Match 22 of Summer’s Biggest Party in Sport will see a recharged Guyana Amazon Warriors looking to reclaim their spot as table-leaders; when they seek revenge against the Barbados Tridents; a side which handed them their first lost in this year’s tournament.
One of the stars of the tournament so far, Sohail Tanveer reminded the masses of his ability to score runs at a canter when his unbeaten 37 off 20 guided the Warriors to a tense 4-wicket win over the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, a few nights ago.
The Tridents are currently hovering in second to last position but will feel some sense of comfort after they were the team to break the Warriors unbeaten streak during the opening stages at Providence in Guyana.
Shai Hope, who has remained a key figure with the bat smashed 88 while left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer, who following his 5-fer against the Amazon Warriors has been under pressure; were the match-winners.
A shift to home conditions did little to boost the Tridents luck as they continued to endure woes while their opponents who are tightly placed at third, are seeking an easy path into the playoffs at the expense of their remaining opponents.
With original skipper Shoaib Malik back home preparing for the Asia Cup, all-rounder and new captain Rayad Emrit has to absorb the pressure tenfold; especially with his bowling going downhill for the first time in the last match.
The selection process for the second encounter will be interesting with opener Chadwick Walton under immense pressure having not made a significant score since the tournament began.
Warriors star batsman Shimron Hetmyer remains a big player in the situation, being the leading scorer for his team and the best batsman.
New Zealand opener Luke Ronchi seems to be peeking as he opened up with some stylish strokes in the previous encounter and could have a big score coming soon while South African power-hitter Cameron Delport seems to be finding his feet, after recently joining the squad.
The Warriors bowling will revolve around the South African star Imran Tahir who is fresh off a 4-wicket haul while Aussie Chris Green continues to play his utility role well.
However, all-rounder Keemo Paul who has been a match-winner for the Warriors is expected to miss out due to a minor thigh injury while his replacement in the starting XI may see a recall for Sherfane Rutherford or a debut for Romario Shepherd.
Jason Holder’s men on the other hand will desperately be seeking a complete reversal of luck after starting their campaign on a good note. Since arriving at home at the Kensington Oval, the Tridents have lost all three of their matches which could leave them vulnerable due to their dip in form.
Overall they have just two wins and four losses but could spring a surprise on the Warriors should Hope and Martin Guptill, who seems to have found form again with 73 in his last game; click at the top of the innings.
Steven Smith will have to step up in both departments while Nicholas Pooran’s fire-power will be needed after he played a blinder against the Warriors early on and the big man Hashim Amla could turn his fortunes around.
In the bowling department, the Tridents will fancy their chances with the Pakistani left-arm pace duo of Mohammed Irfan and Wahab Riaz, skipper Holder and Chemar Holder in good form along with frontline off-spinner Ashley Nurse.
The night encounter in Bridgetown will be crucial for both sides, the Warriors will not want to slip up as they lost to the last place St Lucia Stars a few games ago when they were sitting in the number one position.
The Tridents meanwhile will not want to suffer another loss and possibly slip at the bottom of the table.
Match 22 is expected to bowl off at 20:00h. (Clifton Ross)