CPL

Patriots look to rediscover form with eye on playoffs

By August 30, 2018
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots paceman Sheldon Cottrell appeals for a wicket during a 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League match. St Kitts and Nevis Patriots paceman Sheldon Cottrell appeals for a wicket during a 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League match. CPL via Getty Images

The St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, coming off a disappointing loss to the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Hero Caribbean Premier League, will look to regain some confidence and momentum when they play against the St Lucia Stars at the Warner Park Sporting Complex in Basseterre tonight. 

The Patriots have, for the most part, got the better of the Stars when the two have met, beating them four times of the seven encounters they’ve had. The Stars won two of those encounters, while one was a no result.

However, the Stars, while having a woeful season, have been showing signs of improvement and could make the farce of a game they played against the Patriots last time out, a distant memory.

On that occasion, the Stars were blown away for 69, the lowest ever CPL total, before going on to lose by seven wickets  in two balls short of eight overs.

The Stars were also bolstered by a return to form from Lendl Simmons, who scored 45 from 26 in his last outing against the Jamaica Tallawahs. He missed a half-century after he was run out by Oshane Thomas as he tried to back up in the last over of the game.

The game was over by then, but the way he had been hitting the ball, he would almost certainly have gotten to a half century with the three balls that remained in the innings.

Stars skipper Kieron Pollard has also led his side’s batting from the front, scoring 330 runs to lead all scorers in the tournament and he may just be able to provide the kind of match-winning innings he did against the Barbados tridents when he banished the bowlers to all parts of the ground to score 104 from 54 deliveries.

With all that said, the Patriots must start favourites to win in this game, as the Stars bowling, outside of Obed McCoy and Rahkeem Cornwall, has been a little ragged and gives opportunities to teams to score heavily.

The Stars have also failed to get their bowling rotation right, with Mitch McClenaghan only bowling three overs on more than one occasion, where his experience should have told.

The Patriots have some concerns as well, with their long batting line up failing to bring the kind of totals it should.

The Patriots boast the Windies pairing of Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle at the top of the order. As well as the experienced Devon Thomas in the middle order, along with Tom Cooper, Anton Devcich, Mahmudullah, Ben Cutting and Carlos Brathwaite.

With a hitlist that goes all the way down to eight, scores of 200+ should be a matter of course.

Lewis has been off colour and that middle order has not been explosive enough. One of the reasons for that may be the constant need to consolidate with openers, Lewis and Gayle not spending very much time at the crease.

Lewis has been especially guilty, with his score of 28 in the last game he played against the Warriors the only sign that he can be dangerous. However, the innings may prove the turning point for the opener and could mean the Stars, who can only counter with Kesrick Williams and McClenaghan, are in for some fireworks.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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    West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards believes veteran T20 player Kieron Pollard would make a better option for team captain than current skipper Carlos Brathwaite.

    The 31-year-old Brathwaite was named captain of the squad in 2016, following the controversial dismal of World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy and his heroics against England in the final.  The Barbadian has, however, struggled since taking charge of the unit, winning just 11 and losing 17 of his matches in charge of the team for a 36 percent win rate.

    Despite being out of the squad for a couple of years, Pollard has continued to be one of the game’s most reliable players, recently returning to score 115 in a three-match series against India.  The Windies, however, lost the series 3-0.

    “Given his experience in that format, I would have liked to see Kieron Pollard as the best choice for our T20 captain. But he is not, for there are some reasons for that. During the CPL, he is the best with the bat and his fielding talent,” Richards recently told the India Times.

    “There is no disrespect to Carlos Brathwaite, but he probably would have been part of the team still. It was a political scenario after Darren Sammy exited the captaincy. Brathwaite is magnificent as an individual and highly competitive, but I know a lot of players in that team who believe Pollard would have been a great choice as captain.”

     

     

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