Confident Toronto Nationals take on Winnipeg Hawks for a place in Qualifier 2
Our Prediction is Toronto Nationals to win!
After all the pre-match suspense, the game not starting on the scheduled time and rumors of a pay dispute between the players and the organizers, we found out the last two teams to qualify for the next stage of the tournament and compete against each other in this eliminator. The Toronto Nationals won the game against the Montreal Tigers comfortably by 35 runs and also confirmed the place of Winnipeg Hawks in the last four stages.
Both teams come to this game having lost important players but they have managed to adapt to missing players in contrasting ways. While Toronto Nationals are missing the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Kieron Pollard, the Winnipeg Hawks will be without the West Indian duo of Dwayne Bravo and Rayad Emrit. The Nationals have shaken off the loss of players and have won two games back to back coming into the eliminator while the Hawks have had two losses and one match abandoned in their last 3 matches. Both teams will look to win this game and get one step closer to the finals.
The Toronto Nationals come into the Eliminator confident on the back of consecutive wins and with contributions from various quarters. They will be disappointed to have lost the services of Kieron Pollard, Brendon McCullum, and Yuvraj Singh but they will be pleased as to how the lesser known players have stood up and got the team over the line. The batting unit has been able to consistently put up high scores with Rodrigo Thomas, Chirag Suri, Heinrich Klaasen, and the injured Yuvraj Singh all contributing consistently. Heinrich Klaasen is the second-highest run getter in the tournament after Chris Gayle while Rodrigo Thomas occupies the third slot in the list. The lower order of Chris Green, Ravinderpal Singh, and Manpreet Gony have come up with quick crucial runs at the latter part of the innings.
However, it’s in the bowling department where the Nationals have made huge strides over the course of the tournament. The inclusion of Sandeep Lamichhane and Mitchell McClenaghan has added skill and experience to the bowling lineup. Chris Green has been exceptional this tournament and stands at number two in the list of bowlers with the highest wicket takers in the tournament after Ish Sodhi. Jeremy Gordon and Manpreet Singh Gony will be expected to bowl a few tight overs and pick up important wickets.
Rodrigo Thomas, Chirag Suri, Moises Henriques(c), Heinrich Klaasen(w), Chris Green, Ravinderpal Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Manpreet Gony, Jeremy Gordon, Salman Nazar, Sandeep Lamichhane
Kieron Pollard, Mitchell McClenaghan, Heinrich Klaasen, Yuvraj Singh, Chirag Suri, Christopher Green, Jeremy Gordon, Rodrigo Thomas, Ravinderpal Singh, Sandeep Lamichhane, Salman Nazar
The Winnipeg Hawks were lucky to make it to the qualifiers with their game against the in-form Vancouver Knights getting abandoned and a point shared between the two teams. They have lost their last two completed games and will also likely miss the services of Dwayne Bravo, their leading wicket taker in the tournament and the experienced West Indian Ryan Emrit which will weaken their bowling attack. The lack of quality bowling resources would mean the batting unit will have to take a lot more responsibility and deliver on the big day.
Chris Lynn, Shaiman Anwar, Sunny Sohal, and JP Duminy have been consistent throughout the tournament and have put up big totals. Chris Lynn and Shaiman Anwar have been in the top 10 run getters for the tournament and will be looking to provide another good start and set the foundation for a big score. The experienced international campaigners Dwayne Smith and Umar Akmal will be expected to add impetus to the innings and take the total beyond the reach of the opposition.
The bowling attack is comparatively lighter with the loss of Dwayne Bravo. Pakistan Mohammed Irfan will be the leader of the attack and will look to dent the strong Nationals batting lineup at the top. The support cast of Paul van Meekeren, Kaleem Sana and Umair Ghani will look to keep the opposition under control and pick up wickets in the middle overs.
Chris Lynn, Shaiman Anwar, Dwayne Smith, Umar Akmal(w), Sunny Sohal, Jean-Paul Duminy(c), Umair Ghani, Kaleem Sana, Paul van Meekeren, Mohammad Irfan, Sompal Kami
Jean-Paul Duminy, Sunny Sohal, Hamza Tariq, Chris Lynn, Shaiman Anwar, Umar Akmal, Umair Ghani, Mohammad Irfan, Varun Sehdev, Kaleem Sana, RR Emrit
The pitches seem to have started to slow down with the bowlers starting to have a say in the contests. The scores around 180 have become highly competitive and hard to chase down. The rains that lashed the pitch on Tuesday might have caused this change in the nature of the pitches and the bowlers will be hoping it continues to remain the same for the rest of the tournament. The weather for this game indicates a possible chance of thunderstorms and it might cause interruptions to the game.
The CAA center has been a perfect host for this year’s tournament with better batting pitches and better crowd support. The organizers will be hoping they don’t have any weather interruptions and the remaining games have the same quality cricket we have witnessed over the last couple of weeks.
The teams batting second have ruled the roost in this tournament so far. Captains winning the toss have opted to field and have been a fairly successful time of it winning 11 of 15 games played in the group stages. However, with the nature of pitches changing, it will be interesting to see if there is a change in that thinking and captains opt to bat first set a competitive total and hope the pitch slows down.
Two teams which qualified on the last match of the league stages will look to get the better of the other team and move one step closer to the finals.
The Toronto Nationals come into the game with winning momentum behind them whereas the path of the Winnipeg Hawks has been less smooth. The Toronto Nationals will be confident with experienced players like Rodrigo Thomas, Chirag Suri and Chris Green combining with experienced internationals to form a formidable team.
The Winnipeg Hawks will rely on their batting might to compensate for the lighter bowling attack and try to out bat the opposition from the contest.
Both teams have fairly even batting lineups but the superior bowling attack of the Toronto Nationals and the momentum they are taking to the big match will make the Toronto Nationals the favorites for the game.