NOTE: All stats here are updated until 19 August 2020
Trinbago Knight Riders and Jamaica Tallawahs have accounted for five titles in seven completed seasons of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) so far. The Knight Riders have qualified for the playoffs every year. On the other hand, the Tallawahs failed to make it to the final four for the first time last season after finishing at the bottom of the table.
While Tallawahs have a better overall record against the Knight Riders, the latter have enjoyed more success in matches between the two sides recently. Last season, both games between them were won by the team from Trinidad and Tobago.
Overall: Matches – 16 | TKR – 7 Wins | JT – 9 Wins
Last 5 Matches: TKR – 4 Wins | JT – 1 Win
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Since 2017 in the CPL, the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba has seen five wins for teams batting first and seven for teams batting second. On the first two days CPL 2020, teams chasing have won thrice with one match seeing the team batting first coming out on top.
Compared to other stadiums in the CPL during the same period, it has tended to favour bowlers more than most. As we can see in the graph below, only one stadium (Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados) has seen lesser runs scored and deliveries bowled per wicket.
On the first two days of CPL 2020, in eight innings across four matches, 1167 runs were scored for the loss of 52 wickets – 22.4 runs per wicket and 17.3 balls per wicket – which is not far off from the overall numbers at the stadium since 2017.
Since 2017 in the CPL, at the Brian Lara Stadium, pacers have taken wickets more regularly but spinners have been more economical which sees them have a better bowling average.
During the aforementioned period, pacers have taken a wicket every 18.2 deliveries in the CPL in Tarouba compared to a strike rate of 19.7 for the spinners.
The slower bowlers have an economy rate of 7.1 which is 0.7 runs per over better than the same number for fast bowlers. This might help you gather a few crucial points.
On day one of CPL 2020, it must be noted that spinners were named the Player of the Match in both games. While both Sunil Narine and Mitchell Santner, especially the former, made meaningful contributions with the bat too, they were excellent with the ball.
On the first couple of days of CPL 2020, 57.2% of overs were bowled and 60% of wickets were taken by pacers. So, perhaps, it won’t be a bad decision to include at least three pacers and two premier spinners in your team.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
After Sunil Narine’s exploits with the bat in Knight Riders’ opening game against Guyana Amazon Warriors, the Tallawahs will be mindful of the same. The express pace of Oshane Thomas might be one way to stop Narine, but as we can see below, Thomas doesn’t have a great record against the Arima-born allrounder in T20 cricket so far.
Following Andre Russell’s brilliance with the bat in recent times, Knight Riders will – in all likeliness – look to use their best bowler, Narine, against him. Against Narine, Russell has been dismissed twice from 61 deliveries, but it is his strike rate which takes a big hit – 121.3 compared to a career T20 strike rate of 170.9.
Another match-up you might want to keep an eye out on is between Colin Munro and Sandeep Lamichhane. Among all bowling types, Munro averages the least (20) and has the lowest strike rate (125.7) against leg-spin. So far, the New Zealand batter has faced just four deliveries from the Nepal spinner in T20 cricket and has been dismissed once.
On the back of a superb all-round performance in the inaugural game of CPL 2020, Sunil Narine seems to be the outstanding choice for captaincy in this match. Against the Warriors, Narine took two wickets before scoring a quickfire fifty to guide the Knight Riders to victory. He almost always bowls four overs and opens the batting for his team which means he gets the best opportunity to score points as a bowler and as a batsman.
Along with Narine, another allrounder who is a must-have in your fantasy team is Andre Russell. He has been in sensational form with the bat over the past year or so. Since the start of 2019, he has scored 1274 runs at an average of 39.81 and a strike rate of 183.3. To go with that, during the same period, he has also taken 48 wickets, striking every 19.5 deliveries. Going back to his batting, he enjoys a better batting average (54.44) and strike rate (199.2) against the Knight Riders than any other team in the CPL.
Glenn Phillips had a fine CPL 2019, scoring 374 runs at an average of 37.4 and a strike rate of 145. He was especially superb during the Powerplay last season, averaging 55.25 in the first six overs. On Wednesday, he opened his account this season with a 29-ball 44 which helped Jamaica secure victory which is a sign that he is in good form once again.
Lendl Simmons scored just 17 from 21 deliveries in the Knight Riders’ first game of CPL 2020. But a player of his calibre is someone you cannot ignore. With Narine having the license to go after the bowling at the start of the innings, Simmons can take his time to get his eye in which is a very good thing when it comes to fantasy cricket. CPL 2019’s second highest run-getter will be keen to make his mark on this year’s edition as soon as possible and the game against the Tallawahs could be the start.