Kings pitted against Knights in semi-final battle for the CPL throne

A repeat of the 2020 HERO Caribbean Premier League is next in store for us, as the Trinbago Knight Riders lock horns with the Saint Lucia Kings in the first semi-final of this season. Faf Du Plessis’ side managed to qualify beyond the group stage with a fourth placed finish, but now have their tasks cut out as they will have to dethrone the champions to get through to consecutive finals in the CPL. 

Head-to-head record

Trinbago Knight Riders

Saint Lucia Kings

12 wins

3 wins

The head-to-head record seems skewed in favour of Trinbago, but things are very even this season in the CPL. The Kings won the first game between the two sides in 2021, but the champions responded strongly a day later. Given the pressure of the semi-final, this clash too would be very difficult to call as both teams have enough match-winners in their roster.

Watch out for:

Roston Chase has been Mr.consistent for the Kings this season, averaging 52.43 with the bat while also maintaining a strike rate of nearly 150. The 29-year-old is currently the leading run getter of the competition, and the Kings management would be optimistic of another big score from him. Chase also has been a solid contributor with the ball for his franchise, getting timely breakthroughs whenever called upon. 

Wahab Riaz delivered an economical spell on Sunday despite his fellow bowlers all going for runs. The Pakistani pacer was also the match-winner the last time the Kings triumphed over the Knight Riders, defending 14 runs in the final over against two well set batsmen. With the pressure of the semi-finals, Riaz’s experience and ability to nail his yorkers at the death would be a big asset for the Saint Lucia Kings. 

Opponent Corner

The Trinbago Knight Riders have plenty of big game players in their locker. Be it Caribbean stars like Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons, or the Kiwi collective of Colin Munro and Tim Seifert, their batting seems to be well stacked. On the bowling front, TKR have the leading wicket-taker of the competition in Ravi Rampaul, and the mystery spin of Akeal Hossein and Sunil Narine could also cause problems on their day. 

Probable XI: Rakheem Cornwall, Andre Fletcher, Faf Du Plessis (c), Roston Chase, Mark Deyal, Tim David, David Wiese, Jeavor Royal, Kesrick Williams, Wahab Riaz, Alzarri Joseph. 

Rakheem Cornwall will most likely keep his spot thanks to a good performance against the Royals, with skipper Du Plessis returning in place of Samit Patel if deemed fit. On the bowling front, the Kings would perhaps recall Kesrick Williams to rely on his big game experience. 

NOTE:The aforementioned line-up is an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.

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