The Caribbean Premier League moves into its second day as the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and the Guyana Amazon Warriors go head to head in Basseterre.
Can Faf du Plessis and the Patriots get their campaign off to a winning start or will Martin Guptill and co open their accounts with a victory? Let’s take a look!
Patriots vs Amazon Warriors | Friday 1 July | Basseterre | 01:00
To Win Match
Patriots 15/20 | Tie 35/1 | Amazon Warriors 21/20
The Patriots come into this match as slight favourites, more than likely on the back of how strong their batting line-up is. The side will be captained by Faf du Plessis – easily one of the best T20 batsmen in the world at the minute. He’s likely to find plenty of support from the likes Lendl Simmons, Brad Hodge, Carlos Brathwaite and JJ Smuts.
The way Simmons and du Plessis play will have a massive bearing on how this game pans out. If they can get stuck into the Warriors’ bowling attack early on. Faf in particular is going to need to have a massive tournament if his side are to make to the final in August. The Proteas’ T20 captain has been in good form of late, playing a couple a magnificent innings in the Tri-Nation Series against the West Indies and Australia. Not only is he in good touch, he’s had plenty of time to acclimatise to conditions in the Caribbean over the last few weeks.
I’m particularly keen to seen Nikhil Dutta get a few more games this season. The tricky right-arm off spinner only got three appearances under his belt last time out and struggled a bit, bowling 11 overs in total, conceding 90 runs and taking two wickets.
Another player to look out for – assuming he gets a start tomorrow – is Jon-Jon Smuts. The South African is one of the more consistent domestic players in the Republic and deserves a chance to flaunt his wares on a bigger stage. He’s a vastly talented batsman, opening in all three formats of the game back home. While his average of 26.14 could be better, he scores his runs quickly, striking at a shade under 120.
Alzarri Joseph is the last guy to look out for in this side. The West Indian was part of the squad the won this year’s U19 World Cup. He’s a muscular fast bowler with a ferocious action, and it’ll be interesting to see how well opposition internationals face up to him.
The Amazon Warriors will do well to finish off the bottom of the table in the season’s edition of the Caribbean Premier League. Running through their squad, you can see why.
Martin Guptill will captain the side, although his form of late leaves a lot to be desired. His tame performances in the IPL were followed up by yet more mediocre displays in the Royal London One-Day Cup and the NatWest T20 Blast for Lancashire. He’s got some serious work to do in this tournament, and we’ll have to wait and see if he comes good.
Aside from Guptill, the Amazon Warriors are going to be relying heavily on Dwayne Smith and Chris Lynn throughout the tournament. They’re the only two other batsmen who have any real significant international experience. That said, Lynn has been pretty disappointing since his all-conquering display in last season KFC Big Bash where he managed to top the run scoring charts despite his side only winning three of their eight games.
Another player to look out for is Adam Zampa. The Aussie leg spinner has managed to establish himself in the national limited overs sides and will be keen to impress in the Caribbean. Like many of the Australian and South African players, he’s had plenty of time to suss conditions following their Tri-Nation Series exploits.
Verdict: Patriots to win at 15/20
While it’s always difficult to gauge how well teams are going to do before a ball is bowled in one of these franchise T20 tournaments, I feel that the Patriots’ simply have too much firepower at the top of the order for the likes of Adam Zampa and Sohail Tanvir to cope with. Back the St Kitts and Nevis franchise to claim victory at 15/20.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.