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The final of the Caribbean Premier League 2018 is here and it will be a rematch between the two teams that played the first qualifier. It is fitting in a way that the Trinbago Knight Riders and the Guyana Amazon Warriors will be playing the finals because they finished as the top-2 teams after the group stage.
The Trinbago Knight Riders are vying to become the first team to win back to back titles in CPL history while the Guyana Amazon Warriors are looking for their first tournament win. Interestingly, the Trinbago Knight Riders have been in the final two times before this year and won the tournament both times. The Guyana Amazon Warriors have reached the final three times before this year but lost every single time.
Can the Knight Riders learn from their defeat in the qualifier or will Guyana finally manage to get over the line?
Would it be unfair to call the Guyana Amazon Warriors as the favorites for this match? Maybe not. They have beaten the Trinbago Knight Riders in two out of their three meetings this year including the two most recent ones.
The Trinbago Knight Riders are considered the strongest side in this competition and to beat them three times in a row would be some achievement.
There is a lot going for the Guyana Amazon Warriors at the moment. Shimron Hetmyer has taken his game to another level this season and has shown the ability to time his aggression a lot better as well. He will be the main batsman that Guyana will be banking on for runs.
Hetmyer will have excellent support from Cameron Delport, Luke Ronchi, Jason Mohammad, and Chadwick Walton. Chris Green and Shane Rutherford can swing their bat effectively down the order as well.
Taking advantage of the new ball while the ball is still hard and coming on to the bat will be very important. It is worthwhile sending Ronchi and Walton up the order to take full advantage and shifting Delport in the middle order. At this stage of the tournament, though, not too many experiments are likely.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors have a decent batting lineup but don’t quite have the same riches in depth that their opponents do. Early wickets for them could be fatal.
When it comes to the bowling, the Guyana Amazon Warriors are very well stocked. The Caribbean pitches have started taking a lot of spin and the Brian Lara Stadium will also provide a similar surface. The presence of Imran Tahir, Chris Green, and Romario Shepherd in the side is all but certain.
Tahir is going to be the obvious threat but it is worth noting the contribution of Green as well. He bowled 4 overs for 8 runs and took two wickets in the last match, all while bowling in the powerplay.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors don’t have to change much in this match and should have a great chance of winning if they stick to what works for them.
C Delport, Luke Ronchi, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Mohammed, CAK Walton, Christopher Green, Sherfane Rutherford, S Tanvir, RR Emrit, Romario Shepherd, Imran Tahir.
The Trinbago Knight Riders took the difficult route of reaching the final and will be thirsting for revenge on the Guyana Amazon Warriors. They corrected a lot of the mistakes from their loss in the first qualifier while taking on the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
Trinbago sent Colin Ingram up the order and backed its batsmen to do the job. They have played one match at the venue of the final already and that could be a big advantage.
Obviously, Colin Munro is going to be the main pillar of the Trinbago Knight Riders batting lineup. He has been the best batsman in this entire tournament and will be keen to finish on a high. Munro is going to be bombarded with spin as soon as he walks in and how he deals with that that could determine the outcome of the match.
Supporting Munro is a cast of T20 superstars. Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, and Sunil Narine are all good with the bat. McCullum will go hard at the top, he knows no other way, and he also has the experience of playing big matches throughout his career.
There is no doubt that the Trinbago Knight Riders are a better batting unit but one of them will still need to have a great night. The surface that they are going to encounter will even out the scales very much since it is unlikely any one team is going to be able to go very hard.
The bowling for the Trinbago Knight Riders was decent in the last match but there were some odd choices made. Sunil Narine and Fawad Ahmed were brilliant but turning to Colin Ingram before some of the other regular bowlers seemed strange to us.
Ali Khan has been extremely economical and almost always picks up some early wickets. He also has a tendency to bang the ball in short and that could be expensive on an off night. Phillip bowled just one over and went for 17 in the last match, Kevon Cooper also bowled just two overs so expect some funky decision from Dwayne Bravo in the final as well.
The Knight Riders have the experience and know-how to win this match. They are up against an opponent, though, that is going to push them to the very end.
Colin Ingram, Brendon McCullum, Colin Munro, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper, SP Narine, Fawad Ahmed, Ali Khan, Khary Pierre.
The team winning the toss is almost certainly going to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
There is a slight chance of rain that has been forecast but nothing that should worry anyone. What is more important is the surface for this match. It was disappointing to see a slow and sluggish surface for the second qualifier because it made stroke play very difficult. It is impossible to change the square overnight so the spinners can be expected to dominate once again.
A score of around 170 will be very difficult to chase. Dew is a big factor, though and so teams are going to want to bat second.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors are coming into this match full of confidence and have a team that is better suited to the conditions. We think they could lift their first CPL title and end their run of losing in the final.
Back the Guyana Amazon Warriors to win.
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