After defeating the Tallawahs in a final-over thriller in the CPL eliminator, St Kitts and Nevis pinched the win in a photo finish which sees them advance to the second qualifier against Trinbago at Brian Lara Stadium. The Patriots were a longshot to win the title coming into the playoffs, but all of a sudden they find themselves potentially playing off against Guyana in the CPL18 final!
Trinbago would be kicking themselves after they went down to the Amazon Warriors in the first qualifier earlier this week, a lot went wrong for them that day which evidently cost them a ticket straight to the CPL18 final. Instead, they find themselves fighting for survival in this do-or-die second qualifier against the Patriots who came out on top against Jamaica in what was a huge upset. As mentioned previously, some of the Knight Riders key components were unable to fire when called upon which really did leave them in an awkward position for most of the match. Their line-up is not dissimilar to a revolving restaurant, the batting order and bowling makeup is forever changing which has put them in a spot of bother at times. It’s a bit hard to question the tactic when they finished at the top of the table, but it proved to come undone at the worst possible time. Kiwi duo Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro were both dismissed without scoring, and Sunil Narine’s stagnant 15-ball innings left Trinbago’s top order in crisis. The middle order eventually stepped things up, but even they couldn’t flick the momentum switch which resulted in a pretty lacklustre-total. In this upcoming game, the Knight Riders have to take a step backwards and revisit what worked best. The lively-Brendon McCullum hasn’t looked comfortable opening since making the move and could return to the middle order, while Munro was a scoring-beast at No. 3 this season. Another potential factor as to why they lost that match might have been the influence (or lack of) from speedster Ali Khan. Sure Trinbago still went onto take eight wickets, but in the end they were two short, that’s where Khan could have been influential. Instead the United States seamer bowled just two overs, ending with figures of 0/18. Trinbago’s spinning trio were superb though, mystery-spinner Sunil Narine, Australian leggy Fawad Ahmed and left-armer Khary Pierre all kept the runs to a minimum whilst combing for 4 wickets.
Against all odds, St Kitts and Nevis prevailed over the Jamaica Tallawahs in an Elimination final that had just about everything. After the Tallawahs posted a total of 191/5 featuring a century from wicketkeeper-batsman Glenn Phillips, it wasn’t looking good for the Patriots who hadn’t really clicked as a batting unit in CPL18. It was strange that Sheldon Cottrell didn’t feature in this match for the Patriots, especially given their lack of strike bowlers which once again saw them struggle to take wickets. Expect the unexpected in a game of cricket, and that’s exactly what this contest dished up as St Kitts and Nevis finally produced a collective batting display that was worthy of a position in the playoffs as they successfully chased down Jamaica’s target of 192 runs on the second-to-last ball of the innings. The quick-scoring Devon Thomas was a breath of fresh air opening the batting alongside Chris Gayle, accumulating three-quick boundaries in a matter of no time before hitting one straight down deep midwickets throat. From there onwards, the batting followed a similar path as Gayle, van der Dussen, Allen and King all cashed in on the Patriots electric start to the innings. New Zealand all-rounder Anton Devcich may have just cemented his spot in the side if they make it to the final, producing a match-winning 50 off just 23 balls as St Kitts and Nevis took the run chase deep into the evening. One man’s confidence that must be running on empty is Evin Lewis, he was demoted from opening and featured late in the match at No. 8, 2018 hasn’t been kind to the big man this season. The Patriots will have to weigh up bringing back Sheldon Cottrell in place of young spinner Hayden Walsh, it could potentially be the game changer that advances them to the CPL18 final.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Trinbago Knight Riders | CPL | 2nd qualifier | Brian Lara Stadium
- Colin Munro
- Colin Ingram
- Fawad Ahmed
- Dwayne Bravo
- Sunil Narine
Wildcard pick – Brendon McCullum
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Kitts and Nevis Patriots | CPL | 2nd qualifier | Brian Lara Stadium
- Tabraiz Shamsi
- Chris Gayle
- Devon Thomas
- Fabian Allen
- Ben Cutting
Wildcard pick – Rassie van der Dussen
Trinbago Knight Riders (possible) – 1. Sunil Narine 2. Colin Munro 3. Denesh Ramdin (wk) 4. Colin Ingram 5. Brendon McCullum 6. Darren Bravo 7. Dwayne Bravo © 8. Kevon Cooper/Javon Scantlebury-Searles 9. Fawad Ahmed 10. Khary Pierre 11. Ali Khan.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (possible) – 1. Devon Thomas (wk) 2. Chris Gayle © 3. Rassie van der Dussen 4. Anton Devcich 5. Fabian Allen 6. Brandon King 7. Evin Lewis 8. Ben Cutting 9. Carlos Brathwaite 10. Sheldon Cottrell 11. Tabraiz Shamsi.