Defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders start their 2018 Caribbean Premier League campaign against the team who finished bottom in last year's points table, St Lucia Stars on Wednesday, August 8 at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain in Trinidad. Both teams have played each other in ten CPL games with the Knight Riders winning seven and the Stars just two.
Trinbago Knight Riders: Trinbago Knight Riders won last year’s Caribbean Premier League, having finished top of the group with eight wins from their ten matches. One of their two defeats was in their final group game against Barbados Tridents, which they lost by 16 runs. While their first defeat was against Jamaica Tallawahs by four wickets. In the final, against St Kitts & Nevis again, they restricted the Patriots to 135/6 and reached their target with three wickets and one over remaining – Kevon Cooper, having already taken 2-12 from two overs with the ball, leading the home with an unbeaten 29 from 14 balls.
With the bat, Brendan McCullum and Colin Munro were their stars with the bat last season, scoring three half-centuries in each and weighing in with 335 and 366 runs respectively.
With the ball, Fawad Ahmed will look to step up as Narine’s foil, he took 14 wickets in the recent Global T20 Canada and is expected to replicate his performance in CPL as well. While in the previous season, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Marine took 16 and 12 wickets respectively and will be their key bowlers in this season.
Expected Playing XI: Darren Bravo (C), Denesh Ramdin, Kevon Cooper, Shannon Gabriel, Fawad Ahmed, Chris Lynn, Colin Munro, Sunil Narine, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo and Hamza Tariq.
St Lucia Stars: St Lucia have had a miserable campaign in 2017. They picked up just one point in last season's CPL and that was thanks to a no result against St Kitts & Nevis, as they were outplayed throughout the tournament.
With the bat, the entry of David Warner and Kieron Pollard is seen as a big boost for the team. David Warner announced his form in the last two games of Global T20 Canada, he scored 42 and 55 in back-to-back games for the Winnipeg Hawks. While Kieron Pollard is one of most destructive batsmen in World Cricket and Andre Fletcher was their star man with the bat in last year's competition, scoring 286 runs in ten innings. These three along with Lendl Simmons, who was the leading run scorer in the Global T20 Canada last time out, scoring 321 runs in eight innings for the Winnipeg Hawks are expected to lead the batting this season.
With the ball, Mitchell McClenaghan and Mohammad Sami are expected to open the attack for stars and will be their key bowlers against Trinbago Knight Riders.
Expected Playing XI: Darren Sammy (C), Kieron Pollard, Kavem Hodge, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohammad Sami, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, David Warner, Andre Fletcher, Rahkeem Cornwall and Mark Chapman.
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