It took a while, but the St Lucia Stars finally broke their dreaded losing streak in the CPL against the Tridents thanks to some batting brilliance. The Patriots however are on their way down as they continue to cough up winnable games. It’s 5th taking on 6th, and amazingly the Stars have an opportunity to lift themselves off the bottom of the table despite losing their first four matches in CPL18.
St Lucia will again play hosts as they look to string together some success approaching the midway stage of the tournament, something they’ve struggled with significantly over the past two years. They’ve found an excellent pinch-hitter in Rahkeem Cornwall who usually finds himself in the lower half of St Lucia’s middle order, but his elevation has prompted some huge improvement from both he and the team. Cornwall only averages 17.55 in T20 cricket with the bat given his all-rounder status, but his promotion to No. 3 could see that rise given his past two scores of 53 & 30 have looked promising. Andre Fletcher’s form has been a-little scratchy compared to previous years, but he has in no way, shape or form lost his ability to punch out big scores which was quite indicative in his last outing. Fletcher’s 80-run burst was quickly matched by the skippers match-winning knock as the Stars surpassed 200 runs yet again. Pollard is in sublime touch with the bat at the moment, his unbeaten 65 against Trinbago was backed up by a rampaging century against Barbados which finally saw his team register their first win since 2016. It was a long time in the wilderness for St Lucia, but hopefully this has given them some inspiration to keep at it. Leg-spinner Qais Ahmad livened up the contest with his celebrations after claiming both Dwayne Smith and Hashim Amla which just about sealed the deal for the Stars. There’s still plenty of room for improvement though, realistically David Warner has had one good innings for the tournament, spinner Kavem Hodge has only managed one wicket in four matches and their lower order has failed to wag compared to other opposition teams. The Stars have a huge opportunity to make it two-from-two tomorrow, the question is will they?
It’s just about time the Patriots assess where they’re at in CPL18, they haven’t shown any sign of blowing away the opposition which is unheard of when you look at some of the players they have up their sleeve. The only individual who shouldn’t be of concern is Christopher Henry Gayle, a man who has been a proven performer for the past decade in just about every T20 league he’s featured in. Gayle hasn’t had the best tournament with the bat so far, but compared to his teammates he’s probably been their most consistent performer. St Kitts and Nevis have a handful of players at the moment who shouldn’t be in the XI tomorrow, but it appears they’ll continue to persevere with them. Evin Lewis is a classic example, his 2018 campaign consists of one single run from three matches. Lewis is an integral part of the Patriots top order, and to have contributed 1 run in three matches could quite possibly be one of the reasons they’re sitting fifth on the table. The overseas recruits have been disappointing to say the least, Both Tom Cooper and Anton Devcich are on the brink of being dropped as the pair continue to squander their opportunities with the bat. At this point in time, St Kitts and Nevis are relying on Chris Gayle, Devon Thomas and Carlos Brathwaite to stand up with the rest of the team struggling to contribute. This match will be Sandeep Lamichhane’s last in CPL18 before he joins his national team Nepal, a huge loss given his wicket-taking ability in the tournament. They’ve got a lot of uncertainties in their attack, Ben Cutting is almost good for a wicket a game while Sheldon Cottrell is under the pump to lead the Patriots attack for the time being.
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Lucia Stars | CPL | 13th match | Darren Sammy NCS
- Kieron Pollard
- Andre Fletcher
- Mitchell McClenaghan
- Rahkeem Cornwall
- Lendl Simmons
Wildcard pick – Qais Ahmad
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Kitts and Nevis Patriots | CPL | 13th match | Darren Sammy NCS
- Chris Gayle
- Carlos Brathwaite
- Sandeep Lamichhane
- Devon Thomas
- Sheldon Cottrell
Wildcard pick – Mahmudullah
St Lucia Stars (possible) – 1. Andre Fletcher (wk) 2. David Warner/Niroshan Dickwella 3. Rahkeem Cornwall 4. Lendl Simmons 5. Kieron Pollard © 6. Darren Sammy 7. Qais Ahmad 8. Kavem Hodge/Christopher Lamont/Mohammad Sami 9. Mitchell McClenaghan 10. Odean Smith/Kesrick Williams 11. Obed McCoy.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (possible) – 1. Chris Gayle © 2. Evin Lewis 3. Shamarh Brooks 4. Devon Thomas (wk) 5. Mahmudullah 6. Ben Cutting 7. Brandon King/Anton Devcich 8. Carlos Brathwaite 9. Jeremiah Louis/Alzarri Joseph 10. Sheldon Cottrell 11. Sandeep Lamichhane.