The ‘biggest party in sport’ rolls into St Lucia for the first time on Thursday night when the Darren Sammy Stadium opens its doors to both the St Lucia Stars and the defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.
These two opened up the campaign when the Knight Riders absolutely hammered the Stars so the home side will be aiming to avoid a repeat of that debacle. The visitors would love a repeat of that outcome.
St Lucia Stars
What can be said about the St Lucia Stars that hasn’t already been said? They have been something of a shambles in this competition and already look like a team that has forgotten how to win and which is feeling sorry for itself. They were awful in the field last time out which is always a sign of how a side is going confidence wise.
The only saving grace the Stars may be able to cling onto heading into this encounter is their three defeats so far in the tournament have all been on the road. They are now at home for a period and simply must take advantage of that fact. Failure to do so could see them exiting this tournament before it has truly got going.
Trinbago Knight Riders
In hindsight the dominant performance and emphatic margin of victory might not have been a good thing for the defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders. I say that because in their two matches since then they have been very ordinary and it is almost like they took the competition for granted after a huge win first time out.
The Knight Riders have played three of their five home matches and only have one win to their name so they need to take advantage of a road game or two if they are to firstly make it into the play-offs and secondly get themselves into the top two to have a couple of shots at making it through to the final of the competition.
You would think something has to give with the St Lucia Stars. In fairness it is difficult to see what team changes they can make so they might have to tinker with their batting line up in order to strive to find something that works.
Trinbago Knight Riders might decide that they need an extra bowling option. Whether Javon Searles is fit to reclaim his place in the side remains to be seen. Shannon Gabriel could be the man to make way but he fill his boots in the Test here which could offer him a lifeline.
If we could be certain of a good performance from the St Lucia Stars then I would tuck into the runs or sixes lines because we saw in the Test match here earlier in the summer that there is plenty of pace and bounce in this wicket which should play to the liking of the batsmen. Sadly we can’t guarantee that because they’ve looked a shambles thus far.
With that in mind I will head to the side markets for a punt with the bet coming in the player performance of Kieron Pollard. Pollard is one of few St Lucia players who can sit with their head held high in the competition so far and this pitch should be right up his street. He showed that 12 months ago when in a Barbados shirt he came here and smoked 83 from just 35 balls. He didn’t bowl last year you get sense he definitely will here and he’ll field in key positions. I think with three genuine scoring methods he can cover 37.5pts.
Darren Bravo showed his class in the defeat to the Jamaica Tallawahs last time out and he looks a huge price to top score for the visitors at 8/1. He needed a boost after a horrible time of it in the Canadian League last month and he comes into this match off the back of scoring 29 and 41. He bats at number four or five so he is overpriced anyway but with Sunil Narine in no form whatsoever and with Lynn and Munro always likely to offer chances it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Bravo is in early. At 8/1 I’ll pay to see what he’s got on a wicket which should suit him perfectly.
WON – Back K.Pollard’s Performance – Over 37.5pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365
WON – Back Darren Bravo Top Trinbago Knight Riders Batsman for a 1/10 stake at 9.00 with Betfair
Back him here: