It is play-off time in the Caribbean Premier League on Sunday with the first two matches being played on a sizzling day of cricket out in that part of the world. We get underway with the eliminator as the season is on the line for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and the Trinbago Knight Riders.
The equation is pretty simple for both these teams. Win and you move on to the second qualifier. Lose and the season is done so there is everything on the line in this, the first of the four postseason clashes.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
You would probably have got a decent price at the start of the season for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to finish above their opponents in this opening play-off match, indeed you could probably have got one when they finished their regular season campaign with only 10pts but that is what happened, and now they will look to justify that position when they go up against the defending champions in Guyana.
The Patriots have made it through to this stage of the tournament courtesy of their batting in the main although the longer the competition has gone on, the more they have stood up and been counted with the ball which is no bad thing. The one concern I would have with regards to the Patriots is the fact that they have only played once in the last 12 days which could have seen their rhythm leave them at the wrong time.
Trinbago Knight Riders
It had looked like the perfect title defence from the Trinbago Knight Riders early on in their campaign but after three wins from three matches their season completely nosedived, and in the end they won just one of their last seven outings. Somewhat amazingly that was enough to make it to the postseason but Kieron Pollard and his men have to turn it around and they need to do it very quickly indeed.
The Knight Riders’ bowling attack has completely left them in recent times and if they are going to extend their title defence they need to return to the party in this match. To be fair their batsmen have stopped delivering as well and that is never a bad combination. They have only had 36hrs or so to turn their form around which isn’t particularly long so it will be interesting to see how the Knight Riders perform here.
It has been a while since we have seen the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in action in this competition but I don’t expect their side to have changed too much. Rayad Emrit will look to knock off his home nation.
We now know that Sunil Narine has missed the last week or so through injury and it is not known whether he will be fit to return for this match. The Trinbago Knight Riders could do with him though because Chris Jordan has been expensive.
The general trend this season is for these two sides to be involved in some high scoring matches and I’m not convinced that is going to change here. I don’t think either bowling attack is much cop with both regularly leaking runs throughout the course of the campaign. If I was pushed to pick a winner here I would go with the Patriots but their time without a match is a concerned.
Given all that then, it is over 303.5 runs which I like the look of in this match. The pitch will have to stay together for a couple of matches so it should play pretty well in this first game of the two and there are plenty of decent batsmen on show who are capable of guiding the innings to a decent score. I’m expecting the batting to come out on top here so the over on the runs line is of interest.
Back Over 303.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365