The rock-bottom St Lucia Stars led by Darren Sammy have had a tournament to forget so far, they’ve played the same amount of games as the first-placed Knight Riders and have ended up on different ends of the scale.
Usually there’s a bit of sunlight peeping through a dark & miserable storm at times, that hasn’t been the case for St Lucia though who have lost five-consecutive games in this years CPL with a permanent dark & gloomy storm cloud hanging over them. There’s absolutely no consistency whatsoever, they haven’t had ONE consistent player that has produced a string of good scores with the bat or a handful of wickets without conceding ridiculous amounts of runs. Captain Darren Sammy, Andre Fletcher and Jerome Taylor are the only candidates remotely close to performing on a semi-consistent level, but even they have had their ups and downs which is probably a good refection of their tournament up until now. With the PCB announcing that they’ll recall all their players currently participating in the County cricket and CPL, as bad as it sounds the Stars might actually benefit from losing the out-of-form Kamran Akmal who has had an absolute shocker of a tournament for St Lucia. Just to give you an idea of how bad it’s actually been for the Pakistani veteran, he’s scored 29 runs in five games, that’s an average of 5.8 for a specialist wicketkeeper-batsman! It was good to see Johnson Charles and Shane Watson back in the runs column, both looked quite fluent compared to Marlon Samuels and Kamran Akmal who were dismissed cheaply yet again. The Stars need to fire with the bat, it’s crucial if they are any chance to stay in the game due to the bowling attack struggling on numerous occasions throughout the tournament, the real big let down has been Kiwi quick Mitchell McClenaghan who hasn’t been able to heavily impact any matches so far as their front-line bowler.
The Tallawahs are in a good position heading into this match, they’re currently sitting fourth on the points table and could overtake the Tridents in third position if they win tomorrow. Opener Lendl Simmons has been one of the form-batsman of the competition this year, the Trinidadian has maintained a healthy batting average of 40.33 in Jamaica’s first three games of the tournament and is expected to reach new heights heading into the next faze of the CPL for the Tallawahs. This is where the match may be won or lost, Jamaica have been able to produce more players who have contributed a significant amount of runs when needed – Kumar Sangakkara, Andre McCarthy and Shakib Al Hasan have all stood up at least once in the three games so far to accommodate Simmons at the other end. It has been confirmed that Shakib will be leaving for the test series against Australia in late August, giving an opportunity to New Zealander Glenn Phillips. What hasn’t been confirmed is when he’ll be leaving, he might play the reaming games for the Tallawahs this week before flying back to Bangladesh. Out of all the bowling attacks in this years CPL, Jamaica probably have one of the best functioning ones in terms of taking wickets. Krishmar Santokie, Kesrick Williams and just recently Odean Smith have taken 14 wickets between them in three games which is an outstanding statistic, they have a significantly more efficient attack compared to the Stars. Pakistani duo Mohammad Sami & Imad Wasim also feature in that attack, unfortunately they will lose both bowlers to the PCB soon.
Looking at both teams on paper, St Lucia should win this every day of the week, but it’s their form that suggests otherwise. If the Stars can expose the Tallawahs middle order, they are a huge chance to pull off a major upset. That’s easy to say, but dismissing Jamaica’s top three batsman who are all capable scorers will test them thoroughly. Jamaica can’t afford to lose a sixth-consecutive match, their chances of making finals have almost diminished…this result could seal their fate.
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Lucia Stars | 14th match | Gros Islet
- Shane Watson
- Jerome Taylor
- Andre Fletcher
- Marlon Samuels
- Kyle Mayers
Top 5 fantasy picks | Jamaica Tallawahs | 14th match | Gros Islet
- Lendl Simmons
- Krishmar Santokie
- Kesrick Williams
- Andre McCarthy
- Kumar Sangakkara
St Lucia Stars (possible) – 1. Johnson Charles 2. Andre Fletcher 3. Marlon Samuels 4. Shane Watson 5. Kamran Akmal/Jesse Ryder 6. Darren Sammy (c) 7. Kyle Mayers 8. Rahkeem Cornwall 9. Shane Shillingford/Eddie Leie 10. Mitchell McClenaghan 11. Jerome Taylor.
Jamaica Tallawahs (possible) – 1. Kumar Sangakkara (c & wk) 2. Lendl Simmons 3. Andre McCarthy 4. Rovman Powell 5. Shakib Al Hasan 6. Jonathan Foo 7. Imad Wasim 8. Krishmar Santokie 9. Odean Smith 10. Mohammad Sami 11. Kesrick Williams.