St Kitts and Nevis Patriots will be looking to go one step further in this year’s CPL after falling agonizingly short of glory in 2017. That’s a long term goal though, at this point in time their opponents Guyana will be looking to throw everything they’ve got at last year’s runners-up in a bid to get the early upper hand.
Guyana are faced with the enormous task of taking on arguably the most destructive opening batting combination in the competition, Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis. That will no-doubt be a talking point in the Amazon Warriors lead up to the tournament opener, but they might argue that they have bigger fish to fry then just the Patriots openers. The big signing of Pakistani veteran & batting supremo Shoaib Malik who will captain Guyana in 2018 may just be the key to their success. After a stellar campaign last year, wicketkeeper-batsman Chadwick Walton is expected to shine at the top of the order once again for Guyana after topping the leading run scorers in the 2017 CPL. The 33-year-old finished the tournament with 458 runs at 41.63 from his 12 matches, striking at 145.85. If former Black Caps wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi is a regular in the side compared to last season where he managed just the 4 games, the Amazon Warriors are a huge chance to upset some of the more dominant sides like Trinbago and St Kitts & Nevis. However, they’ll be without star leg-spinner Rashid Khan this season who played a pivotal role for them in 2017 taking 14 wickets. He’ll be replaced by another T20 specialist spinner in Imran Tahir, and despite the 20-year age gap they’re equally as effective on their given day. Pakistani pace bowler Sohail Tanvir is another to watch out for, like Walton he managed to top the league in his area of his expertise (wickets) bagging 17, accompanied by all-rounder Rayad Emrit who finished third in the 2017 CPL leading wicket takers with 15. Looking at this team on paper and what they accomplished last year, the Amazon Warriors are major title contenders.
This promises to be a highly-entertaining contest from the outset looking at some of the names in both sides, but all the focus will undoubtedly be directed at the Patriots big-hitters at the top of the order. You take Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis and put them in the same team, what do you get? Entertainment-plus, it’s as simple as that, well for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots anyway. Both batsmen did everything that was asked of them in last season’s CPL, they scored a combined 747 runs and both finished inside the top four leading run scorers which just about booked the Patriots a ticket in the final. You know what you’re going to get from Chris Gayle, he’s an absolute freak of nature who’s paired up with the next gen Gayleforce in Evin Lewis who is starting to show signs of taking the world by storm just like a young Chris Gayle did during what feels like an eternity ago. Never have I seen an opening pair so dominant that the rest of the order barely has to contribute for the majority of the tournament, they’ve got some solid backup with Carlos Brathwaite, Mahmudullah and Ben Cutting who are all crisp-ball strikers. The one area that opposition teams might look to expose St Kitts & Nevis in will be their bowling attack, although they managed to play a very-team orientated game in terms of taking wickets last season which proved to be good enough. They’ll once again look to Sheldon Cottrell’s line & length bowling to make some early inroads, followed by Carlos Brathwaite’s medium pacers. A couple spinners spots are up for grabs, Hayden Walsh and Sandeep Lamichhane the likely candidates to grab a position in the starting XI. They also have a variety of part-time options in overseas signings Tom Cooper, Mahmudullah and Anton Devcich.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Guyana Amazon Warriors | CPL | Providence Stadium
- Chadwick Walton
- Shoaib Malik
- Rayad Emrit
- Sohail Tanvir
- Luke Ronchi
Wildcard pick – Keemo Paul
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Kitts and Nevis Patriots | CPL | Providence Stadium
- Chris Gayle
- Evin Lewis
- Carlos Brathwaite
- Sheldon Cottrell
- Alzarri Joseph
Wildcard pick – Hayden Walsh
Guyana Amazon Warriors (possible) – 1. Chadwick Walton 2. Luke Ronchi (wk) 3. Cameron Delport 4. Jason Mohammed 5. Shoaib Malik © 6. Roshan Primus/Shimron Hetmeyer 7. Keemo Paul 8. Sohail Tanvir 9. Devendra Bishoo 10. Rayad Emrit 11. Veerasammy Permaul.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (possible) – 1. Chris Gayle © 2. Evin Lewis 3. Anton Devcich/Tom Cooper 4. Brandon King 5. Devon Thomas (wk) 6. Mahmudullah 7. Carlos Brathwaite 8. Ben Cutting 9. Hayden Walsh/Sandeep Lamichhane 10. Alzarri Joseph 11. Sheldon Cottrell.