We have the first double header of the CPL 2023 season on Saturday and it begins with two teams getting their Caribbean Premier League campaign underway when the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots take on the Trinbago Knight Riders.
Every time they start out on a new campaign the Knight Riders are expected to be challenging for the title and that is the pressure they are under this term. St Kitts and Nevis fly a little more under the radar but will be looking to showcase their credentials here.
Trinbago Knight Riders
They might have gone into last season as the favourites to win the title a year ago but the campaign couldn’t have gone much worse for the Trinbago Knight Riders as they finished bottom of the table and in truth weren’t all that competitive at all. They have gone back to the experienced heads who have been so good for them in the past and if they show their old glories then Trinbago probably will be the team to beat. There is no guarantee that will be the case though.
There is some serious power in this Trinbago Knight Riders batting unit and if they were to come off as one they could put up a serious score but unlike some of the teams in the event, the batting power they have put together hasn’t come at the expense of a useful bowling attack. Sunil Narine and Akeal Hosein are always going to be a steady partnership with the ball, while Dwayne Bravo has oceans of experience and success in this competition.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
The St Kitts and Nevis Patriots missed out on the finals of this tournament by a single place last season but it was damning that they had the worst net run rate of the competition which suggested that when they were beaten they were taken apart whereas their wins were a little tighter. They will want to showcase a more balanced and consistent campaign this time around and if they can do that then they will expect to be around when the business part of this tournament comes along.
You would imagine that the Patriots will be quite happy playing in St Lucia. They have loaded up their team with big hitting batters, which they have to do with their home leg of the tournament coming at Warner Park, and the dimensions of this ground and the quality of the pitches will really suit them. That batting mite has come slightly at the expense of what they have to offer with the ball but if their standout bowlers can be counted they should be fine.
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Nicholas Pooran was in brutal form in Major League Cricket earlier in the month and then he doubled down on that with a good series against India in the T20 format more recently. His clean hitting could be very useful here.
All eyes will be on Dewald Brevis in this match to see if he can transfer his big hitting potential into delivering big shots here in the Caribbean. He probably doesn’t play spin as well as some but if it is up it will go.
The sixes have been really good to us so far in this tournament and I’m certainly not shying away from them in this match when you consider the batters that we have on show here. St Kitts and Nevis Patriots were always going to be a side packed with power batters because of where they are based but Trinbago might even have them covered when it comes to big hitters, it is just whether those within their ranks who have retired from international cricket hit the ground running.
If they do then the 14.5 sixes line won’t be nearly enough because we have the likes of Martin Guptilll, Rilee Rossouw, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis, Dewald Brevis, Andre Russell, Andre Fletcher, Sherfane Rutherford and Tristan Stubbs all running for us and one or two others on top of that as well. Trinbago offer up a fair bowling unit but in day conditions they can go around the park. I like the sixes here.
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