ABOUT THE MATCH
The 2019 Caribbean Premier League starts with defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders, taking on St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on home soil. The match, at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, takes place on September 4.
The defending champions will start the tournament without their three top batsmen from last year, however – Colin Munro (international duty), Dwayne Bravo (injury) and Brendon McCullum (retired) were three of last season’s five top runscorers in the competition.
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots’ bid to finish higher than fourth in the league stage, before suffering a play-off defeat, will be conducted without Chris Gayle – who now plays for Jamaica Tallawahs. Carlos Brathwaite will step up as captain instead.
The Patriots won the toss and elected to field first when these teams last met, though that would not be a bad tactic again on a changeable Port of Spain wicket.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
Though cloudy and humid in the Port of Spain, temperatures will be in the high 20s.
Port of Spain was most recently used for two ODIs during India’s tour of the West Indies last month, where it was the seamers who dominated the wickets on some balanced pitches. It will be a worn wicket for this opener.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF Trinbago Knight Riders
Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Kieron Pollard (c), Jimmy Neesham, Seekkuge Prasanna, Tion Webster, Mohammad Hasnain, Javon Searles, Khary Pierre, Ali Khan
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Trinbago Knight Riders
- With Brendon McCullum having retired, Colin Munro away with New Zealand in Sri Lanka for the start of the CPL 2019
- And Dwayne Bravo likely to miss a significant chunk of the series through injury, Trinbago Knight Riders are without their top three batsmen from last season.
- Top bowler Fawad Ahmed has also not re-signed. Kieron Pollard is a Trinbago man for the first time, however, and – in Bravo’s absence – will captain the team.
- In place of Munro, Lendl Simmons will play the first three matches.
- Darren Bravo should also miss the start of the tournament, however, if concussion protocols are properly followed after his injury in the test match against India.
- Trinbago Knight Riders won last year’s competition.
- They won seven of their ten games to top the group but lost the first qualifier to Guyana Amazon Warriors.
- A 20-run win defending 165/6 against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots followed, however, before Colin Munro’s unbeaten 68 from 39 balls in the final helped them to 150/2 in 17.3 overs and an eight-wicket win against the Warriors.
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
- St Kitts & Nevis Patriots are no longer led by Chris Gayle, with Carlos Brathwaite stepping up instead, while Rassie van der Dussen has been forced to miss the tournament due to international commitments.
- Mohammad Hafeez replaces the latter, while Gayle now plays for Jamaica. Fit-again Alzarri Joseph returns, meanwhile – replacing Isuru Udana who also has international commitments.
- Laurie Evans is only free to play once the English county season ends. St Kitts & Nevis Patriots finished fourth in the league phase last season and then chased 192 to beat Jamaica Tallawahs and reach the next playoff round.
- There, they faced Trinbago Knight Riders, who scored 165/6 from their 20 overs and then restricted the Patriots to 145/8.
PROBABLE WINNING TEAM:
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