Desert Vipers v Gulf Giants
Sunday 12 February, 14:00
TV: Live on BT Sports
Vipers made it straight to the final after beating Giants in the qualifier. They were inferior in the ladder stage but appear to have solved a weakness with their middle-order. Sherfane Rutherford has stepped up to give them more solidity instead of Benny Howell.
Probable XI: Hales, Mustafa, Munro, Billings, Rutherford, Hasaranga, T Curran, Atkinson, L Wood, Cottrell, Shiraz
Giants, the league winners, held their nerve in a tricky chasse against Mumbai to book their spot. They were grateful to James Vince's masterclass. They are still hiding Afzan Khan, their UAE player, and are effectively playing with 10 men. Tom Banton has been dropped.
Probable XI: Vince, Lynn, de Grandhomme, Erasmus, Hetmyer, Wiese, Brathwaite, Jordan, Khan, Qais, Sanchit
In 14 matches in Dubai, eight have been won by the chaser. It's not quite the whopping toss bias we expected. But that may be due to mismatches. In a close contest the flip can be useful to split evenly-matched sides. More than 170 has been busted seven times. It's a good wicket. All three head-to-heads have seen scores of 170 or more so going over a par line in the late 160s is a solid option.
How to play
Gulf Giants are our outright selection at 6.5011/2. But this final XI is not the side we backed. Tom Banton, Liam Dawson, Richard Gleeson and home star CP RIzwan all made our team. We've lost a little faith.
We will claw some back on Vipers at 1.9310/11. It is difficult to look past Giants' issue with Afzal Khan. They don't trust him to bat or ball. In the qualifier he bowled one over for a wicket and two runs. Giants couldn't believe the fluke and didn't dare bowl him again. He was also delayed to the crease until No 11 in a close chase, aware that he would cost them vital deliveries.
Alex Hales has ket us down a couple of times this tournament but we'll go to the well for the last time. Sportsbook have inflated him to a very big 10/3 for top Vipers bat. Colin Munro is 7/2. Vince is boosted to 11/4 for Giants. David Wiese is eye-catching at 11/1.