After facing defeats in their first three matches, St Lucia Stars will be hoping to secure their first win of the season when they lock horns with Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) on August 16 in the ninth fixture of the Caribbean Premier League 2018 at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia.
Both teams have played each other in eleven CPL games with the Knight Riders winning eight and the Stars just three.
In their most recent fixture on August 8, Stars suffered a humiliating defeat. Batting first Trinbago scored 195-6, thanks to a steady 68 from 48 balls by Colin Munro. Then Skipper Dwayne Bravo claimed 3-11, as St Lucia fell 100 runs short.
Trinbago Knight Riders started off their CPL 2018 campaign with a dominant performance against St Lucia Stars but lost their way afterward. They are currently fourth in the points table with a solitary win and two losses.
With the bat, Colin Munro is looking in terrific touch with scores of 68, 61 and 35 in the first three games respectively and he looks set for another big knock here. While skipper Darren Bravo with respective scores of 41 and 29 in previous two outings, also looked fluent in his strokes and one can expect him to produce a quality innings.
Kevon Cooper announced his comeback with entertaining 42 runs from 22 balls comprising two hours and four sixes in the previous fixture against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. While opener Sunil Narine is the only player, who has not been able to perform in this series so far and will be hoping for a turnaround in next fixture.
With the ball, their main bowler Ali Khan has taken the most wickets; seven in three matches and he was the pick of the lot last time with figures of 3/23. While Darren Bravo and Fawad Ahmed have also been impressive with four and five wickets, respectively.
St Lucia Stars have now lost their last 14 matches in the CPL and they are finding it extremely difficult to break the jinx. They have had a horrible start this year as well – suffering a humiliating 100-run defeat in the opening match against Trinbago Knight Riders before going down to Guyana Amazon Warriors by three runs in their second fixture, followed by a six-wicket defeat against Jamaica Tallawahs.
The Stars were let down by their batsmen in first two matches. They got skittled out for just 95 against Trinbago and then failed to chase Guyana’s moderate total of 141. While their bowlers failed to defend 175 in the previous game against Jamaica.
With the bat, Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard are the key men in the batting line-up. Both batsmen are the leading run-getters for the side this season with 70 runs each. While Andre Fletcher also hit 43 from 33 balls in last game against Jamaica and will be expected to make a sizeable contribution in the next fixture as well.
With the ball, the team will look to their seamers Mohammad Sami, Kesrick Williams and Mitchell McClenaghan to deliver the goods. McClenaghan and Williams took a couple of wickets apiece against Trinbago Knight Riders. Qaid Ahmed was the standout performer for Stars with impressive figures of 3-15 in their second fixture against Guyana and the Riders will look to be watchful against him.
Expected Playing XI: Darren Bravo (C), Denesh Ramdin, Kevon Cooper, Shannon Gabriel, Fawad Ahmed, Chris Lynn, Colin Munro, Sunil Narine, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo and Hamza Tariq.
Expected Playing XI: Kieron Pollard (C), Mark Chapman, Rahkeem Cornwall, Darren Sammy, Qais Ahmad, Mitchell McClenaghan, Kesrick Williams, Mohammad Sami, Andre Fletcher, David Warner and Lendl Simmons.