Jamaica Tallawahs v Trinbago Knight Riders - CPL 2016 play-off 3 - preview and live cricket streaming
Jamaica Tallawahs v Trinbago Knight Riders
Caribbean Premier League 2016, play-off 3, Warner Park, St Kitts
Friday, 5th August, 20:00 local, 00:00 GMT (next day)
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And then there were three. Jamaica Tallawahs will take on Trinbago Knight Riders for the right to take on Guyana Amazon Warriors in the third Caribbean Premier League 2016 play-off at Warner Park.
By beating the St Lucia Zouks in the second play-off, Trinbago have earned themselves another shot at reaching the final and their title defence remains alive.
Jamaica lost to the Amazon Warriors in the first play-off but by virtue of finishing second in the group, get another chance in this play-off.
However, they have now lost three matches in a row - two to the Zouks and one to the Amazon Warriors, so carry precious little momentum into what is effectively a semi-final clash.
Trinbago, on the other hand, beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in their final game in Florida and then beat the Zouks last night so have the better form of the two sides.
The two teams met almost exactly a month ago in the early stages of the competition and on that occasion, although Trinbago posted an excellent 191 for four, they were defeated by seven wickets as Chris Gayle smacked an unbeaten century.
How Jamaica would love another contribution from their captain, who hasn't passed 50 since, although innings of 33 and 30 in his last two matches show that he isn't completely out of form.
When the two sides played at Sabina Park, Jamaica ran out winners by 19 runs, on that occasion Rovmon Powell and Andre Russell making the key contributions with the bat and Russell also taking four wickets with the ball.
While one high profile batsman isn't hitting big runs, it has been a welcome return to form for Brendon McCullum, whose unbeaten 49 in 41 balls calmly guided Trinbago past their target of 165 last night with nine balls to spare.
During their match against Guyana, Jamaica could not build partnerships as a series of batsmen got out between 20 and 33. Wickets slowed them down so Trinbago will know what they have to do if they are to prevent Jamaica claiming a hat-trick of wins over them.
Trinbago may have been concerned when they lost three wickets in the powerplay against the Zouks, but the trade off was quick runs and moving McCullum down the order - and with Dwayne Bravo and Denesh Ramdin even lower down - has added some balance to their batting line-up.
Trinbago's Bravo and Sunil Narine remain in the top 10 wicket-takers in the tournament (and Kevon Cooper is not far behind) while Jamaica's leading bowler is Dale Steyn, who remains in ninth despite not having played since the game against the Tridents on 20th July - the last game that Jamaica won, incidentally.
It is hard not to conclude that Trinbago have the more balanced side. If they don't score 160 or more, you would expect their bowlers to defend their total more times than the Jamaica side.
However, on the other hand, Jamaica have the batting power to perhaps chase down a score of more than 180 more times than the Trinbago outfit - but that does rely on a couple of key players overcoming recent form slumps.
As ever, it will all come down to who performs best on the night and whether Trinbago are bearing any scars from the two defeats they have already suffered to Jamaica.
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© Cricket World 2016