The Caribbean Premier League is back bigger & better then ever for another year, and to kick things off it’s the St Lucia Stars up against the Trinbago Knight Riders.
The St Lucia Stars will be hoping to end the Knight Riders winning streak in the head-to-head battle, Trinbago have won their last two matches against the Stars spanning back to last years tournament. With all that said and done, the Stars have some power-hitters in their ranks with locals Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher, along with the added bonuses of International signings David Miller and Kamran Akmal. Led by the lovable & passionate Darren Sammy, expect a lot of energy from St Lucia out in the field. Australian all-rounder Shane Watson was a regular in last years CPL, his batting ability at the top of the order and his consistent line & length bowling will again be an integral part of the sides success in 2017. The match could be won & lost in the bowling department, the addition of Lasith Malinga should boost their attack despite it’s lack of depth. Spinner Shane Shillingford is the dark horse for the Stars, he’s a proven performer at 34-years-of-age but has managed to fly under the radar at times, resulting in some wicket-friendly bowling figures. St Lucia’s key players must fire if they’re any chance of beating a jam-packed Knight Riders side, there can be no margin for error against quality opposition teams like Trinbago.
For Trinbago Knight Riders fans, there’s exciting times ahead in this years CPL with some outstanding talent on display. The Bravo brothers will be a star-studded duo for the Knight Riders, Darren is expected to excel with the bat in the top order while Dwayne will use his all-round capabilities to his advantage, he’s been one of the marque T20 players in tournaments around the world and should continue to dominate on his home turf. It’s worth mentioning that Dwayne Bravo’s wicket-taking ability is as good as anyone’s in this format, he’s often come away with 2-3 wickets each game along with the odd four-wicket haul which makes him one to watch yet again. Working in tandem with Bravo at the other end will be the mystery-spinner Sunil Narine, it’s no secret that he’s one of the best spin bowlers in this format going around and has been a regular for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, the biggest T20 tournament in world by popular demand. Possibly the biggest thread to opposition teams around the world, if you’re talking about players who can turn a match on it’s head within a blink of an eye, look no further than Brendon ‘Baz’ McCullum. Consistency isn’t his biggest strength, but that’s quickly forgotten when the former Black Caps skipper unleashes a hell-storm on the opposition bowling attack, the forecast – fours, sixes, fours….and more sixes! He’ll have fans ducking for cover when he’s got his eye in, a prolific entertainer that you’d happily pay to come & watch at the ground.
The Knight Riders possess a lot of spin in their squad this year, whereas the Stars have gone for a more quick and pacey attack. On paper, you’d say that Trinbago look the stronger team and have a lot more depth in both areas of the game. Twenty20 cricket provides us with an evenly contested game that has the potential to go either way, but it’s hard to see St Lucia upsetting a team that features McCullum, the Bravo brothers and Sunil Narine along with a handful of proven performers in the CPL.
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Lucia Stars | 1st match | Gros Islet
- Johnson Charles
- Andre Fletcher
- Shane Watson
- Marlon Samuels
- Jerome Taylor
Top 5 fantasy picks | Trinbago Knight Riders | 1st match | Gros Islet
- Dwayne Bravo
- Brendon McCullum
- Sunil Narine
- Darren Bravo
- Colin Munro
Team News | St Lucia Stars
Bad news for the St Lucia Stars, David Miller is currently away on International duties and is expected to play for South Africa A, ruling him out for a significant chunk of the CPL. Sri Lanka’s star bowler Lasith Malinga will miss the match due to injury, a big loss ahead of the first game of the tournament.
St Lucia Stars (possible) – 1. Johnson Charles 2. Andre Fletcher (wk) 3. Marlon Samuels 4. Kamran Akmal 5. Shane Watson 6. Darren Sammy (c) 7. Kyle Mayers 8. Shane Shillingford 9. Keddy Lesporis/Mitchell McClenaghan 10. Jerome Taylor 11. Eddie Leie.
Team News | Trinbago Knight Riders
Trinbago don’t have any injury concerns, Hashim Amla is currently away due to International commitments, but apart from that they have a full squad to pick from.
Trinbago Knight Riders (possible) – 1. William Perkins (wk) 2. Brendon McCullum 3. Colin Munro 4. Darren Bravo 5. Denesh Ramdin (wk) 6. Dwayne Bravo (c) 7. Sunil Narine 8. Javon Scantlebury-Searles/Mehedi Hasan Miraz 9. Kevon Cooper 10. Nikita Miller 11. Ronsford Beaton/Shadab Khan.