With a record of 0-5 on their home deck in CPL18 and a handful of consecutive losses, the Barbados Tridents may well have just self-destructed this season as they sink to the bottom of the standings. As of a couple minutes ago, St Kitts and Nevis has officially qualified for the CPL finals after defeating the Tallawahs by 7 wickets.
With the top four teams who’ve reached the playoffs inevitably set in stone, we have some time to reflect on what went wrong in CPL18 for the Barbados Tridents. If I was to pinpoint one area that Barbados has significantly fallen short of, it would easily be their batting. It’s hard to see Martin Guptill making an appearance in next year’s CPL after back-to-back below-average seasons in the franchise, he’s produced a total of five single-digit scores in seven games for the Tridents in CPL18. South Africa’s Hashim Amla was viewed as a huge singing this year, but he’s also been one who’s fallen well short of expectations averaging just 13.80 from five matches. Amla looked in good touch against the Stars just recently before being run out for 35, unfortunately his return to form hasn’t come quick enough. Big West Indian opener Dwayne Smith’s tournament was either going to go one of two ways, and unfortunately for the Tridents it went the wrong way. The 35-year-old is a huge X factor when he’s firing, but with just one fifty and an average of 21.14 he’s yet another who hasn’t been able to benefit from his opportunities. To make matters worse, an abdominal strain prematurely ended classy right-hander Steve Smith’s CPL18 campaign which left a big hole in the middle order. Shai Hope has been impressive for the majority of the tournament and should continue to impress in the Tridents final two games. One thing that hasn’t been a huge letdown this year has been the Pakistani bowling-duo Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz. Mohammad Irfan in particular has been a joy to watch so far, the towering-seamer has exploited plenty of pace & bounce out of these Caribbean wickets in CPL18 with 8 wickets to his name. Barbados need to win their two remaining games this season if they are to avoid finishing last on the points table.
At this stage of the competition, the Patriots will be frantically trying to establish the best possible XI they have in order to win the CPL18 title. The inclusion of experienced South African domestic cricketer Rassie van der Dussen finally allowed St Kitts and Nevis to cut Tom Cooper loose after a horrendous tournament with the bat. An unbeaten 45 off just 24 deliveries saw van der Dussen guide the Patriots home against the third-placed Tallawahs which sealed a playoffs birth for his side. There’s no doubt in my mind that both van der Dussen and Chris Gayle will play a huge part in their playoffs campaign, Gayle’s opening partner Evin Lewis has been unsettled all tournament while Cooper and Devcich have had their own troubles with the willow in CPL18. It’s been mentioned many times before, but it’s almost impossible to overlook the amount of depth that the Patriots possess in their line-up. You’ve got the three main cogs at the top of the order (Gayle, Lewis and van der Dussen) followed by a variety of all-rounders featuring Mahmudullah, Ben Cutting, Anton Devcich and Carlos Brathwaite as well as an attacking wicketkeeper-batsman in Devon Thomas. With a line-up like that, St Kitts and Nevis don’t have to do a whole lot with the ball which is a major advantage over their opposition. The Patriots haven’t dropped off in that area though, Ben Cutting has been a fantastic pace option this year with the Australian all-rounder bagging 10 wickets in the tournament. All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite hasn’t been required a lot with the bat, but he’s certainly chipped in with the ball just like Cutting. The strongly-built Sheldon Cottrell will continue to lead the Patriots bowling attack ahead of the playoffs, the St Kitts and Nevis big man has claimed 9 wickets in the tournament so far and still looms as a major threat with the new ball.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Barbados Tridents | CPL | 26th match | Warner Park
- Shai Hope
- Mohammad Irfan
- Hashim Amla
- Dwayne Smith
- Jason Holder
Wildcard pick – Nicholas Pooran
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Kitts and Nevis Patriots | CPL | 26th match | Warner Park
- Chris Gayle
- Rassie van der Dussen
- Ben Cutting
- Devon Thomas
- Sheldon Cottrell
Wildcard pick – Evin Lewis
Barbados Tridents (possible) – 1. Dwayne Smith 2. Martin Guptill 3. Hashim Amla 4. Shai Hope 5. Sharmar Springer 6. Nicholas Pooran (wk) 7. Jason Holder 8. Ashley Nurse 9. Imran Khan 10. Wahab Riaz 11. Mohammad Irfan.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (possible) – 1. Chris Gayle © 2. Evin Lewis 3. Rassie van der Dussen 4. Mahmudullah 5. Ben Cutting 6. Devon Thomas (wk) 7. Anton Devcich 8. Carlos Brathwaite 9. Fabian Allen/Hayden Walsh 10. Alzarri Joseph/Jeremiah Louis 11. Sheldon Cottrell.