Barbados Royals v Trinbago Knight Riders
Thursday 9 September 15.00
TV: live on Betfair, BT Sport
Royals household in order
The Royals have a squeak of making the top four after they trounced Guyana. But they remain bottom of the table and they are more than likely going to need to win their last three.
Beating the Warriors was a good start because they banished batting doubts with a first-innings score of 185. Dropping Shai Hope and pairing Kyle Mayers and Johnson Charles in the opening slot did the trick.
Mohammad Amir returned to the XI and was surprisingly economical while Nyeem Young's potency continued with three wickets.
Probable XI Mayers, Charles, Azam Khan, Smit Patel, Philips, Holder, Reifer, Nurse, Young, Amit, Lintott
We no longer have any concerns about Trinbago. They have had the odd wobble but they look the second-best outfit behind St Lucia Kings. We would expect those two to contest the final if Patriots' collapse continues meaning the pair miss each other in the semis.
Trinbago are fresh from the double over Jamaica Tallawahs. But they have changed strategy. Sunil Narine was demoted from his opening slot with Leonardo Julien coming in. Ali Khan, the USA pacer, was also added. Isuru Udana and Denesh Ramdin missed out.
Possible XI Simmons, Julien, Munro, Seifert, Darren Bravo, Pollard, Narine, Pierre, Hosein, Rampaul, Ali Khan
Not surprisingly Royals are outsiders. But whether they should be as big as 2.506/4 is a debate to be had. When Patriots were showing power they more than held their own and are capable of controlling large parts of the game.
Their pacers have been potent up front and they could give TKR the hurry up. So a trade is on. In the earlier meeting Royals were rolled for 122 in a no-contest. But they have finally sorted out their batting order and individual roles.
However, we have never been convinced by their death bowling and a shrewd ploy is, with TKR batting first, to add 40 or 50 runs in the last three overs on the innings runs line. Trinbago, with Pollard swinging, are extremely dangerous and they will look to build a platform for that assault.
We're looking towards the hitters for this one. Azam Khan for Royals and Pollard stand out after both topped in the head-to-head. Azam, who is playing himself into Pakistan's World T20 XI, is 7/2 for honours with Sportsbook and Pollard 9/2.
St Lucia Kings v Jamaica Tallawahs
Friday 10 September 00.00
TV: live on Betfair, BT Sport
Kings decided to have a day off from graft against Guyana. Perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised. They went off at big odds-against, which was clearly a skewed price.
Do they get back on track here? They should do Tallahwas are there for the taking but Kings' failure to chase 152 was a worry, particularly as Roston Chase and Tim David were well set for the late charge.
Possible XI Fletcher, Du Plessis, Samit Patel, Chase, David, Paul, Royal, Wahab, Cottoy, McCoy, Williams
Tallawahs hanging in there
Tallawahs were our pick to finish fifth. We're not displeased with their 'progress'. That's where they are with three games left.
it is possible they could qualify for the semi-finals after a success over the Patriots last time gave them a major boost. But a title win is surely out of the question. They just don't have dexterity in their game to put wins together on trying surfaces.
Possible XI Lewis, McKenzie, Brooks, Haider, Powell, Brathwaite, Russell, Pretoirus, Imad, Green, Permaul
Runs plays in the offing
Kings are 1.834/5 with Tallawahs 2.021/1. Prior to the Guyana game had we seen those prices we'd have been all over Kings. Not now they proved to be unreliable.
The tightest bowling unit in the competition really should have little truck with Tallawahs, whose management has no idea how to instil confidence in a line-up. Give a player a role and let him stick to it. Example: Haider Ali opening one game and then going in at No 7.
Shorting the runs par line in the mid 150s is a ploy if Kings get the opportunity to bowl first. But it's probably a buy if they don't.
A couple of wrong prices to alert us to. Mark Deyal is never a 14s chance for top Kings bat. He batted at No 3 last time out and No 5 three times before that. And as we mentioned Haider, the 17/1 is probably worth an interest given Jamaica's penchant for chaos. He has been a fixture at No 3 previously.
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