Playoff 2 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) sees the current champions Trinbago Knight Riders take on the St Lucia Zouks at Warner Park, St Kitts on Thursday (7pm). The winner of this game will go on to face the loser of Playoff 1 for a place in the final. The losing side is done for another year.
Colin Munro of the Knight Riders says that success or failure is dependent on the players performing somewhere close to their potential. If that happens he is confident that TKR will run out winners.
“I think we just need to ask more of the same in terms of players stepping up, senior guys stepping up. It is nice looking back at the whole tournament with people stepping up in different situations. So if we got three or four players playing to their potential our team is pretty dynamic.”
The Knight Riders had a mixed start to the tournament in their home leg in Trinidad, but they came back from that to make the knockout stages. They didn’t panic and Munro says that is indicative of his side.
“We all have that calm nature about us. Obviously it is a must win game but at the end of the day it is a game of cricket and we are approaching every game like that after having a not great home leg. The experience in our group in terms of tournaments that we have won and great coaching staff we will be nice and relaxed and just go out there and express ourselves as best as we can.”
The record between these teams is one win each and Munro says that the Zouks are a dangerous side who should be respected.
“You go through their batting line up and you get a wicket and you have Mike Hussey coming in and you get another wicket and you have David Miller coming in! They have batters all the way down. There are some areas where we can work to get the backup bowling right and if we can get that right we have shown that we can chase down totals and if we set totals we can get a lot of runs on the board.”
The Zouks have won five of their last six games so are the form team of Hero CPL right now, but that one loss came against TKR. Despite this Shane Watson of the Zouks feels his team are in a really good place heading into this must win match.
“We have really got on a really good run. Since we went home to St Lucia we have played some really good cricket. It is knockout cricket and you have to bring your best but we have certainly got lots of confidence from our last six games.”
When asked about what he was expecting from the match in Basseterre Watson said that there will be runs on the excellent Warner Park pitch.
“High scoring as it normally is at Warner Park. It is a beautiful wicket, small boundaries, I am sure it is going to be a high scoring game.”
Speaking of their opponents Watson was just as respectful of TKR as Munro was of the Zouks. He feels that the two teams are very closely matched.
“They have matched up really well against us. The last time we played against them in St Lucia Umar Akmal played an incredible innings. They have certainly got some very dangerous players like Hashim Amla who is back at the top of the order. We are certainly going to have to be at our very best because TKR have a really well balanced team with world class players throughout. We played very well against them in Trinidad at the start of the tournament so we need to bring that again.”
TICKETS: Tickets for all CPL finals week fixtures at Warner Park, St Kitts are on sale now from www.cplt20.com and from the Stadium Ticket Office. Children (under-16) in St. Kitts & Nevis will be offered free access to the Mound at Warner Park for the three knock out matches on Wednesday 3 August (7pm), Thursday 4 August (7pm) and Friday 5 August (8pm).
Stadium Ticket Office Opening Hours: Monday: 12pm – 4pm. Tuesday: 12pm – 4pm, Wednesday – Sunday: 9am – late.
Hero CPL Finals Fixtures:
Game 1 – 3rd August: Jamaica Tallawahs v Guyana Amazon Warriors (Winner advances to Hero CPL Final)
Game 2 – 4th August: St. Lucia Zouks v Trinbago Knight Riders (Loser eliminated)
Game 3 – 5th August: Loser Game 1 v Winner Game 2 (Loser eliminated)
Game 4 – 7th August: Hero CPL Final