Zouks, Patriots in bottom-of-the-table clash

Hero Caribbean Premier League 2016…

St. Lucia Zouks are set to begin their home campaign tonight against the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots as the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) moves to the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet St. Lucia. It will be the first professional match at the stadium since it has been renamed in honour of Darren Sammy the first West Indies player from St. Lucia, a two time World T20 winning captain and skipper of the Zouks.
A tussle is expected in this clash as both teams find themselves in must win territory. Currently the Patriots are in fifth position with one win from seven matches while the Zouks are in the cellar spot with also one win but from four matches.

Samuel Badree
Samuel Badree
Johnson Charles
Johnson Charles

Although the Zouks are at the bottom of the points standing they have a better chance of qualifying for the play-offs than the Patriots. The top four teams qualify for the play-offs in St. Kitts and Nevis from August 3 to 7.
The hosts have more games than any other teams remaining and once they improve to win at least four of those games then they can easily qualify for the playoffs. In contrast to the Zouks, the Patriots must win all of their remaining matches and wait to see the results of other matches to know their fate.
Going into tonight’s clash Patriots holds the advantage in head to head encounters with two wins while the Zouks have won once. The visitors have a strong team but are yet to find their chemistry thus losing six of their seven matches. Their only win was a comprehensive one over the Zouks in the early stage of the tournament in Basseterre.
In that clash, the Patriots batted first and galloped to a mammoth total of 203-7 on the back of blistering knocks from openers Evin Lewis (73) and Lendl Simmons (30) before Devon Thomas smashed 48 runs in the latter part of the innings. In response, the Zouks were restricted to 145-5, losing by 58 runs.
Since that sterling performance, the Patriots have failed to produce another spectacular like it or near to it. At times when their batting is on the good side the bowling shows otherwise and vice versa. The team has struggled throughout the process though it comprises several experience and talented players.
In its batting repertoire there are Simmons, Lewis, Thomas, Brad Hodge, Faf du Plesis and Thisara Perera while in its bowling department there are Samuel Badree, Tabraiz Shamsi, Krishmar Santokie and Perera, yet the Patriots have failed miserably.
One may wonder the reason(s) for their failure, but judging from their previous outings it seems a matter of poor bowling changes, an unsettled batting line up and poor execution by the players.
In order for the Patriots to repeat their previous performance against the Zouks they must correct the aforementioned facets that are lacking.
Like the Patriots the Zouks have a very strong unit, especially the batting aspect but have found themselves on the losing end. With a star studded batting line up comprising the likes of Michael Hussey, David Miller, Shane Watson, Johnson Charles, Darren Sammy and Andre Fletcher, it is expected that the Zouks could set mammoth totals and successfully chase any targets. However, that has not been the case. They have also failed miserably winning just the tournament’s opener against Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR).
Unlike its batting, the Zouks bowling is not as strong on paper but possesses the dynamics to deceive teams. It includes Morne Morkel, Derone Davis, Watson, Shane Shillingford and Kyle Mayers.
If these two facets fire together for the Zouks then the oppositions would have to bring their ‘A’ game in the remaining matches. However, the Zouks must take it one match at a time if they are to improve and qualify for the playoffs for the first time in CPL history.
Meanwhile, the Patriots must win to stand any chance of reaching the playoffs for the first time.
Fans can enjoy a 50% discount since organizers would be celebrating the historic renaming of the Darren Sammy Stadium and the Johnson Charles stand.
Match time is 18:00h.
St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots- Faf du Plesis (captain), Lendl Simmons, Samuel Badree, Brad Hodge, Thisara Perera, Jonathan Carter, Krishmar Santokie, Evin Lewis, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kieran Powell, JJ Smuts, Devon Thomas, Shamarh Brooks, Tino Best, Jeremiah Louis, Nikhil Dutta and Alzarri Joseph.
St. Lucia Zouks- Darren Sammy (captain), Shane Watson, David Miller, Michael Hussey, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Morne Morkel, Derone Davis, Grant Elliott, Shane Shillingford, Delorn Johnson, Kyle Mayers, Keddy Lesporis, Nitish Kumar and Gidron Pope.