Hero CPL 2018: Defending Champs TKR take on Patriots tonight

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Trinbago Knight Riders players celebrate during the Hero CPL match between Barbados Tridents and Trinbago Knight Riders at Kensington Oval on August 26, 2018 in Bridgetown, Barbados. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/Getty Images)

Defending Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) champs Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) will tonight face off at 20:00h with the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in a highly-anticipated encounter at Warner Park when match 23 gets underway.

The Patriots hold a 42-run win over TKR, having beaten the champs a few matches back, but apart from the top-performers in that game: Devon Thomas who won MVP, Ali Khan, Colin Munro and others, it remains a mystery as to who will feature in any of the sides come this return match.

Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis looked dangerous for the Patriots in the last game, despite losing to the Jamaica Tallawahs.

Patriots skipper Chris Gayle

Gayle has been in form since the tournament began, and while he has made just one big score to date, the ‘Universe Boss’ could continue his pinch-hitting form; while Lewis would quickly need to pick up the pace.

The Patriots look a gelled side despite a mixed tournament, with all-rounder Ben Cutting, wicket-keeper Thomas, Carlos Brathwaite, Anton Devcich and Tom Cooper all being among the runs.

Cutting, Thomas and Devcich have been especially good with finding the boundaries, and would want to up their scoring come this evening.

TKR will have no worries, with Sunil Narine being an X-factor, Munro, Brendon McCullum and Darren Bravo will want to continue their immaculate batting form, setting up the match for Captain Dwayne Bravo, Javon Searles and other lower-order hitters.

Narine, Searles, USA pacer Khan, the golden boy Kharry Pierre and Bravo will make up the bowlers to date who have been on show, while a possible team change or bowling change could be likely.

Brendon McCullum brings out his unorthodoxy (Getty Images)

Gayle’s bowlers have been spot on, with left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell, Cutting, Brathwaite and Alzarri Joseph their main weapons of pace this season. Their spin department could see Hayden Walsh Jr, Devcich and possibly Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah accounting for the slow options.

The Patriots are currently in fourth place with 7 points, while TKR are currently in third position with 8 points.

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