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The opening match of the CPL 2018 is about to get underway and it will be the Trinbago Knight Riders taking on the St. Lucia Stars. The Knight Riders are the defending champions and one of the most favored teams this year as well. They have plenty of world-class T20 talent to call upon and will hope to start their title defense with a comprehensive victory.
The St. Lucia Stars, on the other hand, finished last in CPL 2017 and are going to have a tough time trying to turn things around. The T20 talent is in such abundance in the Caribbean that the least strong team of the CPL is not weak either. They also have David Warner in their side for the entirety of the tournament.
The Trinbago Knight Riders have been one of the best teams to watch in the Caribbean Premier League over the years. The team always plays with a lot of aggression and allows its bevy of T20 superstars to express themselves.
That is exactly what we are looking forward to this season as well. They are led by the most successful bowler in T20 history, Dwayne Bravo, who is match fit having just arrived from the Vitality Blast 2018. Bravo’s mix of slower deliveries and yorkers makes him dangerous at all stages in the inning but clearly, he is especially suited to bowling in the death overs.
The scheduling of the Caribbean Premier League allows the top West Indian players to participate and we are looking forward to seeing how Shannon Gabriel goes. One of the fastest bowlers in the West Indies, and in the world, Gabriel’s pace could blow away teams or work to his disadvantage.
Rounding out the bowling attack for the Knight Riders will be Sunil Narine, Kevon Cooper, and Nikita Miller. Al things considered, this bowling attack is pretty sound and should test the opposition.
The batting is going to be led by Aussie Chris Lynn. The biggest hitter of the cricket ball in the world, Chris Lynn’s biggest challenge is to remain injury free. Give him the license to bat freely and he can play some truly outrageous innings.
There is Colin Munro, Brendon McCullum, and Denesh Ramdin in the side to give the batting unit a very dangerous look. Huge totals being scored by this team or being chased down is not going to be uncommon.
SP Narine, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum, Colin Munro, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Dwayne Bravo, J Searles, Fawad Ahmed, Shannon Gabriel, Ali Khan.
No wins from their 10 matches last year was the worst season that any side could possibly have. In fact, the St. Lucia Stars owed the rain for the only point they were able to get last year. Can they start with an upset in CPL 2018?
Lets us start with the player that is going to get the most attention. David Warner is one of the world’s best batsmen, whatever the format. He has dominated T20 leagues in the past and has led his IPL side to victory. The Stars could do with David Warner at his best.
The recent controversy of ball tampering and the following ban has led to a lot of unwanted attention being focused on David Warner. He fared quite badly in the Global T20 tournament played in Canada but that should not be taken too seriously.
If Warner starts the tournament well and gets some runs then he could give this Stars lineup a whole different look. Mark Chapman from Hong Kong is also a part of the squad. Chapman has done well in the Super Smash in New Zealand and is a talented T20 player. He, along with Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, and the local West Indian players will all have to contribute to get the Stars the victories they need to make the playoffs.
The bowling is pretty decent and has the likes of McClenaghan, Kesrick Williams, and Darren Sammy to call upon.
We think this St. Lucia Stars squad could have a good season if it starts well and comes together as a unit. Otherwise, there is every chance of it remaining the bottom of the pile as the tournament goes on. This first matchup against the Knight Riders is a tough assignment to start off with but also the best time to land a surprise knock out punch.
David Warner, LMP Simmons, ADS Fletcher , Kieron Pollard, DJG Sammy, Rahkeem Cornwall, Mark Chapman, MJ Mcclenaghan, KOK Williams, Mohammad Sami, Qais Kamawal.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The weather forecast in Port of Spain for this match is excellent. There is a slight chance of rain, as there almost always is in the islands, but we should have an uninterrupted game being played out. The pitch is going to be flat and good for batting. The bounce and carry in the Caribbean pitches has reduced markedly over the years and it is the spinners that now dominate.
A score of around 170 should be considered par.
The Trinbago Knight Riders have won the last four matches against the St. Lucia Stars. They have a much better-balanced squad and are filled with some terrific T20 players.
Back the Trinbago Knight Riders to win.