The CPL 2023 season has left the rainy St Lucia and heads for much sunnier and drier St Kitts for the first time on Wednesday as the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots play their first home match in the Caribbean Premier League against the Jamaica Tallawahs.
The Tallawahs managed to avoid some of the weather in St Lucia to come away with a win as well as a washout and they can take control of the table with a victory here. The Patriots will be eager to impress in front of their home fans though.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
The St Kitts and Nevis Patriots were due to play two matches in St Lucia but because of the rain were restricted to just three overs of action. In those three overs their bowlers didn’t look too bad and that might be significant on this ground which offers little or nothing for the bowling options. The Patriots probably won’t be distinguished by what their bowlers do over the next few matches but the better they can bowl the better it will be for them.
Where the Patriots will be under the gun is with the bat. Warner Park is a tiny ground and the wickets here are nearly always excellent for batting and in the first game of the season on this ground I would expect the pitch to be in perfect condition. There is absolutely no shortage of power in this Patriots batting unit but they will be eager for it to come good from the first outing to give them confidence later in the tournament.
The Jamaica Tallawahs began their title defence in fine fashion with a fairly comfortable win over the St Lucia Kings but then they were denied the chance to follow that up when their match against the Barbados Royals was washed out without them getting on the field. They certainly looked the part in the match that they did play and will hope that the week they have had since getting onto the park hasn’t seen them lose that competitive edge.
The Tallawahs are one of the few sides who look like they have a really daunting bowling unit right throughout the innings in this competition. There are teams who look good with the new ball or at the death and others where the spinners are the strength but this Tallawahs team keep coming at you with the ball. That takes the pressure off them with the bat but they showed against the Kings that they have more than enough with the bat in hand.
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You get the feeling that St Kitts and Nevis Patriots will need Evin Lewis to fire up over the next few days so that they can take advantage of the home leg of the competition. The opener has the potential to take any attack apart.
Brandon King showed exactly why he was selected to replace Rovman Powell as the captain of the Jamaica Tallawahs in their first match. His calmness at the crease was impressive and then he led them well in the field too.
The sixes have been my go to punt in this tournament so far and that is definitely not changing now that we move to Warner Park. I’m a little surprised that the line hasn’t gone up from St Lucia because we are on a much smaller ground here and there is nothing to suggest that the wicket is not going to be good for batting. I accept that the Tallawahs bowling unit looks decent and the three overs we saw of the Patriots suggests they’ll go ok with the ball but this is a ground where mishits fly for six.
Even allowing for all of the bowling talent on show in this match we still have the likes of Evin Lewis, Andre Fletcher, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Fabian Allen and a whole host of others batting for us and on a pitch where I don’t expect any help for the bowlers and after a belting hot day where dew is almost a certainty in the evening I just fail to see how the sixes won’t fly here. I’m more than happy to be on the over in this one.
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