The 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is heading to an exciting climax with Trinbago Knight Riders set to take on St Lucia Zouks in the final at Tarouba on Thursday. Trinbago Knight Riders are unbeaten in CPL 2020 and will be favourites heading into Thursday’s grand finale. However, St Lucia Zouks aren’t pushovers and have the players at their disposal to stand up and be counted on when it matters most. Here, we have a look at the players from both teams who could be the difference-makers in the final.
Trinbago Knight Riders’ leading run-getter (272) this season, Lendl Simmons will be eager to finish the tournament on a high, having played a significant role in his side’s unbeaten run to the final. The explosive right-hander scored an unbeaten 54 in the semi-final win over Jamaica Tallawahs and is averaging 30.22 at a strike rate of 112.40 in CPL 2020.
Simmons’ fifty against Jamaica was his second of the tournament following his 96 against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, and it won’t come as much of a surprise if he’s among the runs in the final. His ability to find the boundary ropes frequently has seen him hit 18 fours and 16 sixes this season.
Fawad Ahmed has been one of Trinbago Knight Riders’ most impressive bowlers this season having claimed 11 scalps at an average of 19.45. He has come good with the ball by picking up wickets at crucial junctures and breaking partnerships. His best performance in the tournament so far came against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots. Fawad seemed to be unplayable against the Patriots and finished with the Player of the Match award courtesy of his figures of four for 21.
However, he went wicketless against the Zouks in his last meeting against them and you can rest assured that he’ll be looking to set the record straight on Thursday.
Dwayne Bravo’s ability to consistently contribute with both bat and ball is what makes him so special, and an asset for any team to have. The all-rounder from Trinidad’s ability to keep a lid on proceedings during the death overs could well prove to be crucial in the final and his abundance of experience in the T20 format is certain to make for an assuring presence for the rest of his teammates to have on the field. Bravo, in fact, thrives under the pressure of competing in the shortest format of the game and recently became the first player to 500 T20 wickets. Expect him to make his presence felt in one way or another in the final.
No bowler has managed more than Scott Kuggeleijn’s 16 wickets in the CPL this season. He picked up two wickets in his very first over in the semi-final and will be confident in his ability to make a difference against the Knight Riders. The New Zealander took two wickets in his last meeting against Thursday’s finalists but was slightly expensive, having conceded 35 from his four overs. Needless to say, Kuggeleijn will be keen to keep things tighter in the final as he hopes to finish as the season’s top wicket-taker. He boasts a bowling average of 14.75 and a strike rate 11.31, making him the Zouks’ biggest threat with the ball.
The all-rounder from Barbados has scored 203 runs at an average of 40.60 and a strike rate of 106.84 so far. Roston Chase’s runs have come at important times for the Zouks and he’s hit two fifties, besides also contributing with the ball. He’s taken eight wickets from 10 matches and has an impressive bowling average of 15.25. Chase’s economy rate of 4.88 is also one of the best in the CPL this season and his strike rate of 18.75 isn’t bad either.
Having failed to make an impact in the Zouks’ previous two matches against the Knight Riders this year, Chase will be itching to have a say when it matters most.
Feature image courtesy: Facebook / @CarnivalT20
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