Ed Hawkins previews the Caribbean Premier League final eliminator in Tarouba on Friday with the winners meeting Guyana in the final...
"Colin Munro, last season’s player of the tournament, has a couple of half-centuries on this ground for Trinbago. He could do with a score"
Trinbago Knight Riders v Barbados Tridents
Friday 11 October, 0.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Back on track
Trinbago Knight Riders ended their four-game losing sequence in the nick of time against the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the qualifier. They were excellent.
That could be considered bemusing in the context of their form when they had been profligate with the ball and unsure with the bat until you realise Sunil Narine returned. Narine, who has been struggling with a finger injury, is their glue. He gives them balance with the bat and control, badly needed, with the ball.
Narine took two for ten as the Patriots were stifled. The spinner inspired those around him - Seekkuge Prasanna for example - as the Patriots posted only 125. It was a huge confidence boost for a bowling unit which had the worst economy rate after bottom team Jamaica Tallawhas.
Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin and Kieron Pollard got them home after a wobble early on in the chase. There's nowt wrong with the Trinbago batting, so long as they aren't spooked by what their bowlers might or might not do.
Tridents well balanced
The Barbados Tridents had the misfortune of running into the runaway train that is the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the qualifier. Brandon King smashed a tournament-record 132 as the Warriors blitzed 218. Game over.
It would be smart if the Tridents did not dwell on that effort. The Warriors, 11 wins in a row, are on a different level to everyone else. The performance level required to get close to them is not as high as taking out Trinbago.
Their balance is good, particularly now that Shai Hope has returned from injury to bolster their middle order. Shakib-al-Hasan and JP Duminy are dangerous while the Tridents will hope (pray) for an Alex Hales special. He is overdue.
They are a better bowling team. Spinner Hayden Walsh is the top wicket-taker in the tournament in just seven games, Harry Gurney is an expert death bowler and trio Jason Holder, Ray Reifer and Rosh Primus have been economical.
There have been six matches played at the Brian Lara Stadium since the start of the 2017 tournament (1-2 denote match on by team batting first or second) and the first-innings scores read: 147-2/165-1/149-1/168-2/159-2/135-2. It's not a belter of a batting track, then with spinners to the fore, claiming wickets and squeezing the life out of teams. This is highlighted by the sixes tallies in those games: 14/9/10/14/11/15.
Barbados the bet
The Tridents are [2.18] and Trinbago [1.84]. The jollies are not for us because, frankly, we just don't think they are the better team in this edition. Historically, of course, they have won three of the last four titles and are the holders but that nagging doubt about economy rate in the field won't go away.
On our ratings, it's more of a choice affair. Not that we're surprised Trinbago are favourites. The market is often enthral to that record. Man for man, specialist for specialist and overall skill, the Tridents match up very well.
On a spinning wicket the Tridents have more than enough to counter Narine and co. We expect them to give a very strong account of themselves, just as they did when beating Trinbago twice in the group. The only worry is Trinbago's record on this 'home' ground. They have won their last four.
Munro could be ready to go big
Colin Munro, last season's player of the tournament, has a couple of half-centuries on this ground for Trinbago. He could do with a score after a poor sequence culminating in a duck against the Patriots in the eliminator. He's been a top-bat let down this term, winning once, from a 42% win rate before a ball was bowled. Sportsbook's 7/2 does not look chunky though and rates as value.
Narine 8s for MoM
Walsh is 13/5 favourite for top Tridents bowler with Sportsbook. He has three wins in seven. The study period is not long enough really to take a string view. We like Gurney at 3s. Narine is the same price for top Trinbago bolwer. He's also the 8/1 jolly. A bowling performance like last time and a quick 20 or 30 could be all he needs.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l
Back Tridents [2.18] (1pt)