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This has been one of the closest Caribbean Premier League seasons’s played up until now. There is no one team that has dominated and even the St. Lucia Stars have recorded a victory. To be honest, it is unfortunate that the Stars have just won one match till now. They could have easily had two more wins but some terrific individual performances did them in.
They now have to contend with the Chris Gayle led ST. Kitts and Nevis Patriots that has won just one match out of three played so far. Can the Stars continue their good form and win again or will they run into the force of nature known as Gayle?
We have been impressed with the manner in which the St. Lucia Stars have approached their cricket this season. They have show flexibility with the bat and have been unafraid of going out and playing their best batsmen in attacking positions.
Andre Fletcher at the top of the order is one of the leading batsmen of the tournament and is in terrific form. He is hitting sixes with ease and is absolutely crushing the ball from the very beginning.
David Warner also finally scored some runs and there seemed to be a distinct plan from him to start aggressively as well. If Warner can get into his groove then this Stars team is going to be elevated to a whole different level.
Following these two is Rakheem Cornwall, a man that can only exist in West Indian cricket. Overweight, and one dare say, unfit, Cornwall has been absolutely incredible so far. He comes in and starts to hit sixes like he was born to do it.
We are not sure if Lendl Simmons is going to get his place back in the top-order because Cornwall has provided the turbo boost that the Stars badly needed.
This brings us to Kieron Pollard. He finally scored his first century after playing over 400 T20 matches and is batting at his absolute best. He is also batting without the worry of losing his wickets and is going for runs from the word go.
There is still Darren Sammy to come afterward and the St. Lucia Stars could suffer a terrible collapse thanks to their attacking approach but it should be remembered that they have scored 200+ runs in two consecutive games leading up to this match.
The bowling has started to look a lot better thanks to the emergence of McCoy and Qais Ahmed. Both of them have been very effective at keeping the runs down and picking up wickets at important junctures. With McClenaghan in the side as the experienced international, the Stars can hope to add a few more wins to their tally.
ADS Fletcher , David Warner, Rahkeem Cornwall, LMP Simmons, Kieron Pollard, DJG Sammy, Qais Kamawal, Kavem Hodge, MJ Mcclenaghan, KOK Williams, Obed McCoy.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots are hurting. Their batting was supposed to be the strength of the side but it has not performed up to expectations so far. Chris Gayle has got a couple of starts but not gone on to convert them while Evin Lewis is struggling to get bat on ball.
Gayle and Lewis form one of the most dangerous opening partnerships in this competition and they can take the game from any opposition if they get set. Will this be the game that they finally get their act together?
Following Lewis and Gayle are some highly rated T20 players that will be coming under pressure because of their performances. Tom Cooper, Anton Devcich, Ben Cutting, and even Mahmudullah are all good T20 players that perform well on the T20 league circuit but they don’t have the reputations to give them a very long rope.
Niroshan Dickwella from Sri Lanka could be drafted in for one of these players, Cooper, being the most likely one to miss out. We also feel there is some merit in giving Carlos Braithwaite more of an opportunity up the order similar to what Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard have been getting.
Braithwaite could very well be the player to score a quick-fire fifty and turn the momentum of the game.
The bowling for the Patriots is also a little dicey. Sandeep Lamichhane from Nepal has been very good form them but does not have the support he needs right now. The likes of Cottrell, Louis, and Cutting need to bowl much better for the Patriots to be able to start winning regularly.
There are a couple of fault lines emerging in this time and their season could fall off the cliff if they don’t start winning soon. This is going to be a very important game for them.
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, TLW Cooper, DC Thomas, Anton Devcich, Brandon King, Mahmudullah, Ben Cutting, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Sandeep Lamichhane.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
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Some rain has been forecast intermittently throughout the day in St. Lucia on match day. Both teams will be hoping for some good weather, though, as they try and get their campaign back on track.
The batting surface in the Darren Sammy Stadium was brilliant. There was a good amount of carry and lots of runs should be expected this time as well.
A score of around 180 should be considered par.
The St. Lucia Stars have been playing some good cricket and winning their last match could have been a vital turning point for them. We have to think they will win against a struggling St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots side.
Back the St. Lucia Stars to win.
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