If the Tallawahs can defeat the Patriots in this upcoming match, they’ll overtake what is a strong St Kitts & Nevis outfit sitting outright second on the points table, currently one win ahead of Jamaica.
The worrying factor for Jamaica heading into the playoffs very shortly was that their captain was almost chewing up a spot in the top order due to his struggling form, now that may sound a bit harsh on Kumar Sangakkara but it was the blatant truth at the time. In his past two games, Sangakkara finally reached his lofty-expectations as an International superstar with back-to-back half centuries against the Stars and Knight Riders almost doubling his entire input for the tournament so far in just two single matches! There’s a famous saying – you can’t keep a good man down, well in Sanga’s case, he was kept down for quite a while but it’s better late than never (especially with the playoffs in their sights). The Trinbago Knight Riders clearly look the team to beat in CPL 2017, Jamaica battled vigorously to try and drag things back after Brendon McCullum’s colossal 91 accompanied by Colin Munro and Darren Bravo who combined for another 70 runs in no time which was always going to be difficult to match in those circumstances. To be playing against the top two teams in back-to-back games before the playoffs is just ridiculously unlucky, in saying that this could be an advantage for Jamaica who might gain some much needed match experience against the very best before the real important games begin. The positive thing about this Tallawahs side is that they have maintained form players throughout the tournament as well as worked players into form. Although expensive, Krishmar Santokie has taken consecutive multiple-wicket outings with the ball, Rovman Powell is starting to score 30’s down the order and just recently picked up two wickets against Trinbago as a part-timer and Kumar Sangakkara has scored 74* & 53 in his past two innings. Lets not forget about Andre McCarthy and Lendl Simmons, two very dangerous batsmen who have each played their role for the team so far in the tournament. The potential match winner has to be Lendl Simmons, he’s a big-game player who can be just as destructive as Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle when firing.
Very-similar to the Kumar Sangakkara situation, Patriots skipper Chris Gayle has produced two back-to-back explosive knocks as he makes his presence felt ahead of the highly-anticipated CPL playoffs. If it wasn’t for a rain-effected contest, the Patriots may well have beaten the table-topping Knight Riders given their score at the thirteen over mark. It was probably the worst possible outcome for St Kitts & Nevis, the Trinbago side have a batting line-up specializing & accustomed to ultra-quick scoring and that was exactly what led them to victory courtesy of the Duckworth-Lewis system. If anyone has the batting power to match a team like Trinbago, it’s the Patriots. The mentality of an in form Chris Gayle is the stuff of nightmares for opposition bowlers, he’s so damaging that not even the best bowler in the competition can combat his “Gayle force striking”. What’s even more intimidating is that he has a replica at the other end called Evin Lewis, someone who has looked up to Chris Gayle as a mentor as well as styling his game on the great man which has seen some damaging knocks handed down to opposition teams in this years CPL. His most memorable of them coming in match 10 against St Lucia, pounding the opposition into submission with a blistering 52-ball 92 in what could only be described as a clinical hitting spree. This is a team that heavily-relies on their opening pair, both are arguably the best batsmen in the side in terms of impact and scoring ability which leaves the likes of Shamarh Brooks, Brandon King, Carlos Brathwaite, Mohammad Nabi and Jonathan Carter left to chip in when required. That’s not usually how a well-balanced & functioning team works, but it’s been more than successful so far with Carlos Brathwaite and Mohammad Nabi finishing strongly on numerous occasions for the Patriots. The bowling hasn’t been all that settled, apart from Samuel Badree who hasn’t missed a game as of yet, they’ve had to find alternatives to replace outgoing players like Hasan Ali and Mohammad Hafeez. Badree, Nabi and Hafeez who all happen to be spinners have been the Patriots most influential bowlers in the wickets department, they’ve also produced some very economical spells throughout CPL 2017.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Jamaica Tallawahs | 26th match | Kingston
- Kumar Sangakkara
- Glenn Phillips
- Andre McCarthy
- Krishmar Santokie
- Rovman Powell
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Kitts & Nevis Patriots | 26th match | Kingston
- Chris Gayle
- Evin Lewis
- Samuel Badree
- Mohammad Nabi
- Carlos Brathwaite
Jamaica Tallawahs (possible) – 1. Lendl Simmons 2. Glenn Phillips 3. Kumar Sangakkara (c & wk) 4. Andre McCarthy 5. Mahmudullah 6. Rovman Powell 7. Jonathan Foo 8. Krishmar Santokie 9. Gary Mathurin 10. Odean Smith 11. Kesrick Williams.
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (possible) – 1. Chris Gayle (c) 2. Evin Lewis 3. Shamarh Brooks/Mohammad Hafeez 4. Brandon King 5. Carlos Brathwaite 6. Mohammad Nabi 7. Jonathan Carter 8. Devon Thomas (wk) 9. Samuel Badree 10. Ben Hilfenhaus/Sheldon Cottrell 11. Tabraiz Shamsi.