The Caribbean Premier League comes from the Kensington Oval in Barbados for the first time on Wednesday evening as the CPL 2023 campaign continues with the Barbados Royals taking on the Trinbago Knight Riders.
These two teams are still in the infancy of their season with them playing just three matches in St Lucia and St Kitts. Both start out here with a win, a no result and a loss to their name and will be looking to double the win tally here.
The Barbados Royals have been up and down at the beginning of this season but will know that they need to be on it for the next week or so as the home leg of any team in this tournament is always where they can make their move in the league table. Barbados looked like a team who were short of a gallop in their opening match against the St Lucia Kings and then after being frustrated by the rain in the second game they came good with an excellent run chase last time out.
The Royals showed in that run chase that their batting unit, which does look fearsome on paper, is every bit as daunting on the grass too and that bodes well for them as they head to their home ground which is usually a very good batting wicket. The concern would be that their attack is probably missing a kingpin, particularly at the end of an innings where teams could easily get away from them if they are not careful.
Trinbago Knight Riders
The Trinbago Knight Riders also looked like a team who were at a competitive disadvantage in their defeat to the St Lucia Kings but much like their opponents in this match, they bounced back in style and showed all of their power and quality to come out on top against the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and were they to win this game then they would move level on points with second place in the table with their home leg of the season still to come.
The one thing the Knight Riders are going to need to be careful of is their over rate. Experienced players are all well and good but when you are constantly having to hide them in the field that takes time and they paid the ultimate price in the previous game when they received the first red card in cricket, forcing them to finish their innings a man light in the field. There appears to be no concern with bat or ball but that time keeping could be an issue the longer we go on.
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Rovman Powell showed why the Barbados Royals were so keen to bring him in from the Jamaica Tallawahs in the last game when he plundered the ball to all parts. At some point in the campaign his bowling could come in handy too.
Kieron Pollard hit four of the biggest sixes in the one over that you will ever see to get the Trinbago Knight Riders home in the last game and having previously played for the Royals he will be out to show what they are missing here.
I would wager that pound for pound these two are the two biggest hitting sides in the competition, or in the top three at the very worst and a fresh Kensington Oval pitch should be seeing the eyes of the batters on show in this one lighting up. This isn’t a particularly big ground and the wicket is usually pretty good for batting, certainly up front. That might change as the week goes on but for now we should be expecting a decent track.
That makes me think we are going to see some sixes in this one. There are so many six hitters on show in this match. We have the likes of Rakheem Cornwall, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Rovman Powell, Martin Guptill, Rilee Rossouw, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine all potentially going for us and one or two others besides. The Trinbago bowling is ok but we saw it go the distance a few times in the previous match while the Barbados attack holds no demons. I like over 15.5 sixes here.
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