Both teams are in desperate need of a victory, especially the St Lucia Stars who can’t seem to buy a win at the moment. Trinbago aren’t without their problems either, with such a promising squad they’ve fallen well-short of expectations in CPL18 with some of their star players struggling to string together any consistency. The Knight Riders have a huge opportunity to get their campaign back on track against a winless-St Lucia.
It’s tough times ahead for St Lucia who just can’t seem to break this run of losses, they haven’t played all that badly despite losing all three games in this year’s CPL. The biggest disappointment for them would have to be David Warner, a player who can seamlessly turn a match on its head in a matter of overs looks deprived of confidence. That ball-tampering incident in South Africa has taken its toll on the former Australian vice-captain, he’s a shadow of his former self at the moment. It’s hard to stay upbeat when you’re constantly being defeated, but the Stars have shown glimpses of brilliance in their past two matches which would keep them motivated to go that extra step further and win the contest. Lendl Simmons and Stars captain Kieron Pollard have been serviceable for their team with the bat, while Andre Fletcher found some form against the Tallawahs just recently with a 43-run effort. Fan favourite Darren Sammy returned and played a trademark innings as he dealt in fours and sixes during his 36-run demolition, meanwhile Kavem Hodge also finished the innings off strongly with a 21-run blitz. The bowling is also becoming an issue, they’ve managed just eight wickets in their past two games with specialist seamer Kesrick Williams being held wicketless in that time. St Lucia will be hoping Qais Ahmad can replicate his bowling spell against Guyana last week, Kiwi quick Mitchell McClenaghan isn’t a huge wicket taker which leaves a lot to do for Williams and Ahmad. The Stars fielding was cringeworthy against the Knight Riders, Lendl Simmons dropped two catches off the bowling of Pollard which only worsened their cause. The way David Warner’s CPL stint is tracking, he could be dropped as soon as Niroshan Dickwella is available.
What a frustrating time it must be for the Trinbago Knight Riders, their 2018 CPL squad suggested that they’d make this year’s final with relative ease given the star-studded batting line-up they have to offer. Like many sporting codes in the world, you can get a bunch of superstars together in the same team, but at the end of the day it doesn’t mean anything if they can’t work cooperatively. Apart from that Tallawahs clash which they ended up losing anyway, the troublesome-trio of Chris Lynn, Colin Munro and Brendon McCullum have struggled to stay at the crease together. Colin Munro is the one exception, he’s posted scores of 68, 61 and 35 in Trinbago’s first three outings which sums up the other two’s contributions. Both Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin have each chipped in with some handy scores as well, they’ve just lacked that X factor which usually comes from the likes of Sunil Narine, Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn who performed well-below their lofty-standards so far in CPL18. It won’t take much to spark the Knight Riders gifted top order, they just have to be patient and they’ll almost-certainly be rewarded. USA’s Ali Khan has been the heart & soul of this Trinbago bowling attack in CPL18, he’s brought enthusiasm, pace and most importantly results. The Pakistani-born seamer is getting the job done comprehensively at the moment, he’s bagged consecutive three-wicket hauls (3/24 & 3/23) and stood out alongside some pretty handy names in Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo. It’s difficult to see them losing a third-consecutive match, especially against a team like the Stars who are on one of the biggest winning-droughts ever.
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Lucia Stars | CPL | 9th match | Darren Sammy NCS
- Andre Fletcher
- Kieron Pollard
- Qais Ahmad
- Lendl Simmons
- Kesrick Williams
Wildcard pick – Kavem Hodge
Top 5 fantasy picks | Trinbago Knight Riders | CPL | 9th match | Darren Sammy NCS
- Colin Munro
- Ali Khan
- Chris Lynn
- Sunil Narine
- Dwayne Bravo
Wildcard pick – Kevon Cooper
St Lucia Stars (possible) – 1. Andre Fletcher (wk) 2. David Warner 3. Lendl Simmons 4. Mark Chapman/Niroshan Dickwella 5. Kieron Pollard © 6. Darren Sammy 7. Qais Ahmad 8. Kavem Hodge 9. Mitchell McClenaghan 10. Kesrick Williams 11. Obed McCoy.
Trinbago Knight Riders (possible) – 1. Chris Lynn 2. Sunil Narine 3. Colin Munro 4. Brendon McCullum 5. Darren Bravo 6. Denesh Ramdin (wk) 7. Dwayne Bravo © 8. Kevon Cooper 9. Javon Scantlebury-Searles/Shannon Gabriel 10. Ali Khan 11. Fawad Ahmed.