Ed Hawkins previews the last day of group matches from Tarouba on Saturday with the semi-final positions decided...
"Their spin attack is perfect to nullify Tallawahs’ hitters and there is room for a trade from [2.36] on that reason alone. The Rashid-Santner-Nurse-Walsh axis combined for 14 overs, 65 runs and five wickets last time"
Trinbago Knight Riders v St Lucia Zouks
Saturday 5 September 15:00
TV: live on Betfair Video
Playing with fire?
Trinbago have won all eight of their group-stage matches and their advancement to the play-offs is guaranteed. Could this mean they lose a bit of their competitive edge?
Maybe. They were confirmed in the knockouts after win No 5. But we will keep a close eye on whether they continue to rest players or experiment - that often spells danger for teams who have runaway with the league section in franchise tournaments. Rhythm and confidence is key and they should protect both at all costs rather than reckoning they can turn it on at will. Few teams can.
They got away with it last time against Patriots, but who wouldn't? Fringe players Amir Jangoo, Anderson Philip and Pravin Tambe played.
Possible XI Simmons, Narine, Munro, DN Bravo, Pollard, Seifert, DJ Bravo, Pierre, Seales, Fawad
Zouks have also qualified with room to spare. That's a sentence few could have contemplated reading after persistent disasters in this tournament.
They are a team more than the sum of their parts. Under the guidance of Andy Flower they have become hard-nosed and efficient. In that context it is hardly surprising.
A look at their possible XI reveals few stars. But Roston Chase, Mohammad Nabi, Scott Kuggeleijn and Kesrick Williams are outperforming bigger names by a distance.
Possible XI Cornwall, Fletcher, Boucher, Zadran, Nabi, Sammy, Glen, Kuggeleijn, Williams, Zahir.
2020 TKR 72-4 (DM Bravo 23, Williams 2-17) chased Zouks 111-6 (Nabi 30*, Bravo 2-7)
2019 Zouks 99-4 (Kan 1-19) v TKR no result
TKR 168-3 (Simmons 63) chased 167-5 (Cornwall 33, Pollard 1-9)
Overall TKR 11 Zouks 2
There have now been 23 CPL matches played at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba. The first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second, most recent first): 89-2/109-2/174-1/184-1/92-2/144-1/185-1/118-1/176-1/137-2/135-2/127-2/158-2/144-2/153-1/171-1/160-1/147-2/165-1/135-2/159-2/168-2/159-1. The first-innings average is 146.
Zouks can hold their own
Trinbago are [1.58] with Zouks [2.50]. Before their previous meeting we said that was Zouks' biggest test of the campaign. They failed it and were outclassed.
Still, if Trinbago insist on picking fringe players again that could narrow the gap. We just have to hope Zouks are bang at it. Not always a given for teams of this nature. They need the extra competitive juice and meaningless games can take the edge of their collective spirit.
There seems little wrong with a trade, though, on the Zouks. We'd be looking for them to narrow the gap to a choice affair.
Jangoo opened for Trinbago last time out. Sportsbook have not checked that otherwise he wouldn't be 6s. In the spirit of experimentation, it might not be a bad idea to bump Tim Seifert up the order. The 25s is very big. Leniko Boucher could bat at No 3 for Zouks, meaning the 8/1 is out by at least four points.
Jamaica Tallawahs v Barbados Tridents
Saturday 5 September 22:30
TV: live on Betfair Video
Tallawahs home and hosed
For quite a few days this fixture looked like defining the Tallawahs' season. As it turns out, Tridents have been so useless - losing their last four - that it's a dead rubber. Tallawahs are through to the semi-finals regardless, enjoying a three-point lead over Tridents with two games left while they only have one.
It exposes the flawed nature of a six-team league with the top four progressing. Tallawahs could win only three matches all season and still be in the semis. Their washout against Patriots on Thursday ensured progress.
Possible XI Bonner, Phillips, Blackwood, Powell, Russell, Asif Ali, Brathwaite, Permaul, Lamichanne, Mujeeb, Edwards
As discussed Tridents have lost four on the spin. Such a sequence can happen in T20 but rarely does a team go bang with such spectacular regularity. Every time Tridents take to the field it's like fireworks night.
Everyone knows they are completely unreliable and it's put last year's title win in even sharper focus. They only won that because they changed their squad halfway through and the likes of Shakib-al-Hasan, JP Duminy and Harry Gurney did not return this time.
They are experimenting. Rashid Khan batted at No 3 in the defeat by Guyana by six wickets but he got a duck. He could open this time as Tridents desperately find a way to score runs - they have failed to post more than 92 on the last two occasions batting first and couldn't chase 92 against Zouks.
Possible XI Charles, Graves, Rashid, Brooks, Mayers, Holder, Santner, Young, Nurse, Reifer, Walsh
2020 Tridents 148-7 (Mayers 85, Mujjeb 3-13) defended JT 112-9 (Bonner 31, Holder 2-18)
2019 JT 127 (Phillips 41, Lamichhane 2-17) defended Tridents 122-9 (Charles 31)
JT 145-6 (Walton 51*) chased Tridents 140-9 (Nurse 37)
It's a shame the competitive element has gone from this contest due to Trident's chaotic performances. It could have been a cracker with it all on the line.
As it is, the match odds market says Tallawahs should win easy from [1.68]. It is hard to disagree given Tridents' performances.
But if there is one side they can boss it's Jamaica, as they showed earlier in the season. Their spin attack is perfect to nullify Tallawahs' hitters and there is room for a trade from [2.36] on that reason alone. The Rashid-Santner-Nurse-Walsh axis combined for 14 overs, 65 runs and five wickets last time.
Rashid is now into 9s with Sportsbook for top Tridents bat. We often like Glen Phillips but the 9/5 top Tallawahs doesn't suit him considering some issues against high-class tweak.