CPL 2020 – Jamaica Tallawahs vs Trinbago Knight Riders (JAM vs TKR) Game Plan: The TKR spin threat and below par powerplay batting


The CPL 2020 has sparked some interesting T20 match-ups. Here, we take a look at the key game plans and tactical thinking that could play a role in the Jamaica Tallawahs vs Trinbago Knight Riders (JAM vs TKR) game in CPL 2020. 

NOTE: For the rain-curtailed matches, the traditional overs for the powerplay, middle and death overs are not used. 

CPL 2020 Jamaica Tallawahs vs Trinbago Knight Riders (JAM vs TKR) Game Plan 1

TKR’s below-par powerplay batting aided by JT’s below-par powerplay bowling

Knight Riders have been the best side in the tournament so far, and one of the main reasons behind their success is their batting performance in the tournament so far. The batting average and strike rate of the top 7 TKR batsmen – 28.19 and 123.19 – are comfortably the best for any top 7 in the tourney. 

However, TKR haven’t been at par in the powerplay. Even though Narine scored two consecutive fifties in the first two games, he fired after the powerplay in the first game and after the fourth over in the 2nd game. In the powerplay, TKR batsmen have an average of 16.82 with a scoring rate of 5.78. Their numbers get massively better in the other two phases. 

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However, Jamaica would need to bowl better against TKR. The Tallawahs’ bowlers average of 21.55 with a strike rate of 19.09 in the powerplay. These numbers get better for Jamaica in the other two phases. Early wickets are key to success in a T20 game and Jamaica will look to improve these numbers. Jamaica should bank on Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Fidel Edwards – their best powerplay bowlers –  in the phase. 


 Sunil Narine – who scored a half-century in their previous meeting – might not play as TKR’s spot for knock-out games seems confirmed. The returns of Lendl Simmons and Tion Webster don’t inspire a lot of confidence. Simmons is a slow-starter and Mujeeb can trap him with in-turners. Webster could be out-done by hard-lengths from Edwards if he escapes the carrom balls from Mujeeb.

CPL 2020 Jamaica Tallawahs vs Trinbago Knight Riders (JAM vs TKR) Game Plan 2

Shut down TKR’s middle-order and win the game, Jamaica!

Averaging over 40 with a strike rate of 131.52, TKR’s middle-order has been the best in the competition so far.  Post powerplay, TKR batsmen have been averaging over 35.16 with a scoring rate of over 8. A fair share of the credit should go to Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard

However, Jamaica can shut them down. The Tallawahs’ bowlers have been averaging about 12 with an economy rate of 5.56 in the middle-overs. They are better on both parameters in this phase as compared to the other two phases. The spin trio of Mujeeb, Sandeep Lamichhane and Veerasammy Permaul – particularly Mujeeb and Lamichhane – have been excellent in the middle overs.

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Even though Munro who bats at No. 3 doesn’t fall in the middle-order category, he is likely to face spin the middle overs. Since 2020, in (8) T20s in which he’s got out against spinners, he averages 19.5.  This average increases to 25.36 in (8) T20s in which he’s got out against pacers. This shows when Munro fails early, he is mostly out-done by spinners. Lamichhane should bowl googlies against the southpaw while Mujeeb, the away turners. The same ploy should work against Darren Bravo – a spin power-hitter – who is susceptible while facing away turners.


Can Colin Munro negate the Mujeeb-Lamichhane threat in today’s JAM vs TKR game?

Kieron Pollard is competent against traditional leg-spin but he might not face enough spin bowling. Thus, Jamaica should encounter him with hard-lengths by Edwards. Andre Russell – if he plays – is also capable of operating at a high speed. Moreover, they have Oshane Thomas as well, however, he lacks control and doesn’t have high chances of playing. 

To maintain LHB-RHB combination and encounter spin bowling, TKR can promote Tim Seifert. Seifert is pretty decent against spinners, especially considering the fact that he is a non-Asian player. 

CPL 2020 Jamaica Tallawahs vs Trinbago Knight Riders (JAM vs TKR) Game Plan 3

Jamaica have an RHB factory!

Before the start of the tournament, Jamaica were in the spotlight because of their explosive batting line-up. However, it was talked that they have a lot of right-handed batsmen and might struggle against teams having plenty of leg-spinners or left-arm orthodox spinners. Jamaica acknowledged this deficiency and drafted in Nicholas Kirton – the only southpaw in their squad – in their playing XI. However, he could last for the first two games only. 

In the tournament so far, the Tallawahs’ batsmen have been pretty ordinary against leggies and left-arm orthodox spinners, losing 13 wickets to them and striking at 65.55 against left-arm orthodox spinners and 91.97 against leg-spinners. Against the Knight Riders, it might get worse for them as they have two left-arm orthodox spinners (Khary Pierre & Akeal Hossien) and Fawad Ahmed, a leggie. Besides having leggies and SLAs in their ranks, TKR have Sikandar Raza and Sunil Narine which besides adding variety makes their spin attack more potent. 

The Tallahwahs should look to maximise Kieron Pollard’s overs. He has bowled 11 overs in the last three games and has an economy of about 6. Pollard hasn’t bowled completely trash but still, the Tallawahs should not let him go away easily. 

The other point which Jamaica should keep in their minds is that Brathwaite should be used in the slog overs i.e. he should arrive at the crease as late as (practically) possible. Brathwaite struggles against spin a lot, however, he is capable of whacking – the medium pacers of TKR – Ali Khan and Dwayne Bravo. However, Pollard has been quite flexible with match-ups this season and the same should be expected for this game as well. 


The caravan moves back to the Brian Lara Stadium for the final leg of the tournament. We can expect a better batting deck – especially for this match – in comparison to what we have seen so far. Whilst TKR’s spot for the knock-out games looks fixed, Jamaica will need a few more victories in the upcoming matches to qualify. 


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I am a freelance cricket writer for The Quint, Cricket.com, CricXtasy and Sportskeeda. My articles, which generally revolve around the Indian cricket team and the IPL, present a data-driven analysis. Cheering for the Indian cricket team and Data Analysis are my hobbies. I tweet at @mainlycricket.