The second match of the Caribbean Premier League season sees the opening day match of the new campaign taking place and it does so with two potential powerhouses meeting when the St Lucia Kings take on the Trinbago Knight Riders.
These two sides both made the finals last year but both were beaten without winning the title and that will be the aim for each of them starting out on another season in the Caribbean Premier League.
St Lucia Kings
The St Lucia Kings had a brilliant time of it last year but whether they are in position to back that up this term remains to be seen. There has been a lot of change in St Lucia from last season to this one not least the head coaching position. Andy Flower has been and gone and St Lucia hero Daren Sammy will be charged with masterminding the quest to go one better than they did last year. Things have changed on the field as well.
Keemo Paul and Obed McCoy are two players who have moved on which could leave the Kings exposed at the death of the innings. The other concern over St Lucia is whether Roston Chase can reproduce a season which saw him score 446 runs at a shade under 50 and take 10 wickets with an economy rate of under seven. There is an injury cloud over him and if he isn’t able to line up then there would be a huge hole in the side.
Trinbago Knight Riders
Whenever a Caribbean Premier League season begins the initial thought is that the Trinbago Knight Riders are the team to beat. That is very much the case this season with the marquee additions that the franchise have made ahead of this campaign. Nicholas Pooran and Andre Russell aren’t just two of the best players in the history of this tournament but they were vital players for other teams so taking them strengthens Trinbago and weakens others.
The Knight Riders were beaten in the semi-finals last term so they will be out to regain their crown here. Much like their opponents in this opening game for them, the Knight Riders are also under a new coach with Brendon McCullum now with England. Abhishek Nayar is the man charged with bringing the title back to Trinidad. You would imagine that Trinbago will be hard to beat as long as their big hitting batters take responsibility rather than just play recklessly.
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It remains to be seen if Roston Chase is fit to feature in this match but if he is then you would think he will be a key player for the St Lucia Kings, not least because three big players in Faf du Plessis, Tim David and David Wiese were all in England playing in The Hundred and might well miss this opener.
Andre Russell has been smashing bowlers all around England for the last few weeks and he has done likewise in the 6ixty as well. This ground certainly isn’t big enough to contain him and when you add in his bowling and fielding impact Russell has a chance to shine and prove he can still be part of the West Indies’ plans for the World Cup.
It is a little hard to bet on this match with any assured confidence because we don’t know the availability of Faf du Plessis, Tim David and David Wiese. You would imagine neither of the three would play but I don’t really want to back the Trinbago Knight Riders and then find that one or two of them do feature and go mad and then all of a sudden we’re sweating over a 2/5 poke. Instead of that I’ll hit the side markets once again.
The sixes line is what interests me here. I’m not completely sure of the pitch situation in this tournament but if all three matches are going to be played on the same one, and you would imagine they will because marking out and preparing another wicket is unlikely with the timings of the day. That would therefore mean that the pitch should be a belter first up so I expect over 14.5 sixes in this one. Trinbago have a top six which potentially includes Tim Seifert, Sunil Narine, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard and they could hit 15 sixes on the own if they bat first. Even if the big three don’t play for St Lucia there will still be the likes of Johnson Charles, Mark Deyal and hopefully Roston Chase who can hit a big ball so I fancy over 14.5 sixes to land here.
Back Over 14.5 sixes for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with William Hill
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