Jamaica Tallawahs will play St Lucia Zouks in the ninth encounter of the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) at Sabina Park, Kingston on Thursday (September 12). Tallawahs and Zouks are the only two teams that are yet to register a win this season. While Tallawahs lost to Trinbago Knight Riders and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Zouks fell short against Guyana Amazon Warriors and Knight Riders.
Ground Details and Team Combination
Sabina Park, who’s hosting its first match of the season, is one of those grounds which offers something to both batsmen and bowlers. The average score at this venue across the last two seasons has been 150, with the surface offering assistance to both pacers and spinners. In the last two editions, fast bowlers operated at an economy of 8.27 but also managed to scalp 55 wickets. Meanwhile, spinners were more economical (7.12) but they averaged above 34 in six matches.
Both teams have good mix of pacers and spinners and it will be ideal to go with at least six bowling options. The likes of Steven Jacobs, Rahkeem Cornwall, Fawad Ahmed and Kavem Hodge struggled in their last match but will probably prefer bowling on this surface.
17 percent of the runs scored in the last two seasons at this venue have come via boundaries and someone like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Andre Fletcher and Thisara Perera can turn the game around in the space of few overs but at the same time, both sides will need players who can hold the innings together.
Andre Russell: The big-hitting all-rounder from Jamaica has only shown a glimpse of bruteness so far this season and will be eager to deliver a match-winning performance. Apart from knocks of 44 and 15, Russell has also taken three wickets but has failed to make an impact that would lead his side to a victory. The 31-year-old has picked up 10 wickets at this venue in the last three editions but has only managed 97 runs in six encounters. Russell is someone who contributes in all facets of the game and it becomes very difficult to look past him when it comes to selecting the captain of your fantasy team.
Chris Gayle: The self-proclaimed Universe Boss will turn 40 in few days, but Gayle is far from done. He smoked 116 off just 62 deliveries against Patriots that helped his team post a massive total of 241 for 4, which was later chased down. He slammed seven fours and 10 sixes during his stay in the middle and will once again fancy his chances against Zouks who don’t have big names in their bowling arsenal.
Oshane Thomas: The tall paceman has the tendency to leak runs but at the same time he is someone who can run through the batting order. Thomas picked up four wickets in the high-scoring encounter against Patriots and will be expected to do something similar tonight. If other bowlers can focus on control and accuracy, Tallawahs skipper Rovman Powell can Thomas the license to just bowl fast and attack. He has played 30 T20s, picking up 41 wickets at an economy of 8.75. He finished with 18 scalps last season and was second-highest wicket-taker.
Fawad Ahmed: Last season’s leading wicket-taker has been in decent form this season, picking up three wickets in two matches. He finished with figures of 2 for 25 against Amazon but was taken for cleaners against Knight Riders. Tallawahs will have quite a few big-hitters in their playing XI and that makes this legspinner an attacking option.
It’s going to be cloudy in the morning but it’s expected to clear out by the time match starts.
Predicted FanFight Team
Chris Gayle, Rahkeem Cornwall, Chadwick Walton, Glenn Phillips (wk), John Campbell, Andre Russell, Thisara Perera, Steven Jacobs, Fawad Ahmed, Obed McCoy, Oshane Thomas.