The table-topping Trinbago Knight Riders are in red-hot form after producing back-to-back wins in their opening two games of the 2017 CPL. A dominant start might just be overshadowed by their win/loss record of recent against the Tallawahs, Jamaica defeated Trinbago in all three matches last year which isn’t a reflection on this years early dominance.
The explosive Kiwi-batting duo of Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro kicked off the Knight Riders 2017 campaign like a house on fire against the St Lucia Stars, McCullum’s seven sixes highlighting what was a dominant display of power-hitting that could not be contained on the night. The Knight Riders followed that dominant performance up with another comfortable win, but it wasn’t without it’s nervous moments when the top six batsmen were all dismissed for under twenty runs on a dodgy Port of Spain deck. The unlikely heroes Shadab Khan and Javon Scantlebury-Searles guided the team home with the bat with both batsman finishing unbeaten on 30 & 27, furthering Trinbago’s batting depth which must worry opposition teams. Given the Knight Riders ability to chase down runs quite quickly batting second, opposition sides might want to avoid playing into their hands by bowling first so the likes of Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro have to take a more conservative approach. Another reason why Trinbago will be so difficult to beat this year is the makeup of their bowling attack, they’ve got two quality spinners in Shadab Khan and Sunil Narine who give batsman very-little to work with in terms of runs, accompanied by Kevon Cooper and Dwayne Bravo who are genuine wicket-takers in this format and don’t give you a lot of pace to work with off the pitch. The Knight Riders look set to break their three-match losing streak against the Tallawahs in an epic encounter.
After a disappointing start to kick off their tournament, the Tallawahs fired back with a win against the Barbados Tridents who looked to be the favorites heading into the game. It was the 30-year-old Andre McCarthy who fired the shots with the willow in this match with a match-winning 60 off 44 deliveries anchoring the innings at No. 3. Both McCarthy and Lendl Simmons look the inform batsmen for the Tallawahs, Simmons scored a half-century in the opening game and added another 30 runs to his tournament tally on Sunday. Worrying signs yet again for veteran Kumar Sangakkara who has managed just 12 runs in two games so far, he had a similar form-slump for the Hobart Hurricanes in Australia’s Big Bash League last summer. A genius move from the Tallawahs was dropping Shakib Al Hasan down the batting order to No. 6, thriving off the free-license to hit as he worked his way to an unbeaten 44 that provided his side with the desired outcome at the back end of the innings. After being belted all around the park against the Tridents, Mohammad Sami made up for a shabby bowling performance as he wreaked havoc through the Tridents line-up a second time around producing a lethal bowling display that ended any chance of Barbados clawing their way back into the contest. The Pakistani quick finished with figures of 4/12 off his four overs, it will be interesting to see if Sami can back that performance up again against the Knight Riders.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Trinbago Knight Riders | 7th match | Port of Spain
- Brendon McCullum
- Dwayne Bravo
- Sunil Narine
- Colin Munro
- Shadab Khan
Top 5 fantasy picks | Jamaica Tallawahs | 7th match | Port of Spain
- Lendl Simmons
- Andre McCarthy
- Krishmar Santokie
- Mohammad Sami
- Imad Wasim
Trinbago Knight Riders (possible) – 1. Brendon McCullum 2. Sunil Narine 3. Colin Munro 4. Denesh Ramdin (wk) 5. Darren Bravo 6. Dwayne Bravo (c) 7. Shadab Khan 8. Javon Scantlebury-Searles 9. Kevon Cooper 10. Ronsford Beaton/Nikita Miller 11. Khay Pierre.
Jamaica Tallawahs (possible) – 1. Lendl Simmons 2. Kumar Sangakkara (c & wk) 3. Andre McCarthy 4. Shakib Al Hasan 5. Rovman Powell/Gidron Pope 6. Jonathan Foo 7. Imad Wasim 8. Garey Mathurin 9. Krishmar Santokie 10. Kesrick Williams 11. Mohammad Sami.