About the Match
St. Lucia Stars will host Trinbago Knight Riders in the opening match of the star-studded Caribbean Premium League 2017 at Gros Islet, St. Lucia on 4th August. The visitors had won the title in 2015 and had finished 3rd last season; they will eager to start the tournament on a winning note here. St. Lucia has done better over the years, finishing 4th last season as against coming in at No. 6 in the opening season of this very popular league. The local lads will surely get a lot of cheer on Friday whereas the Riders, with a good number of international players will try to acclimatize quickly and get to the business at the word go. It needs to be seen which side can overcome the challenges and emerge victoriously.
St. Lucia Stars
Darren Sammy will lead the side that has batting experts like Marlon Samuels, Kamran Akmal from Pakistan, Jesse Ryder from New Zealand, the Aussie great Shane Watson, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher and Eddie Leie, who can try to set a solid foundation whether batting first or during the chase.
The bowling squad has speedsters Jerome Taylor, Mitchell McClenaghan and the versatile Shane Watson. The spin variations will be provided by Shane Shillingford, who has helped the team with good breakthroughs in the past, Timil Patel from USA, Rahkeem Cornwall and local lad Keddy Lesporis.
Others like Sunil Ambris, Jerome Taylor and all-rounders like McClenaghan can add depth to the batting attack while Sammy himself can try to lead from the front with bat and ball in crunch situations. Samuels, Watson, Akmal, and Fletcher will share the responsibility to come out all guns blazing and we could see a tough fight here on their home ground.
Trinbago Knight Riders
Dwayne Bravo will once again don the captain’s hat, and try to lead from the front; he has a strong batting contingent with overseas players like Hashim Amla, Brendon McCullum, who has been in good form as seen in the NatWest T20 series, Colin Munro, old-horse Brad Hogg and local talents like Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, and all-rounders like Nikita Miller and Kevon Cooper.
Sunil Narine has been in the tremendous form both with bat and ball, and he got the fastest IPL fifty this season playing for Kolkata Knight Riders. He will lead the spin attack against the opponents and will have the support of players like Brad Hogg, who bowls left-arm chinaman, the young Pakistani spinner Shadab Khan, Nikita Miller, and the very effective Mehedi Hasan from Bangladesh, who can be ruthless in his wicket-taking abilities.
Bowling all-rounders Javon Searles and Ronsford Beaton along with others like William Perkins, Anderson Phillip and Hamza Tariq from Canada will add depth to the batting line-up. They are a confident side and will surely come out with a good strategy to outwit the hosts on Friday.
St. Lucia has the home advantage and a well-rounded team with experienced players; however, we feel that the Knight Riders’ spin contingent will give them an upper hand to win the match.