We are almost at the fag end of the tournament with only two more games to go. The second Qualifier will see Trinbago Knight Riders face off against Barbados Tridents for a place in the final.
Trinbago defeated St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the eliminator while Tridents suffered a 30-run loss at the hands of Guyana Amazon Warriors in the first Qualifier.
The last time these two teams met in the league stage, the Tridents were victorious on both occasions and Trinbago will look for some sort of revenge at the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium, in Tarouba.
Ground detail and Team combination
This is the first game at the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium this year with Queen’s Park Oval being the home ground for the Trinidad based side. Last year too there were just two games played at this venue while in 2017 the stadium played host to four games.
Spin has largely been the more productive breed at this venue. Across the six games, the pacers have returned 40 wickets striking every 19.7 deliveries and an economy rate of 8.2. The spinners, on the other hand, have managed to pick only 33 wickets but at a strike-rate of 18.3 and an economy of 7.1.
Both Trinbago and Tridents pack some excellent tweakers in their side. While Tridents have Hayden Walsh, the leading wicket-taker (19 wickets in seven matches) so far in the competition, in their setup, Trinbago have Sunil Narine who is coming into the game on the back of a match-winning spell of 2/10 in the eliminator. Judging by the statistics, you should ideally pack your side with a few spinners.
On the batting front, the average first innings score at this venue has been 153, a middling total in T20 cricket but in knockout games it could well be a match-winning one.
Hayden Walsh: Walsh has lit the stage on fire this year with his leg-spin. In just seven outings, Walsh has an average of 11.7 and a strike-rate of 8.7! What should further convince you to make him your captain is his record against Trinbago this year. He picked a five-wicket haul the first time these two teams and was effective the second time around as well. In the two games against Trinbago this year, Walsh has picked up seven wickets at a sensational average of 7.6 and strike-rate of 6.9. His economy also reads an effective 6.6. On a surface, which has historically favoured the spinners, Walsh could prove lethal.
Lendl Simmons: Simmons has been in red hot form this season. Probably the most consistent batsman across all sides, Simmons has been Trinbago’s lynchpin providing them with starts almost every game. The second-highest run-scorer so far this season, Simmons has smashed 429 runs in 11 outings at an average of 42.9 and a strike-rate of 152.7, which includes five half-centuries. Simmons has been effective against both pace and spin. He averages 58 against pace and 39.4 against spin but his strike rate against the latter is a much better 165.55 as compared to 143.21 against pace. He scored 60 when these two sides last time around and will be keen on continuing his good run of form.
Sunil Narine: Narine hasn’t featured in all games for Trinbago this year with injury restricting his appearances to just six. He has looked a bit off colour having returned just seven wickets in the six outings at a strike-rate of 20.6 but found form in Trinbago’s last game where despite playing with a broken finger the batsmen found him extremely tough to get away. The Tarouba surface is likely to aid spin and Narine will be a key component in Trinbago’s arsenal.
JP Duminy:Duminy has blown hot and cold this season. He smashed the fastest-ever CPL fifty but has since not been able to replicate the same form. However, his quirky middle-order batting backed up by handy off-spin makes him a hard man to keep out of any side. The 20-ball 65 came against Trinbago when these two sides earlier and he will be keen to repeat his exploits. His bowling will come in handy too on the Tarouba surface which is expected to turn from the outset. Duminy has so far scored 281 runs in 11 outings at an average of 31.22 and strike-rate of 135.1. He has also picked up four wickets with his off-spin.
Scattered rain is expected in Tarouba, Trinidad but it is unlikely to affect the game.
Suggested FanFight team
Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Shai Hope(w), Shakib Al Hasan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Colin Munro, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh, Harry Gurney.