Caribbean Premier League Final Tips: Pollard needs a big show

Kieron Pollard
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Can Trinbago make it 12 wins in a row in the showpiece from Tarouba on Thursday? Ed Hawkins says it will be tight.

"They do not rely on a couple of star players here or there. This is a collective"

Back Kieron Pollard top TKR bat 6/1 Sportsbook (1pt)

Trinbago Knight Riders v St Lucia Zouks
Thursday 9 September 15.00
TV: live on Betfair Video

No sweat

Trinbago barely broke a sweat in booking their fourth final appearance in seven years by beating Jamaica Tallawahs on Tuesday. Just as they barely broke sweat in topping the group.

Tallawahs' batting was undone by spin - again. They could post only 107 and Trinbago knocked off the runs for the loss of one wicket. They may have wished for a more competitive outing.

The great danger for Trinbago is the warning from history. Last year Guyana won every game to the final but they suffered a bad day at the office. The inevitable slump on occasion which happens at top level sport.

Around the world there is a trend for the league winner not to take the title. There is no guarantee Trinbago won't suffer the same fate.

Possible XI Simmons, Narine, Webster, DM Bravo, Seifert, Pollard, DJ Bravo, K Pierre, Hosein, Fawad, Khan

Stunning win

St Lucia Zouks produced the performance of the tournament in the semi-final, stunning Guyana Amazon Warriors who had just started to motor.

It wasn't just the fact that Zouks beat the pre-tournament joint-favourites, but the manner with which they were despatched. They were absolutely hammered - Guyana rolled for just 55.

The effort summed up Zouks as a team more than the sum of their parts. Four bowlers took two wickets apiece. They do not rely on a couple of star players here or there. This is a collective. Naturally they needed only 4.3 overs to get the runs. They are powerful.

Possible XI Cornwal, Deyal, Fletcher, Chase, Nabi, Zadran, Sammy, Glen, Kuggeleijn, Williams, Zahir.

Head-to-heads

2020 TKR 175-5 (DM Bravo 50, Kuggeleijn 2-35) defended Zouks 152-7 (Fletcher 42, Pollard 3-35)
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 12 Zouks 2

Pitch report

There have now been 29 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): 55-2/107-2/146-1/77-2/161-2/175-1/89-2/109-2/174-1/184-1/92-2/144-1/185-1/118-1/176-1/137-2/135-2/127-2/158-2/144-2/153-1/171-1/160-1/147-2/165-1/135-2/159-2/168-2/159-1. The first-innings average is 140. The pitch is tricky to call. We have seen low totals followed by ones above average and then Guyana. Trinbago have enjoyed batting on it, though and have busted 170 twice and 180 twice on the four occasions they have batted first.

Zouks are in the game

If Trinbago are to win the title they would have to win 12 consecutive matches. The good news for Trinbago is that nine teams have won 12 games in a row or more in franchise history.

They will also be buoyed by their head-to-head record against Zouks. Twice this season they have proved far too powerful.

But despite that, this should be mighty close. Zouks have grown in confidence and the [2.74] looks big about a team who have just destroyed Guyana, their seventh win in 11.

At the least we expect them to trade as favourites at around [1.70] because of the way every player contributes, not to mention a collection of spinners who can Trinbago for a squeeze. No rain is forecast.

Tops value

Kieron Pollard has been pushed out to 6/1 for top TKR bat - the biggest he has been all season. Cometh the hour cometh the man? Well, on win rate Sportsbook give us an edge and we have him slightly skinnier. He has had one win this season and is due another on record. It's not a mug wager.

***
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