The 1st game of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2019 will be played between Trinbago Knight Riders and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
The match starts at 7:00 PM local time (11:00 PM GMT) (4:30 AM IST – 5th September)
This series will be live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD in India. Live streaming is available on Hotstar.
Trinbago Knight Riders, the defending champions of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), will host St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the opening match of the 2019 edition. The Knight Riders are easily the most successful team in the CPL having won three out of six editions of the tournament. They were victorious for the first time in 2015 and also won in 2017 and 2018. They will now aim for a hat-trick of CPL titles.
However, Kieron Pollard, the new inclusion to the Trinbago squad, will take over the captaincy role from Dwayne Bravo. The elder Bravo suffered a finger injury during a practice session prior to the tournament. That injury could well put him away from the initial phase of the tournament. Their opponents in this match, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots will be playing under the leadership of Carlos Brathwaite.
Rain gods are expected to stay away from the CPL 2019 opening match to be played in Port of Spain. Wednesday is forecasted to be partly cloudy with spells of rain during the afternoon. However, everything is expected to be settled down by 5 PM, two hours before the scheduled start.
The CPL 2018 was filled by high-scoring matches and the Port of Spain hosted most of those. Five matches were played at this venue in the previous edition and the teams batting first made at least 170 in all of them. The shorter boundaries here could well convert four into sixes. The track tends to get slower in the 2nd half which is why four of the five matches were won by the teams chasing. However, the highest total of 223 was chased down thanks to a sensational effort from Andre Russell.
Average first innings score: 194 (CPL matches in 2018)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 1, Lost – 4
Darren Bravo suffered a concussion during the Test that concluded on Monday.
Dwayne Bravo is unavailable due to finger injury for a brief part of the tournament.
Laurie Evans is currently part of Sussex’s T20 Blast campaign.
Probable Playing XIs:
Trinbago Knight Riders:
Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, Kieron Pollard (C), James Neesham, Seekkuge Prasanna, Javon Searles, Khary Pierre, Anderson Phillip, Muhammad Hasnain, Ali Khan.
Bench – Dwayne Bravo, Tion Webster, Colin Munro, Darren Bravo, Amir Jangoo, Mark Deyal, Akeal Hosein.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots:
Evin Lewis, Mohammad Hafeez, Devon Thomas (WK), Aaron Jones, Jason Mohammed, Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite (C), Rayad Emrit, Sheldon Cottrell, Alzarri Joseph, Usama Mir.
Bench – Kjorn Ottley, Laurie Evans, Sharmarh Brooks, Jeremiah Louis, Dominic Drakes, Keron Cottoy, Akeem Jordan.
James Neesham has been brilliant wherever he has played in the last 2-3 months. He had a successful CWC 19 campaign which he followed back with some great efforts in GT20 Canada as well. Kieron Pollard showed excellence with the bat during the T20I series at home against India and also in the GT20 Canada. Mohammad Hafeez will be a crucial option for the Patriots if there is any help from the pitch.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain – James Neesham, Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis
Vice-Captain – Kieron Pollard, Mohammad Hafeez, Devon Thomas
In the absence of Darren Bravo, the all-rounder Sunil Narine is expected to open the innings. He could be a worthy option as captain.
Suggested Playing XI No.1 for Fantasy Cricket:
Keeper – Devon Thomas
Batters – Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard
All-Rounders – Mohammad Hafeez (VC), Jimmy Neesham (C), Sunil Narine
Bowlers – Alzarri Joseph, Khary Pierre, Ali Khan
Suggested Playing XI No.2 for Fantasy Cricket:
Keeper – Denesh Ramdin
Batters – Evin Lewis (VC), Kieron Pollard, Jason Mohammed
All-Rounders – Sunil Narine (C), James Neesham, Seekkuge Prasanna, Carlos Brathwaite
Bowlers – Rayad Emrit, Sheldon Cottrell, Ali Khan
With the presence of more than three good options in the all-rounders’ category, only one of Devon Thomas and Denesh Ramdin can be picked the fantasy team. Both the players’ potential is equal at the moment as they will open the innings or at least bat in the top three. Thomas will be a safer option as he is in a good form with the bat.
Trinbago Knight Riders are expected to begin with a win.
*Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.
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