St Lucia Zouks will lock horns with Trinbago Knight Riders in the 18th game of the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) at their home ground, Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet. Both teams, having played five games each find themselves at different ends of the points table. Knight Riders are placed second on the table with four wins and one defeat while Zouks are at the second last spot with only one win so far.
In 13 encounters between the two sides in CPL history, Knight Riders hold the edge winning 10 games. Their victory percentage of 76.9 is the highest amongst all their CPL opponents. Knight Riders defeated Zouks by 7 wickets in their previous encounter, the 5th game of the ongoing season.
Ground Details and Team Combination:
The ongoing season has seen only one game played in Gros Islet in which Zouks suffered a 71-run defeat at the hands of Barbados Tridents who bowled them out for 101.
The Darren Sammy-led side has been the worst batting side of the tournament so far, in terms of both batting strike-rate and average. On the contrary, Knight Riders are on top in both those departments. Hence, it is advisable to load your sides with the Knight Riders’ batsmen.
The game also offers a number of star T20 all-rounders on display - Sunil Narine, James Neesham, Colin de Gradhomme and Rakheem Cornwall who has been a hit this season so far. It will be wise to use the all-rounder quota to the fullest by picking three all-rounders.
The only game of the season in Gros Islet saw the quick bowlers scalping nine out of 13 wickets. Moreover, they were economical as well going at 7.3 runs per over in comparison to the spinners who went at 8.1 runs per over. If the pitch stays the same, the quick bowlers will earn more fantasy points than the spin bowlers.
Lendl Simmons: The white-ball specialist opening batsman is inarguably the best captaincy choice for this game. He is currently the second highest run-scorer in the tournament amassing 268 runs at an average of 53.6. Moreover, he has a strike-rate of 179.8, again the second highest amongst all the openers who have scored more than 100 runs this season.
Colin Munro: The swashbuckling New Zealand batsman has found a new home in the Trinbago Knight Riders’ camp. He was the top run-scorer in CPL last season. This year, he joined the team late because of international commitments but has been nothing short of extraordinary again with a score of 96* off 50 balls in one of his two outings.
Rahkeem Cornwall: The rotund all-rounder is the highest run-scorer in the struggling Zouks’ batting line-up. He has 157 runs to his name which has come at a strike-rate of 245.3, the next best is Andre Fletcher who has scored 95 runs. The difference of runs here is an indication of Cornwall’s dominance in Zouks’ batting. With the ball, however, he only has one wicket to show for his efforts.
James Neesham: The Kiwi cricketer has been Knight Riders’ prime all-rounder this season. His economy might be on the higher side (11.4) but he has been the highest wicket-taker for Knight Riders so far with eight scalps to his name. With the bat, he has been a crucial link in the lower-order often providing the impetus to the batting run-rate in the final overs of the innings.
Fawad Ahmed: Picking 22 wickets in the previous edition of the tournament, the Australian leg-spinner was the highest wicket-taker in the 2018 CPL. That dream season for Ahmed came in the Knight Riders’ colours. This year, representing the Zouks, he has been one of the most influential spinners, taking six wickets in five games at an economy of 7.2 runs per over. Ahmed has picked a wicket in each of Zouks’ first four games which makes him a valuable asset for your Fantasy XI.
Scattered showers are expected in Gros Islet on gameday but the forecast does not seem to be too alarming to have an effect on the game.
Suggested FanFight Team:
Lendl Simmons (c), Rakheem Cornwall, Colin Munro (vc), Colin Ingram, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Fawad Ahmed, Kesrick Williams, Ali Khan