St Lucia Kings v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Sunday 4 September 15.00
TV: live on BT Sport
Kings on charge
Could St Lucia Kings be the emerging force in CPL? They have won two in a row, beating Guyana Amazon Warriors and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. The defeat of the Patriots, their first of the tournament, was a big marker.
They squeezed the Patriots in a chase, the discipline the league leaders had bossed. It suggests Kings have rediscovered their form in the field following their run to the final last term as the tightest bowling unit.
Perhaps most importantly, Faf Du Plessis is back. After a worrying show of poor form following a long spell on the sidelines with concussion, Du Plessis blitzed 120 from just 60 balls versus the Patriots.
Possible XI Fletcher, Du Plessis, Deyal, Chase, David, Samit Patel, Cottoy, Wahab, Royal, Joseph, Williams.
Patriots need a reaction
Patriots are unlikely to panic. Nor should they. Defeat by Kings was their first in six and they had to stumble in the chase sometime. And they already have enough points on the board for a top-four finish.
The issue they have to solve is their bowling economy. Sure, they can bat but we all know that franchise tournaments are won by mean bowling groups. Patriots aren't that group. Conceding 224 against Kings pushed them into bottom spot in the bowling ranks.
Picking four pacers needs to stop and room needs to be found for Jon-Russ Jaggesar. This is a pace-off tournament. Pakistan youngster Naseem Shah looks most likely to lose out. He's too wayward for a spot.
Possible XI E Lewis, D Thomas, Gayle, Allen, Rutherford, Bopara, Dwayne Bravo, Drakes, Jaggesar, Cottrell, Fawad
Kings are a good price
Patriots are 1.758/11 with the early show. That means we can expect Kings to go off at least 2.206/5 when the market matures.
It's a good price considering what happened only 24 hours before with Du Plessis getting hold of their bowlers and then schooling them in the field. Another dominant display is unlikely but given Kings are on the upward trajectory there's nothing wrong with them at the odds.
Warner Park statistics
Average first innings score last three years 168.5 (4719/28)
160+ first innings scores 17/29
Won by chaser 15/29 (one tie)
Trinbago Knight Riders v Jamaica Tallawahs
Sunday 5 September 19.30
TV: live on BT Sport
TKR wait on Simmons
Trinbago are two wins from five. They should still have enough for qualification. They have never failed to make the last four and haven't finished outside the top three since 2014.
Batting is the issue. Lendl Simmons, who sets the tone, is having a stinker and he is in desperate need of a score.
The good news is that their bowling is tight. Last time out they lost a Super Over against Guyana, managing to stay in the game after posting 138. They have restricted Kings to 134 and Barbados to 122 previously.
Possible XI Simmons, Narine, Webster, Munro, Seifert, Pollard, Ramdin, Udana, Hosein, Pierre, Rampaul
Tallawahs in a spin
Tallawahs have two wins, two defeats. They are the fastest scorers in the tournament. Which is quite something, considering they don't have a single left-hander in their probable XI.
That probably damns Tallawahs on wearing surfaces against a class spin attack. Last season on tricky wickets their challenge faded and we would expect the same to happen again.
Shamarh Brooks and Kennar Lewis have been excellent, however, with the bat and their fine form gives them a chance. They might take the pressure off hitters like Andre Russell, Rovman Powell and Carlos Brathwaite in time.
Probable XI K Lewis, Walton, Haider Ali, Powell, Brooks, Russell, Brathwaite, Pretorius, Green, James, Edwards
TKR the bet
Trinbago have won the last six on the head-to-head. Not surprisingly, spin has been a big issue for Tallawahs in those. In the last three, 16 of their 21 wickets have been to spin.
A stat like that is a decent pointer for taking the 1.875/6 about Trinbago. That's a tick for the record. And for reputation, too. Trinbago are known as the smartest unit, Tallawahs as the, shall we say, most limited. We would have expected them to be in the 1.705/7 region for this one.
Denesh Ramdin's price is one we've been keeping an eye on for a while. Sportsbook go 25/1 about top TKR bat. We'll take a slice. He has been underrated this term and has one win already. Previous to that his two-year win rate was that of a 10s chance.
For Tallawahs, we'll go in again on Andre Russell. But in-play where we can expect to get 8/1 or better. He is currently 5s. Russell has two tons against TKR and the most runs of any player in the head-to-heads. Russell is 6/1 for man of the match.
With spin to the fore against JT, Sunil Narine and Akeal Hosein are 9s and 14s respectively for man of the match. They are 11/4 and 4s for top TKR bowler. Yasir Shah is another spin option for them and he is 5/1.