About the Match
Zouks pulled off an exhilarating win against Tallawahs by 17 runs to make it to the playoffs; they will take on T&T Riders on 4th August for the second playoff at Basseterre. The Riders finished fourth by winning against Patriots by 8 wickets, and have done well to surpass the Tridents; they will put up a strong fight to survive this challenge too. Zouks on the other hand have been a formidable force to reckon with and their win against table-toppers Tallawahs has boosted their morale; the contest will surely be evenly fought but the side that can dominate in all departments will be better placed to emerge victorious here.
St. Lucia Zouks
Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles blazed the field batting first and posted a stupendous 104-run opening stand against Tallawahs; Watson then kept the scoreboard ticking with a well-made 42 and came back in the 2nd innings to dismiss Gayle. With 194 runs to defend, the bowlers focused at taking quick wickets in a disciplined way; Shillingford took 2-30 and others like Pope, Taylor and Delorn Johnson took a wicket each in regular intervals to stifle the opponents and win the match.
However, when they met Riders in the league stage, they lost the recent game after failing to defend 167 runs despite a superb 3-22 by Delorn Johnson and good efforts by Sammy and Mayers. Watson, Charles and Fletcher tried to build steady partnerships while Sammy posted an inspirational 37 from just 18 balls. The batting line-up is in good form and they can surely challenge the Riders here; with a good mix of pace and spin, Zouks can try to demolish the opponents.
They had won the opening match of the series against Riders by 6 wickets after chasing down 163 runs thanks to a superb knock by Charles; they will try to repeat that winning performance here.
Tribango Knight Riders
A superb 4-wicket haul by Dwayne Bravo at an economy of just above 3 runs per over helped the Riders restrict Patriots to 137 runs; spinners Narine and Devcich also took a wicket each and the batsmen then fired up to take the team safely across the finish line. Brendon McCullum came back form as he posted an unbeaten 43 from 28 deliveries, smashing 3 sixes while Denesh Ramdin anchored the innings scoring 52 from 46 to help win the match by 8 wickets and make it here.
Umar Akmal is in good form as seen from his unbeaten 73 from 35 deliveries that helped them emerge victorious against Zouks earlier; he can repeat his heroics under crunch situations yet again. Hashim Amla, Perkins, McCullum and Ramdin can definitely prove to be a stiff challenge for the Zouks; with all-rounders like Bravo, Devcich and McCullum, they will try to dominate here.
The bowling unit consists of in-form speedster Dwayne Bravo, Cooper and Beaton while spinner Sunil Narine can spin his magic to surprise the opposition; Devcich and Miller bring variety to the attack and overall, they can combine their skills to win this knock-out match.
The two sides have won a game each when they met during the league stage and hence the contest could go down to the wire; however, looking at Zouks recent performance, they look better placed to keep their hopes with a win and advance on Thursday