About the Match
Trinbago Knight Riders topped the table this year with 16 points and cruised easily to the playoffs after a spectacular show throughout the league; they will be up against St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, who finished 2nd on the table with 13 points, for the 1st Qualifier match on 5th September at Trinidad. The Knight Riders lost their last league game against Barbados Tridents but it didn’t impact their standings; they will be eager to bounce back here on Tuesday. The Patriots, on the other hand, defeated the Tridents by a whopping 10 wickets and will be determined to continue with their winning momentum.
Trinbago Knight Riders
Chasing 137 runs against Barbados Tridents, the batting line-up crumbled shockingly and players like Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin fell cheaply. Brendon McCullum, who had been in superb form throughout, could muster only 26 runs while Dwayne Bravo and Javon Searles tried to fight hard contributing with 22 and 29 runs each. However, with no solid partnerships, they lost the match uncharacteristically by 16 runs.
Spinners Shadab Khan and Ashley Nurse took 3 wickets between them to contain the Tridents while Dwayne Bravo and Anderson Phillip claimed a wicket each to stifle the opponents to 136 runs. Spin magician Sunil Narine has also done well throughout and can break partnerships under crucial situations. Speedsters like Javon Searles, who had taken 3-27 against Tallawahs recently, adds depth to the attack along with others like Nikita Miller and Ronsford Beaton.
The batting line-up has hard-hitting batsmen like Brendon McCullum, Colin Munro, Darren Bravo and the all-rounder Sunil Narine, who has showcased his skills in the T20 format time and again. However, the absence of McCullum due to injury could hurt their chances. They are still a formidable force to reckon with and could pose a stiff challenge to Patriots on home turf.
St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Fast-bowler Carlos Brathwaite’s brilliant 4-wicket haul giving away only 15 runs against Barbados Tridents helped the Patriots restrict the opponents to 128 runs in the last league match. Chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi also claimed 2-14, stifling the run-flow of the Tridents while spinners Mohammad Nabi and Mohammad Hafeez took a wicket each, showcasing their all-rounder skills.
During the chase, Evin Lewis smashed away a spectacular 11 sixes and 6 fours to post a brilliant 97 runs from just 32 balls and steer the team across the finish line in just 7 overs. Chris Gayle partnered well, scoring 22 of 14 and has been a strong asset for the team along with Lewis. They won the match hands down by 10 wickets, and are in good form to repeat the stunning performance again.
Against Tallawahs recently, they failed to chase down 158 runs as Gayle, Jonathan Carter, Brathwaite and Nabi couldn’t impress with the bat. Lewis posted 40 off 17 while Hafeez scored 21 but they couldn’t build a solid partnership when required. The good job of the bowlers went in vain as they lost the contest by a big margin of 41 runs. Spinners like Samuel Badree, Shamsi and Nabi can outwit the Riders with their clever tactics while speedsters Sheldon Cottrell and Ben Hilfenhaus could provide quick breakthroughs.
The Patriots and Knight Riders have been doing well in all departments of the game, and this could be a close contest on Tuesday. While Patriots have many master blasters on their side, Knight Riders have an excellent league stage performance to back their confidence. Cricket is a funny game, but looking at the recent form of the Patriots, they certainly go in as favorites to thump Knight Riders here.