Two very impressive batting line-ups will battle it out in the tournament opener tomorrow night at Queen’s Park Oval as the Caribbean gets set for a month of jam-packed entertainment! One of the most colourful & flavourful competitions going around in terms of the unique atmosphere and excitement factor, the CPL certainly lives up to its motto as the biggest party in sport.
With the addition of star Aussie batsman Chris Lynn for CPL18, Trinbago’s batting power has peaked at an all-time high with the likes of Brendon McCullum, Colin Munro and Darren Bravo forming a formidable top order. If all four line-up alongside each other, opposition teams could potentially be looking at a handful of 200+ totals which would be demoralising. Opponents could potentially encounter a double whammy given the Knight Riders bowling attack is far from mediocre, in fact they have three bowlers who finished in the top 10 leading wicket takers in last year’s competition. Sunil Narine’s deceptively-hittable spinners as well as the unplayable should be a big factor in Trinbago’s CPL campaign yet again, not forgetting of coarse Dwayne Bravo’s ever-consistent contribution in the wickets category which saw the veteran all-rounder finish second overall in CPL17 leading wicket takers. Similar to Narine, Bravo is deceptively-hittable until he throws in a couple variations which is a reflection of his success, at 34 years of age he’s still one of the best twenty20 bowlers in world cricket. The reigning champions of the CPL have plenty to prove after signing another superstar in this particular format, in saying that it’s difficult to see Trinbago not making it to the final given the amount of talent at their disposal in 2018. Even players like Denesh Ramdin and Kevon Cooper are proven performers in the competition; they’re simply overshadowed by some of the big overseas signings which could work in favour of them as an element of surprise. The Knight Riders are red-hot favourites to take out the title & go back-to-back, and at this point in time I’d say there’d be no arguments whatsoever.
It was a disappointing 2017 campaign for the St Lucia Stars to say the least, they finished the tournament on the bottom of the table and didn’t manage to win a single game. It’s fair to say the bar has been set fairly low this year, but hopefully there’s a turning point at some stage for the wayward-Stars. Former Australian opening batsman David Warner could be just that, although his form wasn’t overly-satisfying in the Global T20 Canada tournament. St Lucia had a number of things that went horribly wrong in last year’s CPL, one of them being the form of Johnson Charles at the top of the order. They’ve been quick to address the problem which saw them sign former Tallawahs batsman Lendl Simmons and the out-of-favour David Warner which should give them a significant boost if both players can find their range. Explosive-striker Andre Fletcher was one of the few to survive the cut, and for good reason. He didn’t exactly have the best tournament with the bat, but he did show consistency averaging 35.75 with a high score of 84 not out in a never ending nightmare campaign for the Stars. In previous years, Fletcher has produced numerous scores of 70+ runs in a match and remains a dangerous prospect at the top of the order in 2018. As well as picking up Simmons from the Tallawahs, St Lucia also managed to pinch seamers Mohammad Sami and Kesrick Williams who took a combined 27 wickets for Jamaica in CPL17. They’ve done well to recruit some big names, now they just need to translate it to on field success.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Trinbago Knight Riders | CPL | Queen’s Park Oval
- Sunil Narine
- Chris Lynn
- Brendon McCullum
- Dwayne Bravo
- Kevon Cooper
Wildcard pick – Javon Scantlebury-Searles
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Lucia Stars | CPL | Queen’s Park Oval
- Andre Fletcher
- Kesrick Williams
- Mohammad Sami
- David Warner
- Lendl Simmons
Wildcard Pick – Kieron Pollard
Trinbago Knight Riders (possible) – 1. Brendon McCullum 2. Sunil Narine 3. Chris Lynn/Colin Munro 4. Darren Bravo 5. Denesh Ramdin (wk) 6. Dwayne Bravo © 7. Kevon Cooper 8. Javon Scantlebury-Searles 9. Fawad Ahmed 10. Khary Pierre/Nikita Miller 11. Shannon Gabriel/Anderson Phillip.
St Lucia Stars (possible) – 1. David Warner 2. Lendl Simmons 3. Andre Fletcher 4. Niroshan Dickwella (wk) 5. Kieron Pollard 6. Rahkeem Cornwall 7. Darren Sammy © 8. Mohammad Sami 9. Kesrick Williams 10. Mitchell McClenaghan 11. Obed McCoy/Odean Smith.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.