The St Lucia leg of the CPL 2022 season concludes with a final double header on Sunday, one which begins with the top two in the table meeting when the Barbados Royals take on the Jamaica Tallawahs in a juicy game.
Barbados are still to taste defeat in this competition this season while Jamaica have only lost one so the two sides who were the two who failed to reach the last four a year ago are both in good shape for a title tilt this time around.
This has been quite a turnaround from the Barbados Royals. They have been average for the past two seasons but generally when they go well they either win the title or go very close to it so it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their form for the remainder of the campaign. If six wins is enough for the semi-finals, as it usually is in this competition, then Barbados can move to within a win away from the last four if they come out on top here.
The big surprise for me this season has been the Barbados bowling. On paper it looks to be a little seam heavy but they have coped fine with the options they have available to them. Their batting always looked strong with Jason Holder sometimes down to come in at eight. They have batted very well in this tournament despite Quinton de Kock not really getting going so the good news for the Royals is there might still be more to come from them.
The Jamaica Tallawahs haven’t quite gone as good as the Barbados Royals have done but they will move level on points with their opponents if they beat them. The Tallawahs go into this one off the back of an emphatic win over the Trinbago Knight Riders on Saturday so their confidence will be hugely boosted. They beat the heavyweight side without being at their best with the bat as well which will mean even more to them.
You get the impression that the longer this tournament goes on the more dangerous the Tallawahs will become because they have three very competent spin options. The one thing they are lacking is real form at the very top of the innings but if they can find that then they will be ticking a lot of boxes. This will be a test for them though because it is never easy to back up a performance the following day, especially when they had to work hard to contain Trinbago.
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David Miller has looked in excellent form in this tournament and if he can get after the Jamaica spinners in the middle of the innings then he will set the Barbados Royals up to keep their perfect record intact.
Imad Wasim is becoming a bigger player for the Jamaica Tallawahs with every match that they play. His spin was always going to be impactful in this competition in these conditions but he is proving useful with the bat too which is no bad thing.
I never like taking a side who have played the day before because although it happens more often, particularly in this tournament, it still isn’t easy to back up the emotions and physical exertions within 24 hours of finishing a concerted effort and particularly for Jamaica who have a few elder statesmen in their side. The positive for Jamaica is they battered the Barbados Royals in the 6ixty prior to this tournament beginning but I’m not sure that counts for much here.
Barbados haven’t played a match since Thursday night so they should be nicely refreshed and ready to go again and they are playing some pretty decent cricket. They haven’t really been troubled in their matches and what I like about the Royals is they bat incredibly deep, which Jamaica don’t do with quite as much conviction, and they have a number of bowling options should someone go round the park. I think Barbados have a lot going for them here.
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