While St Lucia’s playoffs prospects look all but done & dusted after losing their fourth-consecutive match in CPL18, the Tridents path to glory has just begun after they recorded a win in their tournament opener against Guyana last week.
Finding themselves in a sticky situation yet again, St Lucia appears to have forgotten how to win which may sound humorous to some, but I can assure you it’s anything but for Kieron Pollard and his charges. The Stars managed to get themselves into a winning position once again but squandered their opportunity which has been a common theme for them in this year’s CPL. After David Warner finally broke his drought in the runs department with an unbeaten 72 accompanied by Rahkeem Cornwall and Kieron Pollard’s destructive ball-striking as the pair dispatched 12 sixes between them, a total of 212/2 looked defendable. As mentioned, Cornwall was super impressive in his return to the side blitzing a quick-fire fifty, but the Stars skipper took it to a whole new level ending the innings with a strike-rate of 282.60. Pollard’s 23-ball 65 featuring 7 maximums launched over the rope put St Lucia in an excellent position to remove the cobwebs and tick off their first win of the tournament. It wasn’t to be though, all their good work was unravelled with just under ten overs to go in the match as Trinbago’s Brendon McCullum and Darren Bravo tore the bowlers to shreds with a rampant display of slogging. Following his good work with the bat, Cornwall managed to pick up the Knight Riders opening pair which started the innings off with a bang. With scores continuing to increase in favour of the batsmen in T20 cricket, bowlers are quickly becoming casualties which is exactly what happened to St Lucia. Apart from Kavem Hodge and Mitch McClenaghan, Trinbago were able to score at will against the rest of the attack. The Stars just have to keep chipping away, and hopefully they’ll be rewarded soon enough.
It’s too early to gauge how good the Barbados Tridents are in CPL18, but from what we saw in their season opener one would suspect the signs are pretty promising. Having played just the one match so far, Barbados came out all guns blazing at Providence Stadium with some star-studded individual performances along the way. A regular in the West Indies squad now, 24-year-old local batsman Shai Hope set the standard for the Tridents with a magnificent 88 off 45 deliveries which wasn’t short on entertainment. Hope’s ability to send the ball flying into the stands was a joy to watch, his timing was immaculate right up until the very end of his innings. Looking to win back the support & respect of his nation, Australia’s Steve Smith did exactly what was required of him at No. 4 as he went on to score a fairly-low key 41. Possessing one of the best strike rates in the CPL, Nicholas Pooran did no dishonour to that accolade as he muscled the Tridents innings to a close with an unbeaten 45. One thing that is quickly evident when looking at this Barbados line-up is their lower half, captain Jason Holder is batting at No. 6 followed by some pinch-hitters and bowlers which could leave them vulnerable if the top order collapses. Given the power they have up the order, the Tridents have a lot of confidence in the makeup of their team. All-rounder Raymon Reifer was more like Raymon Rifle after he gunned down Guyana’s line-up with the ball. Who says it’s a batsmen’s game? Reifer finished the match with figures of 5/20 which proved to be the difference. Barbados will be looking to keep up the momentum with another win against the bottom-placed Stars.
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Lucia Stars | CPL | 10th match | Darren Sammy NCS
- Kieron Pollard
- Andre Fletcher
- Mitchell McClenaghan
- Lendl Simmons
- David Warner
Wildcard pick – Kesrick Williams
Top 5 fantasy picks | Barbados Tridents | CPL | 10th match | Darren Sammy NCS
- Shai Hope
- Martin Guptill
- Raymon Reifer
- Ashley Nurse
- Steve Smith
Wildcard pick – Jason Holder
St Lucia Stars (possible) – 1. Andre Fletcher (wk) 2. David Warner 3. Lendl Simmons 4. Kieron Pollard © 5. Rahkeem Cornwall 6. Chandrapaul Hemraj 7. Darren Sammy 8. Kavem Hodge 9. Qais Ahmad 10. Mitchell McClenaghan 11. Obed McCoy/Kesrick Williams.
Barbados Tridents (possible) – 1. Dwayne Smith 2. Martin Guptill 3. Shai Hope 4. Steve Smith 5. Nicholas Pooran (wk) 6. Jason Holder © 7. Raymon Reifer 8. Imran Khan 9. Wahab Riaz 10. Mohammad Irfan 11. Ashley Nurse.