The 2019 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is all set to hit the centrestage. In the opening match, defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders and the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots will lock horns at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad. TKR has been on a rampage as they are the winners of the last two editions of the league. A lot will be expected of them in the tournament.
The Patriots, on the contrary, are yet to win the title despite qualifying for the playoffs twice. This time around, they will be led by Carlos Brathwaite as Chris Gayle has gone back to the Jamaica Tallawahs. As far as head to head between the teams are concerned, the Knights have an 8-3 lead over its opponent, though the Patriots came out trumps the last time the teams met at the venue.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch has been an excellent one for batting over the time being. Bowlers are likely to be in for a tough day in the office. But the track has also shown signs of slowing down and hence batting first could do the trick. The weather for the game isn’t promising though with chances of rain throughout the day. The temperature will be around the 26 degrees Celsius mark.
Trinbago Knight Riders
The Knights will be missing the services of their regular skipper Dwayne Bravo, who has developed a thumb injury. Kieron Pollard, who has joined the franchise earlier this year, will be in charge. In the absence of Colin Munro, who’s with the New Zealand national team, Denesh Ramdin is likely to open the batting alongside Sunil Narine, who has played a number of valuable knocks at the top.
Darren Bravo was one of their star performers last season and his role will be critical. James Neesham is coming off an impressive campaign in the World Cup and he needs to step up. The Knights also have the services of the young Mohammad Hasnain. He will have USA pacer Ali Khan for company. Khary Pierre and Seekkuge Prasanna are the spin bowling options in the lineup.
Denesh Ramdin (wk), Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard (C), James Neesham, Seekkuge Prasanna, Javon Searles, Khary Pierre, Ali Khan, Mohammad Hasnain
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
The Patriots have the explosive Evin Lewis at the top. He had a disastrous outing last time, having scored runs at an average of 11.45, and will be keen to make amends. Devon Thomas should be his fellow opening batsman. Thomas got 222 runs last season at a strike-rate of 139.62. Mohammad Hafeez’s journey with Middlesex in the T20 Blast has come to and end and he is available.
Brathwaite wasn’t the Patriots’ captain in the last two editions and it will be interesting to see how he adjusts. Fabian Allen played only four matches last time, but he is a more established player now. Rayad Emrit has to bring forth his truckload of experience. He was with the Guyana Amazon Warriors last season. The team will depend heavily on the prowess of Sheldon Cottrell.
Evin Lewis, Devon Thomas (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Jason Mohammed, Carlos Brathwaite (C), Fabian Allen, Aaron Jones, Rayad Emrit, Sheldon Cottrell, Akeem Jordan, Alzarri Joseph
Probable Top Performers
Darren Bravo – Trinbago Knight Riders | Sheldon Cottrell – St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
TV – Star Sports
Match Timings – 04:30 IST (September 5) and 19:00 local (September 4)
Trinbago Knight Riders win the toss, opt to bat
Trinbago Knight Riders win the match.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots win the toss, opt to bat
Trinbago Knight Riders win the match.
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