Its playoffs time in the CPL! First up we have the two best performing teams of the tournament fighting it out for a spot in this year’s final. Apart from that minor blemish to end their group stage fixture, Trinbago have been rapidly gaining momentum at the back-end of CPL18. That minor hiccup as mentioned happened to be against the Amazon Warriors who went on to win that match comfortably and seal a place in this all-important first qualifying final.
The Knight Riders might have to reassess how they go about tomorrow evenings first qualifier, in particular their bowling tactics against a Guyana batting line-up who smacked just about everything out of the park in their last meeting. One things for sure, they can’t have their top three failing like they did against the Amazon Warriors in that match 30 encounter. The overseas-trio consisting of Colin Munro, Brendon McCullum and Colin Ingram all bowed out relatively early which left the middle order having to rebuild Trinbago’s innings. They did quite a good job of it considering that they had no momentum whatsoever at 3-23. Denesh Ramdin’s move up the order in the past handful of games has been a positive one, he has scores of 39, 51 and 32. Colin Munro has had a huge tournament with the bat, so it came as a bit of a surprise to see him walking back to the dugout with his first single-digit score of CPL18. Averaging 52.22 for the tournament, Munro is the least of their problems. It’s not often bowlers get recognized in T20 tournaments due to a large portion of batting dominance in today’s game, however Australia’s Fawad Ahmed has been simply superb for Trinbago this season. As a leg-spinner in the tournament, Ahmed’s wrong’un has been his secret weapon with numerous batsmen not being able to read it. The 36-year-old led the wickets in CPL18 with 17, ending the group stage with a strike rate of 13. US speedster Ali Khan who racked up 14 wickets will be a huge inclusion for tomorrow’s match, he’s been Trinbago’s bowling X factor all season. The big-hitting Darren Bravo has had moments of brilliance for the Knight Riders this season, he’s been a handy contributor in the middle order which has given the likes of Munro and McCullum to free their arms early. If the batting order can fire on all cylinders, Trinbago can just about book a spot in the CPL18 final.
The Amazon Warriors must feel like they’re walking on a cloud after that big upset against the league-leaders a couple of days ago. A batting onslaught courtesy of Shimron Hetmyer and Sherfane Rutherford saw Guyana storm home by six wickets with 35 balls remaining. Here’s where it gets interesting – Rutherford’s 13-ball assault which included six-sixes doesn’t guarantee him a spot in tomorrow’s qualifier, the big man has only played 6 matches out of a possible 10 in the tournament. After that knock, you’d think he’d almost have to stay in the side after displaying that sort of power-hitting. The other man involved in the assault scored his second half century of the tournament in emphatic fashion, Shimron Hetmyer proving to be one of the hottest commodities on the market in CPL18. The 21-year-old West Indian has scored 386 runs for Guyana this season and could potentially take his team all the way to the promise land in 2018 if he keeps this type of form up. Guyana wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi has really struggled to put runs on the board in recent times, he’s managed just 7 runs from his past three innings. Even Chadwick Walton has been dropped down the order, The Amazon Warriors openers haven’t had a great tournament it has to be said. Cameron Delport’s new opening role will hopefully bring better results against the new ball. Now captaining Guyana, it was a bit of a surprise to see the ‘C’ next to Chris Green’s name given his lack of experience. Green is the type of bowler who won’t get you a lot of wickets, but he’ll strangle the batsmen at the crease with his tight lines and deliveries that deceptively skid onto the bat faster than anticipated. Both sides have some of the standout performers in CPL18 – With the bat it’s Colin Munro vs Shimron Hetmyer, and with the ball it’s Fawad Ahmed vs Imran Tahir. The winner of this game will advance to the final, the loser however will face off in a sudden death match against the winner of the eliminator.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Trinbago Knight Riders | CPL | 1st qualifier | Providence
- Colin Munro
- Fawad Ahmed
- Dwayne Bravo
- Brendon McCullum
- Ali Khan
Wildcard pick – Sunil Narine
Top 5 fantasy picks | Guyana Amazon Warriors | CPL | 1st qualifier | Providence
- Imran Tahir
- Shimron Hetmyer
- Cameron Delport
- Sohail Tanvir
- Chadwick Walton
Wildcard pick – Jason Mohammed
Trinbago Knight Riders (possible) – 1. Colin Munro 2. Sunil Narine 3. Colin Ingram 4. Denesh Ramdin (wk) 5. Brendon McCullum 6. Darren Bravo 7. Dwayne Bravo © 8. Javon Scantlebury-Searles/Kevon Cooper 9. Khary Pierre 10. Fawad Ahmed 11. Ali Khan.
Guyana Amazon Warriors (possible) – 1. Cameron Delport 2. Luke Ronchi (wk) 3. Shimron Hetmyer 4. Jason Mohammed 5. Chadwick Walton 6. Sherfane Rutherford 7. Sohail Tanvir 8. Chris Green © 9. Rayad Emrit 10. Devendra Bishoo/Veerasammy Permaul 11. Imran Tahir.