St Lucia Zouks will lock horns with St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the 21st game of the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on their home ground, Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet. The Patriots are placed third on the points table and will topple Trinbago Knight Riders from the second spot with a victory tonight. Meanwhile, Zouks – with three points in six games – will be playing for survival in the tournament.
In eight encounters between the two sides in CPL history, the Patriots hold the edge having won five games. Their victory percentage of 62.5 against the St Lucia franchise is the highest amongst all their CPL opponents. In the previous encounter between the two sides, the 13th game of the ongoing season, the Carlos Brathwaite-led side defeated the Zouks comprehensively by six wickets, chasing down a modest total of 138 with more than five overs left in the innings.
Ground Detail and Team Combination:
By the virtue of rain in the previous game at the venue, Gros Islet has seen the least amount of cricket in the tournament so far - only 47.1 overs in two games. An average batting run-rate of only 7.5 runs per over is the second lowest amongst all venues. Moreover, both these sides have been in the lower half of the table when it comes to batting averages. Hence, building an XI dominated by all-rounders and bowlers could prove to be a fruitful move.
Evin Lewis is the biggest Caribbean superstar who will be in action in this game. The dashing left-handed opener has done justice to his reputation in the tournament scoring 227 runs in seven innings at a strike-rate of 174.6. Three out of the four victories attained by the Patriots this season were triggered by a quick-fire start from Lewis at the top. Moreover, his false shot percentage has been only 21.1%, the lowest amongst all batsmen with more than 200 runs in the season currently, a stat which speaks for the fluency in Lewis’ strokeplay this season.
Fabian Allen has been instrumental in the Patriots’ batting arsenal this season. Amassing 191 runs in the tournament, Allen is among the top 10 run-scorers of the 2019 CPL so far despite batting lower down the order. His strike-rate (183.6) is the second best among the players on that list. In the Patriots’ last game, he struck an unbeaten 62 off only 27 deliveries powering his side’s total beyond the opponents’ reach and won the Man of the Match award.
Rahkeem Cornwall has been the highest run-scorer for the Zouks, scoring 165 runs this season with the second best being 105 by Andre Fletcher. What has really stood out about Cornwall’s batting expertise is his strike-rate of 229.1, the only batsman in the top 10 run-scorers chart during 2019 CPL with a strike-rate in excess of 200. However, most of these runs came while opening the innings and the Zouks decided to play him in the middle-order in their last game. Cornwall couldn’t adjust to the change and was dismissed for eight before the rain arrived and played spoilsport in the Zouks’ game against Knight Riders.
Colin Ingram provided spark to the struggling Zouks’ batting line-up with an eye-catching fifty in the last game. The rain allowed only 12 overs in the match but it was enough to show the daylight between Ingram and the others. He batted with a strike-rate of 152 with the Zouks’ run-rate marginally above eight runs per over. His false shot percentage in the innings was only 8.1, the third lowest in a 50-plus innings in this year’s edition.
Cloud cover and windy conditions are expected throughout the game. However, a second successive incomplete game at the venue seems unlikely.
Suggested FanFight Team:
Evin Lewis, Devon Thomas (wk), Colin Ingram, Laurie Evans, Mohammad Hafeez, Rahkeem Cornwall, Fabian Allen, Kesrick Williams, Sheldon Cottrell, Rayad Emrit, Fawad Ahmed