After their hard-earned victory over St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in their opening encounter, the defending champions Barbados Tridents would want to continue their winning momentum when they take on St Lucia Zouks in match No. 5 of the Caribbean Premier League 2020. Barbados have a superb record against St Lucia in CPL, having won 10 of the 14 matches they have played against each other.
HEAD TO HEAD IN CPL
Overall: Matches – 14 | SLZ – 4 Wins | BT – 10 Wins
Last 5 matches: SLZ – 2 Wins | BT – 3 Wins
The Brian Lara Stadium has hosted 12 encounters since CPL 2017. It has been one of the better bowling venues around the Caribbean in the recent past. Even the first two matches of the tournament weren't high scoring.
Bowlers have managed a wicket every 17.2 balls here in CPL matches since 2017 with batsmen averaging 22.3 runs/wicket. It would be ideal to have as many bowling options as possible.
Overall, spinners here have a slightly better economy rate and average than fast bowlers, while the latter has a superior strike rate since CPL 2017. In this time period, spinners have picked up 61 wickets in 24 innings at an average of 23.4 and a strike rate of 19.7. Meanwhile, seamers have taken 85 wickets in the same number of innings at an average of 23.6 and a strike rate of 18.2.
In the first two CPL 2020 encounters, the likes of Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan, Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Sandeep Lamichhane did well, and the surface would get slower and slower now that the venue has already hosted four matches.
Both teams have a couple of world-class spinners and three of them could also chip in with the bat. Barbados played four frontline spinners - Rashid, Santner, Hayden Walsh and Ashley Nurse - in their opening game and at least two of them are a must.
Meanwhile, St Lucia have Mohammad Nabi, Rahkeem Cornwall and Zahir Khan in their squad and it would be tough to ignore someone like Nabi who can chip in all facets of the game. In the batting department, St Lucia will rely a lot on Andre Fletcher, Nabi, Roston Chase and Najibullah Zadran.
For Barbados, Shai Hope didn't have a great first game but the wicketkeeper-batsman is a safe option up the order. They have quite a few allrounders in their playing XI, so please choose wisely.
MOHAMMAD NABI v RASHID KHAN
The 35-year-old has a solid record against his countrymate Rashid in T20s. Nabi has an average of 54 and a strike rate of 154.3 against the legspinner.
JOHNSON CHARLES V KESRICK WILLIAMS
The Barbados opener has done well against Williams in the past and would like to do the same in the coming encounter.
OBED MCCOY v JASON HOLDER
The left-arm seamer from St Lucia has got the better of Holder twice in as many games. The West Indies skipper would look to better his record against McCoy.
RASHID KHAN: Come on, why would you not? Only Imran Tahir has taken more wickets than Rashid in T20s since 2019. The Afghanistan legspinner has picked up 84 wickets at a strike rate of 19.1 in this time frame. The 21-year-old was phenomenal in the first encounter against the Patriots. After slamming crucial 26 runs down the order, the legspinner also took two wickets. We have seen it in the recent past, Rashid is very handy with the bat and after his exploits in the first game, the Barbados team management could use him as a pinch-hitter. Which means, more fantasy points!
MITCHELL SANTNER: The left-arm spinner from New Zealand is very underrated in T20s. Santner is someone who always picks up a wicket or two and if the surface is offering even a bit of turn, the 28-year-old becomes a different beast altogether. He had a brilliant first game in which he scored 20 runs and also picked up two wickets. Santner was named Player of the Match and the surface at the Brian Lara Stadium will suit his kind of bowling.
ANDRE FLETCHER: Fletcher has been a consistent performer for St Lucia in CPL. The right-hander has played 67 games for them and has scored 1892 runs at an average of 31.02 and a strike rate of 117.2. He also has a pretty decent record against Barbados, having scored 428 runs at an average of 30.57 and a strike rate of 131.3. Fletcher will also keep wickets and can get you crucial points both in front and behind the wickets.
MOHAMMAD NABI: The allrounder from Afghanistan is a utility cricketer and has played T20s all around the world. The 35-year-old will be St Lucia Zouks' most crucial player because he can contribute in all three departments. He will bat in the top five and will generally bowl his full quota of overs. He is the type of player who could get you many points because St Lucia will rely a lot on him.