CPL 2016: Trinbago Knight Riders vs St Lucia Zouks - Live streaming, team news, prediction, probable playing XI
The Caribbean Premier League kicks off today with the Trinbago Knight Riders taking on the St Lucia Zouks at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. The winners of the 2015 edition of the CPL will want to get off to a positive start here and continue from where they left off.
Formerly known as the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, Red Chillies Entertainment (owned by Bollywood Superstar Shah Rukh Khan) bought a stake in the team and renamed it the Trinbago Knight Riders from this season.
The St Lucia Zouks haven’t exactly had good memories of the Caribbean Premier League so far, finishing last in the inaugural season and second last in the next two seasons. The players have a lot to prove and they must show the hunger to lift their team to glory this season.
The Zouks have talented players in their team to get them off to a good start in this tournament and it will be interesting to see how their tournament pans out.
Probable Playing XI:
Trinbago Knight Riders:
South African batsman Hashim Amla will most likely open the batting for the Trinbago Knight Riders. Amla has developed quite a reputation for himself in the limited overs format, especially T20s, playing 94 matches (domestic) and gathering 2603 runs in the process with 17 fifties to his name.
The recently retired Kiwi International Brendon McCullum is a part of the Knight Riders unit and will be expected to open alongside Amla. McCullum had a good season in the IPL playing for the Gujarat Lions, scoring 354 runs in 16 innings with a high score of 60.
West Indian Darren Bravo will be a part of the top order and his calmness in tough situations will be useful in leading the Knight Riders to a good score. Former West Indian batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan might get a game for the Knight Riders.
Sarwan doesn’t have a great T20 record to back himself up but his batting technique alone is enough to get him a place in the team.
Pakistan middle order batsman Umar Akmal will be placed in the team for his aggressive batting approach. The 26-year-old has been reliable in the T20 format, playing 79 games and scoring 1689 runs for Pakistan. New Zealand batsman Colin Munro has a healthy strike-rate of 145 with the bat and can be effective in the middle order.
Skipper Dwayne Bravo will be leading the Trinbago Knight Riders and his abilities with the bat and the ball will come in quite handy against the Zouks. West Indian Kevon Cooper will be a part of the line-up against the Zouks. Mainly contributing with the ball, Cooper can be handy with the bat as well.
Youngster Ronsford Beaton might get a game against the Zouks. This will be a good testing period for the Knight Riders, where they can exploit their resources and find their right combination. Spinners Sunil Narine and Sulieman Benn will be favourites to lead the spin attack.
St Lucia Zouks:
Johnston Charles and Andre Fletcher will most likely open the innings for the St Lucia Zouks. Charles played an instrumental role in the West Indies team beating the Indian Team in the semi-final of the recent ICC T20 World Cup 2016. Both these players are explosive with the bat and maintain a good strike-rate early on.
Former Australian batsman Michael Hussey might be playing in the No.3 position for the Zouks. While there is no doubt on his ability with the bat, Hussey has been away from Cricket and his last T20 game was in the Big Bash League in January this year where he scored 18 runs.
South African David Miller will look to regain his form with the bat and help the Zouks in the process.West Indian Keddy Lesporis might be given a chance against the Zouks as an extra batsman in the top order. Wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin can support with the bat and provide some fight in the middle order.
Shane Watson had a great season in the Indian Premier League this year with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, reaching the Final. Watson has shown that he is still handy with the ball, bowling at good pace and can clear the boundary easily with the bat. Skipper Darren Sammy will lead his men against Trinbago Knight Riders.
The 2 time World Cup winning captain will use all his experience for the Zouks and will hope he can lead them to a successful season. Youngster Kyle Mayers will want to cement his place in the side if given an opportunity early on.
South African pacer Morne Morkel will be leading the attack for the Zouks. Morkel’s height and pace have given him a lot of advantage over the batsmen and will be lethal if he continues his good form. 23-year-old Derone Davis might be used as an option in the spin department.
Both teams look evenly matched in all the departments and it should be a great game with DJ Bravo facing off Sammy in this opening encounter. The Trinbago Knight Riders might just edge past the Zouks in the bowling department with the experience of Narine and Benn coming into play as the pitches in the West Indies have supported the spinners.