Trinbago Knight Riders are the defending champions of the CPL and the team has played like one thus far. With victories in both their matches, the Kieron Pollard-led unit is at the top of the points table. Even as their batting has been a tad jittery, it’s the bowling that has stepped up. Their last victory came against the Jamaica Tallawahs by 22 runs at the Queen’s Pak Oval in Trinidad.
Now the Knights are set to play their third match this season at home, this time versus the St Lucia Zouks and it’s a day-game. As far as head to head is concerned, TKR has won nine out of 11 matches against the opponent. St Lucia last beat the Knight Riders back in 2016. The Zouks lost their opening game versus last year’s runners-up Guyana Amazon Warriors and will be keen to make a comeback.
Pitch and Conditions
The track has been good for batting, but spinners have also had their say. Dew played its part and despite that, the ball turned a fair distance. The strip is expected to be even slower next time around as it won’t be played under the floodlights. The conditions will be bright and sunny during match-time and there isn’t any chance of rain until 4 PM. The temperature will be in the low 30s.
Trinbago Knight Riders
The Knights may not change their winning combination. The decision to open with Tion Webster worked wonders as he top-scored with 66 runs. Sunil Narine was interestingly sent at three and he delivered with a quick-fire 46. He was instrumental in making use of the powerplay. Lendl Simmons has been disappointing and he’s likely to play his last match before Colin Munro replaces him.
Denesh Ramdin has been effective in the middle. Kieron Pollard and James Neesham’s roles remain to be critical. Ali Khan’s inclusion in the eleven also helped their cause as he was effective, both with the new and old ball, though his figures would say otherwise. The spin trio of Pierre, Narine and Prasanna kept the batsmen to in check. Meanwhile, Dwayne Bravo has been ruled out of the tournament.
Lendl Simmons, Tion Webster, Sunil Narine, James Neesham, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Kieron Pollard (C), Seekkuge Prasanna, Javon Searles, Khary Pierre, Mohammad Hasnain, Ali Khan
St Lucia Zouks
The Zouks bowling did a reasonable job last time, but it was their batting that messed up. Rahkeem Cornwall can smack the leather a fair distance and he needs support from the other batters. Chasing a not-so-daunting total of 156, their middle-order fell apart without much of a fight. The likes of Darren Sammy and Thisara Perera, two of the most experienced heads, need to guide the team.
Najibullah Zadran has the ability to score quickly, but he has to be a bit more responsible. Among the bowlers, Obed McCoy got four important wickets. Kesrick Williams was effective with his constant change of pace. It also remains to be seen how Fawad Ahmed bowls against his former CPL franchise. Krishmar Santokie and Cornwall will play important roles with the ball in hand as well.
Andre Fletcher, Rahkeem Cornwall, Andre McCarthy, Najibullah Zadran, Christopher Barnwell, Thisara Perera, Darren Sammy (C), Kesrick Williams, Obed McCoy, Krishmar Santokie, Fawad Ahmed
Probable Top Performers
Sunil Narine – Trinbago Knight Riders | Rahkeem Cornwall – St Lucia Zouks
TV – Star Sports 2
Online– Hotstar s
Match Timings – 21:30 IST (September 8) and 12:00 local (September 8)
The prediction is for Trinbago Knight Riders to come out trumps.
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