It is perhaps appropriate that the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots’ disappointing sophomore campaign of the Caribbean Premier League(CPL) is set to close out in Florida in the United States of America far away from the Caribbean where they have played poorly. To say they have performed far below their capabilities is kind. With proven world class T20 players in the forms of Faf Du Plessis, Lendl Simmons and West Indies 2016 T20 World Cup hero, Carlos Brathwaite many were tipping the patriots to be a dark horse to make the final and perhaps even win it. They have, unfortunately, fallen well short having won just 1 game from 8. That statistic looks harsh on paper as there are games they lost by slim margins but in any sport it’s only whether or not you lose or win that counts and the Patriots and their fans have had the displeasure of counting 7 losses.
However, with all that being said, the Patriots have two games remaining both against the Trinbago Knight Riders less than 48 hours apart having not played them thus far in the tournament. Although on their own behalves the Patriots’ will be playing for pride and their fans, they can still upset the proverbial apple kart if they beat the Knight Riders in just one of the two games, consequently taking their potential finals birth out of their hands. In doing so, the Patriots would give their CPL rivals the Barbados Tridents control of whether they make the finals or not meaning the Tridents would have to win their final two games to opportunistically rob the Knight Riders of the all important 4th place spot.
Despite that potential for a roller coaster finish to the pre-finals table for the Knight Riders and the Tridents, this is more than just two cricket matches to close out the campaign for the Patriots. They have been dismal around the Caribbean region and these two battles with the Knight Riders are an opportunity for the Patriots players to illustrate that they are not true basement dwellers of this year’s CPL and that there presence in the competition is validated. There is too much talent, too much experience and the coaching of Eric Simons is of too high a quality to justify this team’s 1 win and 7 loss campaign. The players will look to stand up, be counted and play their hearts out for the shirt on their backs as the competition is beyond them, but making their fans and themselves proud definitely is not. Whilst winning these final two games will not get the Patriots into the finals, it will send a message that this year’s display thus far was not a true reflection of what the Patriots’ ethos is or what they intend to bring into upcoming competitions in years to come.
In a season rife with disappointment for the Patriots, these next two games against the Knight Riders are most crucial. Here is a momentous chance for the Patriots to illustrate their quality on an even bigger stage and cast away the clouds from the majority of this season in the beautiful sunshine state. The chance to impress in front of a new and intrigued audience in the U.S and expectant fans back in the Caribbean is one the Patriots must take. With superstars like Hashim Amla, Dwayne Bravo and Faf du plessis all in action, these games promise to be full of fireworks and excitement. The games are tonight at 7pm and Sunday at midday; you do not want to miss the biggest party in sport where the Patriots look to take down the Trinbago Knight Riders.
Teams Top Performers
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Most runs: Jonathan Carter – 185 total runs
Best bowling figures in a game: Alzari Joseph – 41/4
Most wickets in the tournament to date: Tabraiz Shamsi – 8 wickets
Trinbago Knight Riders
Most Runs: Hashim Amla – 324 total runs
Best bowling figures in a game: Kevon Cooper – 22/3
Most wickets in the tournament to date: Dwayne Bravo – 14 wickets