Hyderabad: Trinidad & Tobago are one win away from securing a place in the Champions League main draw and a big financial boost after their victory over Ruhuna on September 19.
The track at the Uppal Stadium has plenty to interest the spinners, which suited T&T who played only one genuine quick bowler in the attack, and a raft of slower bowlers. Their captain Daren Ganga will have few complaints about the bowling and fielding, but the top-order batting would have been less satisfactory, with only Darren Bravo showing the judgment necessary to thrive on a difficult pitch.
Standing in their way will be Leicestershire, surprise Twenty20 champions of England. A county in financial difficulty, coming off a dreadful first-class season and having few crowd-pulling stars may seem like an easy opposition, but as Paul Nixon and Co. showed in the Friends Life t20, Leicestershire have the ability to upset star-studded teams. With losses of around £400,000 last year, the big money on offer for teams qualifying to the main draw will provide an added incentive for Matthew Hoggard and his team.
T&T will be tempted to go in with the same XI that beat Ruhuna. One problem they have to ponder is that with Sherwin Ganga not at his best with the ball, they had to turn to the gentle medium-pace of Lendl Simmons, who was promptly punished for 30 runs in two overs. There aren't too many alternatives in case one of the frontline bowlers have an off day.
One of the oldest members in the Leicestershire squad, 39-year-old Claude Henderson, will have a big role to play, leading the spin department. One of the youngest, Joshua Cobb, who turned 21 last month, will assist him but Cobb's major role is providing an electric start with the bat which more restrained batsmen like the talented James Taylor can build on.