format, but his strike rate in this tournament tells a different story. Part of a Dolphins side that had six matches washed out throughout the season, Van Wyk's time at the crease was limited. Based on what we saw throughout this campaign, he still has a lot to offer domestic cricket in South Africa. 

DAVID MILLER (Knights)

Runs - 323

Average - 64.60

S/R - 142.92

Miller scored the fastest T20I century ever against Bangladesh in October, and he continued that form in this year's T20 Challenge. He carded three 50s in eight knocks. With six ODIs and three T20Is pencilled in for India next year, having Miller in form is good news for Proteas coach Ottis Gibson.

CHRIS MORRIS (Titans)

Wickets - 5 

Average - 14.37

Economy - 6.63

Morris returned from a back injury in this tournament and was sublime. He only played in five matches and his economy rate was the best of all the top wicket-takers in the competition. His batting opportunities were limited due to the dominance of the Titans top order, but Morris is bowling quickly and looking a force ahead of the international summer.

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