Fresh off an excellent home run, leader Amazon Warriors will clash with the Chris Gayle led Jamaica Tallawahs tonight at Sabina Park in what will be the Warriors first game back on the road after four home games.
It is expected to be an exhilarating encounter as this edition of the Caribbean Premier League reaches the midway point of the 30-match preliminary round.
At this stage teams are expected to be settled, finding balance in team selection and executing on match days, so a keen contest is predicted between the sides when play gets underway at 20:00h Jamaica time (21:00h Guyana Time).
The Tallawahs will aim to return a similar treatment as they were offered in Guyana, seeking to win big following their humiliating eight wicket loss at the Guyana National Stadium.
In contrast to the pitch at Guyana National Stadium, Sabina Park offers more opportunities for the batsmen and it is predicted to be a higher scoring contest than the one that was used at Providence.
Gayle has been the key to his team’s wins and a lot will depend on
how he set about his innings tonight. He has so far summed up 206 runs from four innings, with a magnificent century and a brilliant fifty. The left hander also unleashed arrays of shots in his 47 run cameo before rain prematurely ended the Tallawahs’ game against the Barbados Tridents at the Kensington Oval.
The talismanic batsman will be accompanied by experience players Kumar Sangakkara and Shakib Al Hasan in the batting order as well as exciting young batsman Rovman Powell and big hitter Andre Russell, who is making a return after a two-game absence.
The Tallawahs have already sent a signal of how destructive their batting could be, successfully chasing 191 set by the Trinbago Knight Riders to win their second game of the season. However, it does not look as threatening without Gayle’s performance or Russell’s exclusion as was witnessed in Guyana where Gayle fell for naught and Russell did not play.
Their batting might be the strong point in the team’s two wins so far but the bowling has also been impressive. The Tallawahs’ bowlers defended 151 against a strong St. Kitts and Nevis batting comprising Faf du Plesis, Carlos Braithwaite, Lendl Simmons and Brad Hodge. They also bowled good against Guyana but had a small total to defend. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has led the unit which includes, Dale Steyn, Kesrick Williams, Jon-Ross Jaggesar and Russell.
The match will be the Warriors’ captain Martin Guptill final match of the season and he would more than likely want to end on a winning note before joining New Zealand for their tour of Zimbabwe later this month. He has led the team as a captain and a batsman and as a result has been enjoying a successful run.
Guptill along with Chris Lynn, Dwayne Smith and Jason Mohammed, have guided the Warriors to five emphatic wins with the bat while the effective quintet of bowlers, Sohail Tanvir, Rayad Emrit, Veerasammy Permaul, Adam Zampa and Steven Jacobs continue to dominate with the ball.
Lynn has been the mainstay of the batting for the Warriors and is currently only behind TKR’s Hashim Amla on the runs chart. The Australian has collaborated with all his partners to form formidable partnerships that saw the Warriors over the line. Smith provides the flair at the top of the innings on a few occasions while Mohamed who bats at four steers the innings whenever he gets to bat. Wicket keeper batsman Anthony Bramble has impressed so far in his debut season and has held his own whilst batting.
Christopher Barnwell performance has been horrid, but he is no rabbit with the bat and the Warriors would be a tougher team to beat once he finds form in tonight’s game.
The bowlers have downed all oppositions in their six matches and will be looking to do that again as they prepare for the Tallawahs tonight.
The Warriors have enjoyed an impressive run and is on course to be the first team to qualify for the play offs. A win against the Tallawahs can easily secure that.
In eight completed games between these two players, the Warriors are the more dominant team with five wins against the Tallawahs three. This game is not a walk over for either of the teams and it simply comes down to; the team who plays better cricket tonight will win the match.
The on-field umpires are Leslie Reifer Jnr. & John Ward while the television or third Umpire is Peter Nero and Verdayne Smith is the fourth official.
Jamaica Tallawahs squad reads; Chris Gayle (captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Kumar Sangakkara, Imad Wasim, Dale Steyn, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Andre McCarthy, Jonathan Foo, Alex Ross, Keswick Williams, Nkrumah Bonner, Garey Mathurin, Timroy Allen and Oshane Thomas.
Guyana Amazon Warriors squad reads; Martin Guptill (captain), Sohail Tanvir, Dwayne Smith, Chris Lynn, Rayad Emrit, Adam Zampa, Jason Mohammad, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Orlando Peters, Assad Fudadin, Shimron Hetmyer, Anthony Bramble, Paul Wintz, Steven Jacobs, Steven Katwaroo, Muhammad Ahsan Ali Khan.