NOTE: All statistics as of September 3, 2021. (Till CPL Match 14)
Following a four-day break, both Jamaica Tallawahs and Trinbago Knight Riders will be playing their second game of the month on Sunday as the two sides will go toe-to-toe against each other at Warner Park. Placed second and third on the table respectively, the Tallawahs and the Knight Riders are coming on the back of losses and will be looking to get their season back on track.
In particular, the contest will be of great significance for defending champions TKR, who, with three losses in their first five games, have had an extremely rough start to the season. Each of their last two losses has been close, heart-shattering encounters, thus the Pollard-led side will be looking to redeem themselves with a win.
The match is no less significant for the Tallawahs, who will, with a win, further strengthen their hold at second, behind the Patriots. The clash on Sunday will be these two sides’ first meeting this season.
Played 19 | Trinbago W10 | Jamaica W9
Last 5 matches
Trinbago W5 | Jamaica W0
After the graveyard that CPL 2020 was for the batsmen, Warner Park at St Kitt's has turned out to be much, much kinder for the men wielding the willow. Thus far, teams batting first have been able to post an average first innings total of 160, and 6 of the first 14 games of the season have been won by the teams chasing, indicating that the pitch has held up just about fine. Two of the last three matches have not just seen the team batting first post a 160+ score, but also the team batting second successfully chase the total down. This suggests that Sunday could indeed turn out to be a good day for the batsmen.
If it does turn out to be a good batting day, then, what should the bowling captain do to make life difficult for the batters? Data suggests that the best bet would be to turn to pace. Thus far this season at Warner Park, a staggering 72.2 % of all wickets have been picked by the quicker bowlers. This is a significant improvement from numbers at the Brian Lara Stadium in CPL 2020, where the quicker bowlers picked just 48.8% of the wickets.
The spinners have been economical - 6.5 ER compared to pacers’ 8.2 ER - but if wickets are the need of the hour, then it will most likely be pace that will do damage. In particular left-arm pacers, whose average (20.4) and SR (14.3) are the best among all bowling types in CPL 2021. It might therefore be prudent to pick someone like a, say, Isuru Udana, who has 8 wickets in 5 games, including a five-wicket haul.
We did throw in Udana’s name in the previous section, but unfortunately, in our XI, the Lankan finds no place due to the balance of the XI. As mentioned earlier, pace rules at this venue, thus we’ve selected both Rampaul and Pretorious, the two highest wicket-takers of CPL 2021.
Just to remind, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Based on your preferences, the platform will guide you to create the ideal fantasy XI.
A very tough call but it’s hard to look beyond Kennar Lewis. The second-highest run-getter of CPL 2021, it was only two games ago that Lewis struck a match-winning 89 that handed the Tallawahs a fine win over the Royals. He’s averaging 40 and almost striking at 176 this season, so it is almost a no-brainer to put money on the 30-year-old to fire.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Lewis to score 30-44 runs against the Knight Riders.
Andre Russell is the hottest property in T20 cricket for a reason: he is the biggest x-factor out there in the market. With a batting average of 30.50 (SR of 277) and 4 wickets, Russell has warmed up nicely so far, and it feels like a matter of time before the all-rounder will explode. That explosion could very well happen on Sunday.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Russell to score 14-22 runs and pick 0-1 wickets.
If you pick Russell as your first x-factor, there is no way on earth you can ignore Kieron Pollard. Sure TKR have underperformed thus far this season, but Pollard, individually, has been brilliant. With 123 runs, he is the highest run-getter for TKR, and he, like Russell, is also on the verge of producing something special. With Sunday’s clash being a virtual must-win contest, expect the skipper to fire on all cylinders.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Pollard to score 16-24 runs and even take 0-1 wickets. What a bonus that would be!
And lastly we have the forgotten man Ravi Rampaul, who has reduced batsmen to tears this season. The highest wicket-taker in CPL 2021, Rampaul has picked 10 wickets in his last 3 games. He has taken *at least* three wickets in each of his last three games. Purple patch or not, it would be a heinous crime to ignore Rampaul given the form he finds himself in.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Rampaul to take 0-1 wickets.
Player match-up to watch out for
Kieron Pollard the batsman vs Andre Russell the bowler could be a fun match-up to watch out for. Russell has thus far had the wood over his national skipper, but you can never count Pollard out, can you?