Edmonton Royals will hope for an upset against table toppers Brampton Wolves
Our prediction is Brampton Wolves to win!
As the tournament heads to its business end, the top placed Brampton Royals take on the last-placed Edmonton Royals in a match which should not affect either team’s standings. However the match will be played with utmost seriousness as Wolves will look to get back to winning ways before the qualifiers after a disappointing loss against the Knights while the Edmonton Royals will look to sign off a disappointing season with a win in their last game as they will need a miracle to qualify for the next round.
The Brampton Royals will look forward to having Shahid Afridi back in the lineup after he was rested for their previous game and will hope that the disappointing performance in the previous game was a one-off and get back to the dominating team they have been in this year’s tournament. The Edmonton Royals will be buoyed by their win against the Winnipeg Hawks with Anshuman Rath and Mohammed Hafeez playing lead roles and will be hoping to do an encore.
The form team of the tournament, the table toppers came crashing down to earth after an insipid performance against the Vancouver Knights being bowled out for 138 and losing by 8 wickets. The batsmen who’ve been in form throughout the tournament never got going after losing initial wickets and the bowling in the absence of Shahid Afridi was all over the place. However as the tournament approaches the crucial stages, they will look at this match against the last placed side Edmonton Royals as a chance to get back to winning ways and go into the next stage of the competition with full confidence.
The Wolves will look for their openers Lendl Simmons and George Munsey to get back to providing their customary quick start and dominate the opposition bowlers in the powerplay overs with the field restrictions. The middle order of Colin Munro, Nitish Kumar, Babar Hayat and Shahid Afridi have taken responsibility and ensured at least one of them bats deep into the innings allowing others to dominate the bowling around them.
This has also meant that the Wolves, in general, have not had collapses and so have reached totals which gives their bowlers a fighting chance to defend it. The bowling department has been generally consistent with Wahab Riaz being his fiery self, well supported by Cecil Pervez and Zahoor Khan. Ish Sodhi leads the wicket takers tally with his leg spin while Shahid Afridi has bowled the important overs and picked up crucial wickets.
Lendl Simmons(w), George Munsey, Colin Munro(c), Nitish Kumar, Babar Hayat, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Cecil Pervez, Ish Sodhi, Abraash Khan, Zahoor Khan
The Edmonton Royals finally have a win on the board after coming close several times with a commanding performance against the Winnipeg Hawks chasing down 195 with 8 wickets and 14 balls to spare. After Shadab Khan’s brilliant spell restricted the Hawks to below 200, Anshuman Rath played a brilliant inning supported by Mohammed Hafeez and James Neesham to enable Royals to break the points duck this season. While qualification for the next stage of the tournament looks a very remote possibility, they have to win huge against the Wolves and will need other results to go their way, they will be looking to finish the season off with a win.
The Royals have had individual performances throughout the tournament with Anshuman Rath, James Neesham, Ben Cutting, Shadab Khan and Kyle Phillip performing at different times but they’ve not combined to produce a match winning performance and so they languish at the bottom of the table. However, they will be looking for one big performance from their experienced players to do their part of the task and put themselves in the contention for a spot in the next stage and hope things go their way.
The CAA center has been an excellent venue for the tournament having a mixture of low scoring game assisting the bowlers and high scoring thrillers where the batsmen have ruled the roost. The drop-in pitches at the venue have behaved well for the most part and have provided good games. The short boundaries have added to the excitement and the tournament organizers will be hoping the last stage of the tournament provides some exciting cricket with tense finishes.
It has been clear following the tournament that winning the toss and bowling first is the way to go for the captains winning the toss. Of the 14 completed games in the tournament so far, teams batting second have won 11 games clearly indicating that the team chasing with a target in mind has been a huge advantage.
The Brampton Wolves had a disappointing performance against the Knights and would be hoping that it would be a one-off and will be looking to go into the next stage of the competition with a win behind them. They have been the form team of the tournament and with Shahid Afridi back in the team, they will be looking for a complete performance. The Edmonton Royals finally came to the party in their last match after having isolated individual performance throughout the tournament but will find it tough to hand the table toppers their second consecutive loss of the tournament.
The all-round ability of the Brampton Wolves and the winning momentum they have had this tournament make them heavy favorites against the Edmonton Royals.