In the first match of the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Trinbago Knight Riders face St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Last year, this venue was kind to batsmen, with the average score batting first being 194. In the last three years, Queen’s Park Oval has been the third best ground in terms of scoring rate in the CPL.
In the previous three editions of the CPL, finger spinners haven’t done well at this venue. They haven’t leaked a lot of runs but haven’t picked enough wickets.
If we look closely at the bowlers who have picked wickets at this venue, everyone apart from Samuel Badree bowls during the death overs. All three pacers - Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Krishmar Santokie - have a good slower delivery which shows that the ball grips onto the surface. Bravo, however, will not be available for this game because of a fractured left hand. During the death overs, a wicket falls once every two overs, compared to once every three overs in the Powerplay and once every four overs in the middle phase.
The Knight Riders should defeat the Patriots easily, which calls for more players from the hosts in a fantasy XI. Given this venue saw high-scoring games last year, more batsmen should be a part of your team.
Sunil Narine: His all-round ability makes him captaincy material. With a batting strike rate of 155 during the Powerplay in the last three editions of the CPL, he can run away with the game in no time. He is also the third highest wicket-taker at this venue in the CPL over the last three years.
Denesh Ramdin: He has a good dismissal rate (38) in the Powerplay overs and scores at a strike rate of 125 during the same period of the innings. With his wicket-keeping points very beneficial, he should be a part of your fantasy side.
Devon Thomas: With a dismissal rate of 76 in the Powerplay, he has been a reliable batsman in the CPL in the last three editions.
Mohammad Hafeez: The Pakistan all-rounder is likely to open the innings and bowl his full quota of four overs, thus having an opportunity to score a lot of points in the match.