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18 Aug 2020
The CPL bandwagon moves forward as Jamaica Tallawahs locks horns with St Lucia Zouks at Trinidad on 19th August. However, let's hit the rewind button to get an overview of where things stand.
It's the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are IPL's perennial underachievers. For all the blockbuster signings and pre-tournament hyperbole, they deliver very little when it comes down to business. Sometimes you feel like RCB have hit the nadir, and no franchise across the globe is supposed to capitulate in a more absurd manner. And then you cast a glance at Jamaica Tallawahs' 2019 fiasco.
Two wins out of 10 games. Sixth-place finish. Poor returns for big names, horrendous fielding displays, rifts among players, constant chopping and changing. It was the kind of wicked nightmare that leaves you gasping for breath. And the departure of Chris Gayle owing to an ugly public spat with Ramnaresh Sarwan hammered the final nail in their coffin.
Kick-starting their campaign this year against St Lucia Zouks, the two-time title winners will believe they can rediscover their mojo, even though searching for optimism in 2020 seems nothing but a fool's errand.
Date: 19th August, Wednesday
Time: 7:30 PM(IST) and 10:00 AM(Local)
Venue: Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad
Gayle has left behind huge boots to fill for young openers Chadwick Walton and Glenn Phillips. Jermaine Blackwood boasts of an all-round game, delightful along the carpet but equally potent when taking the aerial route.
The pinch-hitting behemoth that is Andre Russell has not only enhanced his range-hitting caliber but also made significant progress to his tackling of spin. Though even if the opposition manages to keep him silent, the belligerent lower-order trio of Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite, and Asif Ali packs a punch.
Fidel Edwards and Oshane Thomas bring raw pace to the table while Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Sandeep Lamichhane will intensify the middle-phase stranglehold.
Predicted XI: Chadwick Walton, Glenn Phillips, Andre Russell, Asif Ali, Jermaine Blackwood, Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fidel Edwards, Oshane Thomas
St Lucia Zouks
Andre Fletcher and crowd-favorite Rahkeem Cornwall will bear the responsibility of getting them off to a flier. There's a wagonload of batting firepower to follow in Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, and captain Daren Sammy. Though, it remains to be seen how Roston Chase tweaks his percentage game to suit the rigors of the slam-bang format.
Scott Kuggelejin, Chemar Holder, and Kesrick Williams are exciting prospects but don't have a lot of miles under their legs. Similarly, Obed McCoy are Zahir Khan are short on experience, which makes their bowling group vulnerable to an extent.
Predicted XI: Ashley Fletcher, Rakheem Cornwall, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Daren Sammy, Roston Chase, Scott Kuggelejin, Chemar Holder, Kesrick Williams, Obed McCoy, Zahir Khan
Match Prediction: Notwithstanding Jamaica Tallawahs' dismal run of late, they are expected to make light work of St Lucia Zouks in what might turn out to be a pretty lopsided affair.