We arrive at the concluding stages of the tournament with the playoffs just around the corner now. For the Patriots, they can climb to second spot on the points table if they beat the fifth-placed Tridents which is highly probable.
The chance to win the CPL 2017 title is still well & truly alive for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, on the other end of the scale, the Barbados Tridents will not take part in the playoffs which leaves them purely playing for pride in this game. For a team that had so much potential coming into the tournament, they’ve significantly underwhelmed with a handful of players who didn’t turn up to play this year. It’s been a rampaging finish to the tournament from the prolific opener Dwayne Smith who has managed two centuries in his past three outings for Barbados, the question that has to be asked is where was this at the start of the tournament? Smith has to be thrown into that Chris Gayle category of damaging opening batsmen who can consistently do what he does, he may not produce as many highlights as the great man, but two centuries in a single T20 tournament is very impressive. Another who has produced some individual brilliance throughout the 2017 campaign is none other than the Tridents captain, Kieron Pollard. One of those players who has previously struggled to string some consistent performances together, Pollard did exactly that between matches two & five for the Tridents, scoring three half centuries in that time (62, 83* & 63*). Some let downs have included New Zealand’s Kane Williamson who is averaging just 19 with the bat for the tournament, along with the recent addition of England’s Eoin Morgan who has scored just five runs in his two outings. All-rounder Wayne Parnell has been good without being great with the ball, along with Rampaul, Hosein and Khan all being on borderline average. Smith’s return to form has given Barbados a fighting chance ahead of this final clash with the Patriots, but it really has been a tournament of what could have been for the Tridents.
All that’s left for the Tridents to do is win this final match and book a date with the Trinbago Knight Riders in the first qualifying final. Chris Gayle will be extremely thankful that he and his side get another opportunity to work themselves into a commanding position ahead of the playoffs after that appalling performance just in their most recent match against the Tallawahs. Gayle’s three-ball duck set the scene for the rest of the innings, completely deteriorating after the two openers were dismissed which led to a wicket-taking onslaught that saw the Patriots bowled out for just 117. It’s amazing how quickly things can change, Evin Lewis looked as if he had recovered the innings after that early wicket with a quickfire 17-ball 40, only to be dismissed by a soft caught & bowled which saw a chain of wickets tumble within a matter of overs. Bouncing back after a loss like that is key for a side who have booked themselves into the playoffs, there are rarely no second chances when it comes to the finals, the pressure is immense and unrelenting. Matching up against the Tridents, there’s already a huge dissimilarity between each teams bowling attacks. The Patriots will head into this match with a far more potent attack featuring the likes of Samuel Badree, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Hafeez and Tabraiz Shamsi who have all show their worth in the tournament. Surprisingly, Sheldon Cottrell has been one of the more consistent bowlers having played just the three games for six wickets. This match could get quite ugly if both Gayle and Lewis explode with huge performances at the top for the Patriots, the Tridents have a decisively weak bowling attack which hasn’t been overly threatening in the tournament which is a huge concern against two powerhouse batsmen.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Barbados Tridents | 30th match | Bridgetown
- Dwayne Smith
- Kieron Pollard
- Wahab Riaz
- Eoin Morgan
- Nicholas Pooran
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Kitts & Nevis Patriots | 30th match | Bridgetown
- Evin Lewis
- Chris Gayle
- Sheldon Cottrell
- Mohammad Hafeez
- Samuel Badree
Barbados Tridents (possible) – 1. Dwayne Smith 2. Nicholas Pooran (wk) 3. Kane Williamson 4. Eoin Morgan 5. Kieron Pollard (c) 6. Chris Barnwell 7. Wayne Parnell 8. Akeal Hosein 9. Imran Khan/Shane Springer 10. Wahab Riaz 11. Ravi Rampaul.
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (possible) – 1. Chris Gayle (c) 2. Evin Lewis 3. Mohammad Hafeez 4. Carlos Brathwaite 5. Jonathan Carter 6. Mohammad Nabi 7. Devon Thomas (wk) 8. Ben Hilfenhaus 9. Samuel Badree 10. Sheldon Cottrell 11. Tabraiz Shamsi.