IPL 2020: Deepak Chahar recovers from Covid-19, joins Chennai Super Kings squad
9 Sep 2020
Here we are, after almost a month of cricket action that gave the fans a breather from the pandemic. The Caribbean Premier League 2020 has been a mixed bunch as a tournament, with games getting bogged down by the poor quality of the pitches. But that has not stopped the players from showcasing their incredible prowess with both bat and the ball and one can only expect the finals to live up to those standards with two of the top teams blowing away their oppositions in the semifinals.
One could say that the spectacle of knockouts promised much but delivered very little. Maybe the small matter of pressure came to the fore. Jamaica Tallawahs were a bundle of nerves as they capitulated to 107, flayed down without breaking a sweat by the steamroller that is Trinbago Knight Riders. While Rovman Powell and his troops could be cut some slack given the wicket's spin-friendly nature, the Guyana Amazon Warriors have nowhere to hide.
Having jetted into the semifinals with four wins on the trot, Chris Green's men bid goodbye to CPL in quite the anticlimatic fashion. For all the springs in their step, they could only manage the second-lowest total in the tournament's history after being skittled for just 55 in 13.4 overs. St Lucia Zouks, in reply, needed just 4.3 overs to cruise past the finish line and book a slot in the grand finale.
The stage is set for a mouth-watering summit clash. It's the herculean might of Riders pitted against Zouks' never-say-die attitude. Besides the glossy silverware, there's another carrot dangling in the prize check worth a million dollars. Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be one hell of a joyride.
Date: Thursday, 10th September
Time: 7:30 PM IST, 10:00 AM local
Venue: Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad
Trinbago Knight Riders
Spin was presumed to be the flavour of the contest and Riders didn't miss a trick. Young Akeal Hosein snared three wickets while conceding just fourteen runs, and was deservedly adjudged the Man-of-the-Match. The unyielding stranglehold of Fawad Ahmed, Khary Pierre and Sunil Narine ensured Riders never lifted their foot off the opposition's throat.
In response, Lendl Simmons and Tion Webster's panache drove them home in a jiffy. Quicks Ali Khan and DJ Bravo didn't have to bend their backs much on Tuesday but how they fare will play a key role in determining the result of the ultimate showdown.
Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Tion Webster, Darren Bravo, Tim Seifert (wk), Kieron Pollard (c), DJ Bravo, Akeal Hosein, Khary Pierre, Fawad Ahmed, M Ali Khan
St Lucia Zouks
Bundling Guyana Amazon Warriors for an exigent 55 meant the game was virtually inside Zouks' pocket, and Rahkeem Cornwall's breezy 32* fastened the zip within short order. Whatever their spinners touched turned to gold as the likes of Roston Chase, Zahir Khan and Mark Deyal shared two spoils each. Scott Kuggeleijn picked a couple too, now reigning the wicket-taking charts alongside Mujeeb Ur Rahman for company. The lanky NZ paceman stands a puncher's chance of concluding the ongoing season with the maximum number of scalps.
Save for the celebratory jaunt to the middle after Zouks raced past the chequered flag, their remaining batsmen sat idle as the openers made a mockery of the pitiful target. Beware though, the same would not be the case against the vehemence of Riders.
Rahkeem Cornwall, Andre Fletcher (wk), Mark Deyal, Najibullah Zadran, Roston Chase, Mohammad Nabi, Javelle Glenn, Darren Sammy (c), Scott Kuggeleijn, Kesrick Williams, Zahir Khan
Trinbago Knight Riders begun their campaign as hot favourites and have lived up to the expectations every bit. Their eleven-match winning streak should be inducted in the 'Hall of Fame' of marvellous T20 performances. Notwithstanding the fact that Zouks are capable enough to spark an upset, Kieron Pollard's rampaging brigade looks primed to make it a dozen in a row. And if they accomplish the mission, it'd surely be the best of the lot.
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