Dead rubbers galore from Tarouba on Sunday as teams prepare for the semi-finals in the T20 tournament...
"Zouks have proven to be efficient and adept at getting more from the sum of their parts. We can easily see them trading as favourites, particularly as they bat deep"
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots v Trinbago Knight Riders
Sunday 6 September 14:15
TV: Betfair Video
Patriots have lost seven out of eight so their washed out two-pointer against Jamaica last time out was their second-best performance of the season.
Of course their season had already ended so we were denied the chance to see whether the release of pressure freed their game and they were able to play with joy and instinct. Still, we doubt they have those qualities. They are a grim, insipid outfit.
Their problem has been an unbalanced XI. With Evin Lewis, Chris Lynn and Ben Dunk they put too much store in batting power at the top while undervaluing the rest of the order and the importance of quality spin. It's not a huge surprise they have been so poor.
Possible XI Lewis, Lynn, Da Silva, Dunk, Ramdin, Archibald, Emrit, Joseph, Khan, Jaggesar, Cottrell
Keeping it professional
Trinbago squeezed out the Zouks in their penultimate group game to strengthen their reputation as the all-dominant force. The 100% record continues with nine wins.
There was no Sunil Narine or Colin Munro. Trinbago are obviously looking after Narine's finger injury with the play-offs in mind. Munro's absence allowed Trinbago to trial Tim Seifert at No 3 and he did okay - scoring 33 at a strike rate of 110.
We normally worry about winning teams being changed for the sake of it but Trinbago have shown no let up.
Possible XI Simmons, Webster, Seifert, DM Bravo, Pollard, DJ Bravo, Sikandar, Hosein, Pierre, Fawad, Seales
2020 TKR 174-4 (Simmons 96, Drakes 2-34) defended SKP 115-7 (Lynn 34, Sikandar 3-15)
2019 TKR 128-4 (Simmons 51) chased SKP 125-7
SKP 216-7 tied TKR 216-4 (Simmons 90)
TKR 152-7 (Pollard 47, Emrit 3-39) defended SKP (Lewis 36)
Overall TKR 11 SKP 4
There have now been 25 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): 161-2/175-1/89-2/109-2/174-1/184-1/92-2/144-1/185-1/118-1/176-1/137-2/135-2/127-2/158-2/144-2/153-1/171-1/160-1/147-2/165-1/135-2/159-2/168-2/159-1. The first-innings average is 148.
TKR surprisingly big
To even consider a wager on Patriots at [2.64] we need a toss bias or rain to help reduce the gulf. In the absence of both (the forecast is perfect), punters are left to only ponder whether Trinbago could take their foot off the gas.
But with no evidence of that so far, the [1.57] may start to look big. After all, if we're trying to get inside the head of Trinbago, what about the Patriots? They have been kicked from pillar to post and have zero motivation and confidence.
Simmons loves the Patriots attack as you can see from the head-to-heads. He is 11/5 for top TKR bat with Sportsbook.
Seifert is a little toppy at 5s but only if he bats at No 3.
Jamaica Tallawahs v St Lucia Zouks
Sunday 6 September 19:15
TV: live on Betfair Video
A win for Zouks will take them back into second spot ahead of Guyana. Not that it matters because it is the Warriors who await in the semi-final play-off.
It has gone under the radar a little that the Zouks have lost their last two - to Trinbago and Guyana. Those defeats suggest the gulf remains between the established powers and the rest. And for all Zouks' improvement this season we should perhaps not forget that they have had very little to beat. The Patriots and Tridents have been pathetic while the Tallawahs have already qualified with three wins.
Against TKR their lack of proven batting power was finally exposed as they never really looked in the hunt for a chase of 175.
Possible XI Melius, Deyal, Fletcher, Boucher, Chase, Nabi, Zadran, Sammy, Kuggeleijn, Williams,
In a spin
Jamaica are probably not good enough to be in a semi-final. On wearing pitches they have a significant flaws against spin which the top two sides will expose in brutal fashion. They must be dreading facing Trinbago in the semis.
As discussed before their match against Tridents on Saturday, a line-up packed with batting power has had the life squeezed from it be spin. And it was no surprise Tridents enjoyed a comprehensive win.
The Zouks may not be ideal preparation for their clash against Trinbago because they don't boast top-quality spin.
Possible XI Blackwood, Phillips, Asif Ali, Russell, Powell, Brathwaite, Bonner, Mujeeb, Lamichhane, McSween, Thomas
2020 Tallawahs 160-5 (Ali 47*) chased Zouks 158-7 (Chase 52)
2019 Zouks 169-6 (Cornwall 51) chased Jamaica 165-7 (Williams 3-27)
Zouks 171-5 (Cornwall 75, Thomas 3-26) chased Jamaica 170-5 (Phil-lips 58, McCoy 2-32)
Overall Tallawahs 9 Zouks 5
Easy Zouks trade
Unlike in the Trinbago-Patriots match, there is potential here for an all-green book. We see no justification whatsoever for Zouks being outsiders at [2.16]. Tallawahs, somehow, are [1.83] favourites.
Even allowing for the market's correct opinion that spin is unlikely to derail Tallawahs, and the head-to-head this year, Zouks have proven to be efficient and adept at getting more from the sum of their parts. We can easily see them trading as favourites, particularly as they bat deep.
Glenn Phillips was denied a top-bat win by Asif Ali in the previous meeting. Ali's late 27-ball 47 trumped Phillips' 29-ball 44. Frustration for his backers. But he is due a win on cop rate and the 11/4 from Sportsbook fits the bill.
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