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|Rassie van der Dussen||14||18||2||0||77.78|
The lineup for the second qualifier has been set and it will be the Trinbago Knight Riders taking on the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots for a place in the final. The Caribbean Premier League 2018 has been unpredictable and exciting this season but the last two matches have just been unbelievable. The Trinbago Knight Riders suffered a batting collapse at the worst time imaginable and came close to defending a sub-par total but lost in the last over to the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots conceded the highest T20 total ever scored in Providence and then went on to chase it down with just a couple of balls to spare. It may be a cliché to say that anything is possible in this match but it truly feels like that at the moment.
The Trinbago Knight Riders dominated the group stages but their famed batting failed to deliver when it mattered the most. Some curious changes in the lineup and to the batting order cannot have helped either. Chris Lynn has had a poor season but to bench a player of that caliber in a semi-final is just incredible to us.
It also meant that Sunil Narine, who has done nothing of note in with the bat in this tournament, was once again elevated to the opening position. Brendon McCullum got a terrible decision, Colin Munro was due a failure, and Colin Ingram did not last too long either.
It was eventually dows to a few lusty blows from Darren Bravo, Dwyane Bravo, and Kevon Cooper to life the Trinbago Knight Riders to a total of 126. This was a total that was at least 20-30 runs below par but the Knight Riders very nearly defended this as well.
Here is the thing, the Tringbago Knight Riders suffered a massive collapse but showcased some very decent depth in the batting. The pitch in Providence was not the easiest for the batsmen and even their bowlers had to deal with dew later on.
This meant that everything that could go wrong for the team did go wrong and still the Knight Riders came close to winning. On a pitch that should be much better for batting at the Brian Lara Stadium, we expect the Trinbago Batting to come to the fore again.
If the Knight Riders have decided to look past Chris Lynn then maybe promoting Darren Bravo up the order or even Colin Ingram could be something to look at. Otherwise, just let McCullum open with Munro and let them get the best chance to play the maximum overs.
On the bowling side, Fawad Ahmed, Sunil Narine, and Khary Pierre were very good. They may not get the same amount of assistance in Trinidad but their role will still be central to the team's fortunes. Ali Khan, Dwayne Bravo, and Kevon Cooper all bowled decently as well and should go into this second qualifier with confidence.
Finishing top of the table allowed the Trinbago Knight Riders to have one bad day and not suffer for it. Their fans would be hoping that the team can make the most of this second chance.
SP Narine, Brendon McCullum, Colin Munro, Denesh Ramdin, Colin Ingram, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Fawad Ahmed, Anderson Phillip, Ali Khan.
What a batting performance by the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots to win their last game against the Jamaica Tallawahs. The team was up against it from the beginning and not many would have given them a chance after conceding 191.
The side then lost Devon Thomas, Chris Gayle, and van der Dussen within ten overs with just 62 on the board. As things unfolded, Anton Devcich picked the perfect time to score his first fifty in the CPL, Fabien Allen and Brendon King played incredible cameos, and Ben Cutting helped finish things off in style.
The Patriots need something very special to be able to win and that is what they managed to do. The question now is whether they can do it all over again. There is no doubt about the fact that the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots have a terrible bowling attack.
There just is not enough edge in their attack to be able to set teams back. Fabien Allen had a good match last time around but he is not someone that the Knight Riders would worry about. The other bowlers in the side include Anton Devcich, Carlos Braithwaite, Ben Cutting, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Harry Walsh.
All of them are potential targets for a very strong Trinbago Knight Riders batting unit.
There is every likelihood that the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots will be chasing down a huge total and their own batting will have to bear the load once again.
Chris Gayle once again got a start but failed to convert in the last match, Devon Thomas threw his bat around for a bit before getting out, and van der Dussen struggled on the slow Providence pitch. In this crucial match, we would also like to see Evin Lewis play above the number 8 position he occupied in the last match.
There is a lot of batting depth in this Patriot side. Carlos Braithwaite batted at number 9 and he is capable of clearing the boundaries very easily. They can afford to go hard straight from the start and not worry about losing wickets.
This contest is going to be a straight shootout between the two batting units.
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, DC Thomas, RVD Dussen, Anton Devcich, Brandon King, F Allen, Ben Cutting, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Tabraiz Shamsi.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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A good day with only a slight chance of rain has been forecast for this match. We are expecting to see the best batting pitch of this tournament in this match. The match is being played in Trinidad and Tobago so the home team is likely to get a surface that suits its strength.
The general nature of the pitches in the Caribbean is such, though, that the spinners are going to be in play throughout the match. A score of around 180 should be seen as par.
The Trinbago Knight Riders are coming into this match on the back of a loss while the Patriots have recorded a superb victory in their last match. The Knight Riders have won three out of the last five matches against the Patriots. Taking into account the better bowling attack at their disposal and home advantage, we think the Knight Riders will make it to the finals.
Back the Trinbago Knight Riders to win.