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Both sides competing in this match are coming off important wins in their campaign. The Barbados Tridents have played the fewest matches in the league so far and needed a win to get back into the groove while the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots were desperate to get some momentum in their campaign as well.
Both sides have two wins each but the Tridents have only played three matches to the Patriots four. With the teams very close to each other right now in terms of points, a couple of wins could see either team rocket straight to the top of the table.
The Tridents got away with a win in the last match after seemingly being down and out. They batted first against the Jamaica Tallawahs and scored just 156. Their opening bowlers then failed to make any inroads as they saw the opposition race to 80 for no loss in just about 9 overs.
From there, a combination of tight bowling and poor batting saw them win the match by two runs even though they only picked up three wickets.
What made the last win even more incredible was the display of shocking catching that the Tridents put on. There were multiple sitters that were dropped by a number of different fielders. This level of fielding is just unacceptable in T20 cricket (or any cricket really) and the Tridents will be very keen to avoid a repeat.
There were a few positives from this close defeat. Steve Smith and Shai Hope batted very well in conditions that were not necessarily the easiest. Smith is the kind of player that can go on a scoring spree and his fifty will certainly raise the morale in the camp.
The other batsmen, though, need to step up too. Dwayne Smith, Hashim Amla, and Martin Guptill form a very strong top order. This tournament has been one where the top-3 have had the best conditions to attack so the Barbados Tridents would be hoping that their top order can take full advantage in the matches to follow as well.
Among the bowlers, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, and Ashley Nurse had very good outings. Jason Holder went for 20 in his solitary over but that can be chalked up to a bad night. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was Steve Smith bowling very decent overs and picking up two crucial wickets.
The Barbados Tridents are moving into their stretch of home games with a good start in the tournament. This is their chance to really move up the leaderboard.
Dwayne Smith, Martin Guptill, Steven Smith, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, Raymon Reifer, Wahab Riaz, Roston Chase, Ashley Nurse, Mohammad Irfan.
The victory against the St. Lucia Stars in the last match was so one-sided that the Patriots would have been left a little disappointed with the lack of a contest. They bowled out the Stars for just 69 runs and then chased down the total in 7.4 overs. The entire match barely lasted for 20 overs.
The performance would have given some confidence to the Patriots but we believe this team has a few faults that are waiting to be exposed.
Sheldon Cottrell bowled well and got his wickets in the last game but he was helped out by some atrocious batting. His contest against the Tridents batting is going to be much more difficult because a player like Guptill or even Smith could get stuck into him.
The supporting cast of Mahmudullah, Braithwaite, Cutting, and Lamichhane were helped by the early wickets as well as the refusal of the Stars batsmen to learn from their mistakes. We think that every single player in the Patriots side would agree that their figures were a bit flattering for what actually went down in the match.
The entire bowling lineup is going to face a much tougher task against an in-form Barbados Tridents batting.
There was no scoreboard pressure on the Patriots own batsmen and that allowed them to go out there and have some fun. Chris Gayle did not bother batting and opted to give some batting practice to the others.
Evin Lewis finally scored a few runs in the tournament but fell even during this small chase. Batting Devon Thomas and Brandon King up the order was a good move because it helped the players get some time in the middle but it did not do any good for Cooper and Devcich. Both of these players are very crucial to the Patriots success and have had a difficult time in the Caribbean Premier League up until now.
We think the middle order of Cooper, Devicich, Cutting, Mahmudullah, and Braithwaite is hugely talented. There is some serious T20 experience, hitting power, and international quality there for the Patriots to call upon.
If they can go hard from the top and get their batting order right then the Patriots are going to be very hard to beat.
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, DC Thomas, Brandon King, TLW Cooper, Anton Devcich, Ben Cutting, Mahmudullah, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Sandeep Lamichhane.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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Intermittent showers in the day should give way to a nice evening around the time the match is expected to start. We are hopeful of watching a full game without any interruptions. The pitch at the Sabina Park is going to be very interesting. The nature of the pitch has changed over the years but it is still considered to be one of the fastest pitches in the Caribbean.
This could mean a good batting surface with something in it for the fast bowlers.
A score of around 180 should be considered par.
The Barbados Tridents have lost their last two matches against the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots but won the two before that. Both teams are packed with match winners but we are sticking with the home team in this one. They seem to have the better bowling attack and a very strong batting lineup.
Back the Barbados Tridents to win.
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