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St Lucia Zouks’ battle against odds in final showdown versus Knight Riders
Trinbago Knight Riders to win
Tournament: Caribbean Premier League T20 2020 | Format: T20 | Venue: Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad | Toss: To BowlBet Now
After 32 games, we are one match away from crowning the champions of the Caribbean Premier League 2020. In the big final the Trinbago Knight Riders would be up against the St Lucia Zouks. Both the sides dominated the league stages and have stormed into the finals with massive wins. The Trinbago Knight Riders defeated the Jamaica Tallawahs by 9 wickets while the St Lucia Zouks outsmarted the Guyana Amazon Warriors by 10 wickets in their respective semifinal encounters.
The Trinbago Knight Riders have dominated the contests between the two sides so far in the history of this tournament and have won nine out of ten games between the two sides including the two earlier this season. This will give them lot of confidence going into this game. As for the Zouks this has so far been a memorable season for them and it remains to be seen if they are able to bag their first title win in the history of this tournament.
Kieron Pollard’s side has had an amazing season leading up to this contest. The three-time title winners have remained unbeaten so far and have demolished their opponents in mostly one-sided contests. Their batsmen and bowlers have done well as a unit and Pollard would be looking to finish the season on the same note. They have defeated the Zouks twice earlier in the season and the skipper would be looking to make it three in a row.
The opening combination of Lendl Simmons and Sunil Narine shall look to provide a good start in the game. Narine hasn’t had a great season with the bat and would like to play well in the game that counts. Tion Webster has played well too and along with Tim Seifert and Darren Bravo makes the middle order very formidable. In Dwayne Bravo and Pollard the side has the perfect finishers in the death overs and both these players have lived up to the challenges they have faced so far.
Their bowlers have regularly troubled the opponents and won games for the side. Their performance in the last game stands testimony to that. Akeal Hosein and Khary Pierre are in sublime form at the moment and shall trouble the Zouks with the new ball. Fawad Ahmed has had a great season and so has Dwayne Bravo. Narine, Ali Khan and Pollard add to the bowling options for the team and make a formidable bowling attack.
Kieron Pollard (c), Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Tion Webster, Tim Seifert (wk), Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Akeal Hosein, Khary Pierre, Fawad Ahmed, Ali Khan
Few would have expected Darren Sammy’s side to come this far in the season. They have been the perennial bottom hunters of the table and never finished higher than fourth rank in the history of the league so far. They didn’t have star-studded side at the start of the season but did well with their limited resources. It will be a big challenge against the Knight Riders as odds are stacked against them. Sammy would look to inspire his side to a memorable title in this game.
Openers Rahkeem Cornwall and Mark Deyal have enjoyed a good run in the season so far and they shall look to lay a strong platform for the side. The middle order has useful players in Andre Fletcher, Mohammad Nabi and Roston Chase. They have all made their contributions in the season so far. With good hitters of the ball like Javelle Glenn, Sammy and Najubullah Zardan down the order the side has good firepower in its batting and shall need to take on the strong attack that Knight Riders have.
Their bowlers did a brilliant job in the last game and shall look to repeat the same show in this game as well. Scott Kuggeleijn and Nabi form a very good new ball pair for the side and they would be looking to go after the strong batting line-up that Knight Riders have. Chase and Zahir Khan have also done well. In Deyal and Javelle Glenn the side has good depth in its bowling attack.
Daren Sammy (c), Rahkeem Cornwall, Mark Deyal, Andre Fletcher (wk), Roston Chase, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Javelle Glenn, Scott Kuggeleijn, Kesrick Williams, Zahir Khan
The weather conditions over Trinidad would be good on September 10 as the skies are likely to be clear. The pitch is expected to be a tricky one to bat on as we have seen in the last few games where the ball hasn’t come well to the bat. Lot of games has been played here this season and the track has gone slower. In this high pressure final the side that bats first would be happy to get to a score of 150 runs.
The Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad is one track that bowlers love as doesn’t allow the batsmen to play on the rise. Fast bowlers tend to extract good bargain from the surface early on in the game. The slowness of the track also makes it a difficult wicket to bat against the spinners. The only saving grace for the batsmen is the shorter boundaries that let them play their strokes without much fear.
The last five games at this venue has seen the sides successfully chase down scores on four occasions. It isn’t the easiest surface to bat on in the early overs as there is assistance for the bowlers. The pace of the wicket doesn’t allow easy stroke making. Both the captains are expected to keep this in mind at the toss and they are likely to opt to bowl first in this big pressure game.
The big final is here and both the sides have done well to get here. For St Lucia Zouks this would be the toughest battle that they have so been part of in this season. Having lost twice already to the Knight Riders they would be well aware of the strength of their opponents. The side must play out of their skin to win this game. Trinbago Knight Riders on the other hand hasn’t put a feet wrong so far in the season and shall look to carry on with the same show. Their dominating record against the Zouks makes them the favorites to win this game and lift their fourth title.
Trinbago Knight Riders to win
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