Match Three of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will take place between Jamaica Tallawahs (JT) and St Lucia Zouks (SLZ) at the Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad on Wednesday. The two teams finished in the last two spots in the previous season and will be looking to put on a much better show this time around.
The Tallawahs may have given up Chris Gayle, but they have made a few key retentions that are going to be key for them this edition. Andre Russell and Rovman Powell, who missed a huge part of the previous season due to injury are two such examples. Glen Phillips has been another mainstay for the Tallawahs as he has scored over 1000 runs for the team at 35.96, which includes a century and six fifties. They have also managed to procure the services of Carlos Brathwaite and along with Russell and Powell, he could be yet another handy weapon not just with the bat, but also with ball.
To further add to their arsenal, Jamaica also have Oshane Thomas, who in the last year or so has gained a lot of experience and will be expected to do better than the last campaign in which he picked up nine wickets at 31.
As far as the Zouks are concerned, they have managed to reach the play-offs just once. Darren Sammy who has led West Indies to two World T20 titles, has not been able to replicate that success with the Zouks. Andy Flower, the new coach of the side, will look to work closely with Sammy to help Zouks get out of this rut. The fact that they have managed to retain their opening combo of Rakheem Cornwall and Andre Fletcher is certainly a good beginning as they were key in ensuring that the Zouks got off to the best of starts. They have also added Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran who could bolster their middle-order – an area the team struggled with in the previous edition.
As far as their bowling is concerned, the fast bowling trio of Kesrick Williams, Obed McCoy and Chemar Holder will form the core. They will be a handful considering 54.9 percent of the wickets since 2018 have been picked up by the pacers at the Brian Lara Stadium. There will be something in it for the spinners as well that the likes of Nabi and Zahir Khan can exploit as the tweakers in general have conceded under seven an over at 22.6 in T20s since 2018 at the venue.
St Lucia Zouks likely XI: Rahkeem Cornwall, Andre Fletcher, Mark Deyal/Leniko Boucher, Najeebullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Darren Sammy (c), Scott Kuggeleijn, Kesrick Williams, Obed McCoy, Zahir Khan, Chemar Holder
Other than the three allrounders, the Tallawahs too have some impressive spinners in the line-up that includes Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, who has been drafted in as a replacement for Tabraiz Shamsi. Mujeeb will bowl alongside Sandeep Lamichhane and could very well be the best spin bowling duo in the tournament. Tallawahs conceded 200-plus on three occasions last season which included 267 at the hands of Trinbago Knight Riders and 242 against St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots. Having controlling bowlers like Mujeeb and Lamichhane could very well ensure that their opponents are restricted to a sub-par total.
Jamaica Tallawahs likely XI: Glenn Phillips (wk), Chadwick Walton, Ramaal Lewis, Rovman Powell (c), Andre Russell, Asif Ali, Carlos Brathwaite, Veerasammy Permaul, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, Oshane Thomas
*All stats as on August 17, 2020