The top four may have been decided, but there’s still plenty up for grabs, and both Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel will be determined to claim victory tonight.
At the halfway point of the group neither side looked likely to reach the semi-finals, but both have rallied to secure their place with a game to spare.
Guyana were in big trouble after losing three of their opening four fixtures in the competition, but some inspired performances from their bowling line up coupled with the batting excellence of Brad Hodge has seen them lose just once since.
The Red Steel had similar struggles during the early stages of the competition, with both batting and bowling line ups seemingly melting under the faintest of pressure.
However, once captain, Dwayne Bravo, found his rhythm with the ball it seemed to galvanise the entire squad. And with South African legend Jacques Kallis hitting the type of form that has the crowd ducking for cover, Trinidad now have the look of potential champions.
While their recent form means both sides have cruised into the final four of CPL 2015, neither can afford to relax. The winner of tonight’s match will bypass the opening semi-final, with the Red Steel having the chance to book their place in the final tonight.
Given that the alternative is a less than appealing match up against the Chris Gayle led Jamaica Tallawahs, one would expect both sides will be giving it their all at the Queen’s Park Oval tonight.
Key Match Ups
The strength of both sides has undoubtedly been their bowling. Bravo leads the tournament with 19 wickets, and he’ll be desperate to take the wicket of the Warriors’ talisman, Brad Hodge, who has averaged over 50 in the tournament.
Throughout the competition Hodge, Lendl Simmons or Dinesh Ramdin have been the danger men for Guyana, and if they can be dismissed cheaply the Red Steel will feel very confident of victory.
Bravo and Samuel Badree (10 wickets) have led the Trinidad bowling attack, but their secret weapon in recent games has been left handed spinner Derone Davis.
Despite featuring in just three matches, Davis has picked up six wickets at an astonishing strike-rate of one every nine balls.
For the Warriors, Sunil Narine (12 wickets, 4.93 economy rate) has been routinely making opponents look as if they’re batting with a fishing rod. He is ably backed up by the likes of David Wiese – who took five wickets against the Tridents – Ronsford Beaton (11 wickets), Veersammy Permaul (7 wickets) and Devendra Bishoo (9 wickets).
Their job will be to try to stop Kallis from making his eight successive score above 20 in CPL 2015. If Kallis can be dismissed early, the rest of the Red Steel top order has struggled throughout the competition – with Darren Bravo’s unbeaten 80 against the Tridents a rare exception.
T&T Red Steel (124/7) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors (118) by three wickets.
Last time the two sides met Lendl Simmons hit a half-century, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Red Steel from securing a narrow victory. Dwayne Bravo was the star for Trinidad – taking 4/18 from his four overs.