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The Trinbago Knight Riders and the Guyana Amazon Warriors have already sealed their places in the quarter-finals. With three games each to go and two against each other, both the sides have a decent amount of time to build up to the closing stages of the tournament. While the stakes may not be too high for these upcoming encounters, they are not likely to be taken lightly by the competing teams.
The Knight Riders and the Warriors both know that a couple of losses at this stage could suck the momentum out of their campaign. Both the team will also want to set some early markers down against any opposition they are likely to come up against after the group stage is over.
The Knight Riders have now won their last four matches and have recovered from the rocky start their campaign got off to. With five wins out of seven matches, most things in the Knight Riders camp seem to be going well.
Colin Munro has led the batting for the Knight Riders this season and is currently the highest run-getter in the entire tournament. He scared a wonderful 76 not out in the last match to lead his side to victory.
Munro is going to be the biggest threat to the Warriors in this game and to all other teams coming up against the Trinbago Knight Riders. He is, however, far from the only big gun in the batting unit.
Chris Lynn has been struggling to get his rhythm but to count him out is just foolishness. Lynn like the ball coming on to the bat and that is something the sluggish West Indian surfaces have not provided. He is still good enough to adapt and play a destructive role going forward.
Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo, Dinesh Ramdin, and Dwayne Bravo round out a very strong batting lineup. They will be tested against the strong Warriors bowling but the quality throughout the lineup is such that one or the other player will come off.
The Knight Riders have stuck to a settled bowling lineup throughout this tournament as well. Ali Khan, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, and Fawad Ahmed have all been very good. They ensure that there is no let up of pressure even if the batsmen don’t quite get the big runs in a game.
Fawad Ahmed and Sunil Narine will continue to get more difficult to score off as the tournament progresses and the pitches start to favor the slower bowlers even more.
SP Narine, Chris Lynn, Colin Munro, Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, J Searles, Fawad Ahmed, Khary Pierre, Ali Khan.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors are bringing their own gun spinner to this contest in Imran Tahir. The South African leg-spinner has been brilliant for them this season with 13 wickets to his name at an unbelievable economy rate.
How the Trinbago Knight Riders face Imran Tahir is going to be a very large part of the eventual outcome of this contest. Sohail Tanvir and Chris Green have also been good for the Warriors this season but they are nowhere near the same level as Tahir.
Rayad Emrit has taken a lot of wickets but he is not consistent enough from one game to the next to be taken seriously. The Guyana Amazon Warriors will be a little nervous about its bowling coming up against the Trinbago Knight Riders especially if Imran Tahir has an off-day.
Shimron Hetmyer and Luke Ronchi have emerged as the most impressive batsmen in the Guyana side. Both of them are very aggressive and able to make their starts really count.
The Knight Riders will want to take both these batsmen out early because scoring big runs in T20 cricket does not seem to be a problem for them. Chadwick Walton and Cameron Delport have also been good for the Warriors this season but the players to follow are a concern.
Jason Mohammed has been underwhelming this season while the likes of Tanvir, Primus, Green, and Permaul are not really players you want to bank upon for some runs. If the Guyana Amazon Warriors lose wickets early then the middle order is capable of crumbling in a heap.
The biggest challenge that the likes of Walton, Ronchi, and Hetmyer will face is to find a way of keeping the scoreboard ticking without taking too many risks against Narine and Fawad.
Luke Ronchi, CAK Walton, Shimron Hetmyer, C Delport, Jason Mohammed, Roshon Primus, S Tanvir, RR Emrit, Christopher Green, Romario Shepherd, Imran Tahir.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
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Rain early in the day has been forecast for match day but the weather should clear up around the time when the match is expected to start. The pitch at the Queen’s Park Oval has been good for batting but also offered some help in it the spinners as well.
This is one of the best-balanced surfaces that the tournament has served up this year. There are big hitters on both sides and so a total of around 180 should be considered par.
The Trinbago Knight Riders have beaten the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the last four matches these two have played against each other. Both teams are in good form and have won five out of their seven matches so far. Their match up against each other, though, seems to be in favor of the Knight Riders.
Back the Trinbago Knight Riders to win.