The 30th and final match of the league stage of the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will see table-toppers Guyana Amazon Warriors host Trinbago Knight Riders at Providence on Friday (Saturday in India).
On one hand, Guyana have been absolutely flawless through the tournament, winning nine matches and maintaining a 100% win record. On the other, Trinbago have had a mixed tournament, qualifying for the playoffs with four wins and losses each. In the reverse fixture between the two sides, Guyana came out on top by 19 runs.
There’s an interesting sub-plot to this game. With the hosts already guaranteed to be a part of Qualifier 1, Trinbago can join them there with a win here. While the Amazon Warriors will want to keep their 100% win record intact, it’s a very important game for the Knight Riders who will want the cushion of an extra chance in the playoffs.
Ground Details and Team Combination
The Providence Stadium has been one of the more bowling friendly grounds used in CPL 2019. The run-rate (7.6) here is the second least and a wicket has fallen every 15.7 deliveries. Like most stadiums in the tournament, spin has held a slight edge over pace here. While the bowling strike rate for both pace and spin is the same (16.9), the slower bowlers have conceded more than two runs lesser per over.
It’s interesting to note that on Thursday, Guyana captain Shoaib Malik used just one over of medium pace as the home team bundled Jamaica Tallawahs out for only 79. It’s a clear indication that you should be looking at picking spinners from the Amazon Warriors in your team. The only worry before picking your team could be that there’s a small possibility Malik’s side might rest a couple of their key players, hence it’s best to wait for the toss in a game such as this.
Imran Tahir has been in sensational form in this season’s CPL. In six matches so far, the South Africa leg-spinner has taken 13 wickets at a strike rate of 10.6. While picking up wickets regularly, he has also bowled very economically, conceding just 5.5 runs per over. But what’s been most impressive about Tahir is his incredible consistency. He has taken a minimum of two wickets in every match that he has played in and secured his season-best bowling figures (3/12) against Jamaica a day ago.
While his team have had a mixed CPL 2019, Kieron Pollard has displayed tremendous form over the course of the tournament. He is Trinbago’s second highest run-getter (264 runs) and has an average of 52.8 which is the third highest. In fact, it was in the reverse fixture against the Amazon Warriors that Pollard produced his best batting performance of the season, scoring 71 from just 38 balls. He has also picked six wickets so far which is an added bonus for someone who is listed as a batsman.
Chris Green has been omnipresent in Guyana’s XI this season and has been an integral part of their success. He is the joint-second highest wicket-taker in CPL 2019, with 13 scalps to his name. As mentioned earlier, the Amazon Warriors went spin-heavy in their previous match and that could be the case again here which makes Green a must-have. The Australian all-rounder hasn’t made a contribution with the bat since his first innings of the season and, if he gets a chance here, he would want to set the record straight on that.
Lendl Simmons might not have played international cricket for a couple of years now, but he has shown his quality in the CPL. In eight innings, the Trinidad-born batsman has scored 348 runs at an average of 43.50 and a strike rate of 165.71, both top numbers. He has notched up 50+ scores in half of the innings he has batted in (4/8). With this being such a crucial match for the Knight Riders, they will be looking at the experienced Simmons to get them off to a stupendous start once again.
According to the weather forecast, there is no rain threat for this match.
Suggested FanFight Team
Nicholas Pooran (wk), Brandon King, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Colin Munro, Shoaib Malik, Keemo Paul, Imran Tahir (c), Chris Green, Khary Pierre.