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TKR, Patriots battle for final spot tonight
Tonight last years' finalists the Trinbago Knight Riders and St. Kitts/Nevis Patriots will lock horns as they battle for a place in the final of the 2018 Hero CPL at the Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba.
The winner books a date with the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Sunday at the same venue to play for the title. TKR the defending champions will be looking to be that team to join the Warriors as it chases the final spot in front of its home fans. Last year TKR took the title after a stunning final in which it got the better of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots by three wickets.
The victory and the team's second title came thanks to superb innings by all-rounder Kevon Cooper. TKR needed 33 runs from last three overs but they won with an over to spare as Cooper delivered the knock-out punch. Australian Ben Hilfenhaus gave away 22 runs in the 19th over and Cooper was the hero. He struck two sixes and a couple of boundaries to turn it around and the locals were partying.
Tonight revenge will be on the mind of Chris Gayle and his men when they tackle Bravo's men in Tarouba. On Wednesday night, they sent Jamaica Tallawahs out of the tournament with Ben Cutting hitting a six with five runs needed off two balls. They come into clash a confident bunch with that victory, while the hosts have lost their last two matches, both against Guyana Amazon Warriors.
TKR manager Colin Borde said that it was tough playing four games in six days. "The team as a whole have done its introspection and analysis. Physiologically, it was tough playing four games in six days. The medical team has worked very hard at recovery methods for the players and they will be ready."
He thinks that the Patriots are a very tough team. He said, "Patriots are a very tough team as are all the teams left in this gruelling competition. They have firepower in their arsenal but so does TKR. Playing in Trinidad will always be special. That will be the advantage as both teams do not play regularly at the BCL. When we last played here in August, the pitch was low and slow as a result of heavy rains preceding our game, we hope that the wicket will provide an avenue for a good game which benefits both bat and ball.
"The people have been very supportive of the tournament and TKR in particular. They deserve an exciting game." Today the players will take it easy leading into the clash. "Will be like any other game day, late breakfast, sleep in for players, some strategic meetings and team meeting. We then travel to the Lara Academy and it is 'Play, Fight, Win, Repeat."
The game has been sold out and traffic around the ground is expected to be high for the 8 pm start.
Trinbago Knight Riders Squad: Amir Jangoo, Anderson Phillips, Brendon McCullum, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin,Dwayne Bravo, Hamza Tariq, Javon Searles, Shannon Gabriel, Kevon Cooper, Khary Pierre, Nikita Miller, Muhammad Ali Khan, Fawad Ahmed, Sunil Narine, Terrence Hinds.
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Ben Cutting, Carlos Brathwaite, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tom Cooper, Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Devon Thomas, Fabian Allen, Shamarh Brooks, Jeremiah Louis, Alzarri Joseph, Ibrahim Khaleel, Javelle Glen.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Last year's finals :
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 135 for 6 (Carlos Brathwaite 30, Kevon Cooper 2-12, Javon Searles 2-29) vs Trinbago Knight Riders 136 for 7 (Colin Munro 29, Cooper Kevon 29no, Mohammed Hafeez 2-19) - TKR won by three wickets.
This season's record:
TKR vs Patriots at the QPO - Patriots won by 42 runs.
Patriots vs TKR at Basseterre - TKR won by 46 runs.
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