CPL 2020: Warriors face off against undefeated TKR today

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This has been an unfamiliar season for the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW). Consistent in their play in the Hero CPL tournament in 2019, after five matches in the 2020 tournament, they have recorded three defeats and two wins.

This condensed tournament is about to get more challenging for the Warriors, as the Trinbago Knight Riders’ challenge awaits. The two heavyweight teams will clash from 17:30h today (Thursday August 27) at the Queen’s Park Oval.

A review of the Warriors’ performances this season would reveal that the batting has been inconsistent and incomplete.

Shimron Hetmyer scored half-centuries in the opening matches, but has since been overtaken by inconsistency. The aggressive Hetmyer has scored 143 runs in five innings, with a high-score of 71.

Nicholas Pooran, who came to the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) party with a fine 68 against the St Lucia Zouks, is the only other batsman from the Warriors camp to surpass 100 runs. Pooran has scored 105 runs, but his average is just 21.

Ross Taylor is struggling. He has scored 87 runs in an inconsistent batting group thus far in the season.

The opening duo of Brandon King (40 runs) and Chandrapaul Hemraj (58 runs) have failed to replicate their 2019 season performances. The explosive Sherfane Rutherford has thus far been misfiring in this tournament, having scored 35 runs in five innings.

In the bowling department, the veteran Imran Tahir has led a spirited effort, taking nine wickets this season while Keemo Paul has taken seven. Chris Green, Ashmead Nedd, and Naveen Ul Haq have each produced the goods at some point in the tournament thus far.

Following the Warriors latest defeat, captain Chris Green said early wickets had cost the Warriors the game. Green credited as quality the efforts coming from the bowlers and fielders, but is calling on the batsmen to quickly come better with the bat as the tournament progresses.

In contrast, the TKR have done exceptionally well in this tournament, and different players have stepped up and produced match-winning efforts. The TKR have recorded four wins in four matches, and will be an acid test as the Warriors seek redemption.

For TKR, Colin Munro has the most runs: 133; while Darren Bravo has 121 runs. Sunil Narine scored 111 runs in the three matches. Ali Khan has five scalps, while Narine, Bravo and Jayden Seals each have four. Fresh from his 500th T20I wicket, Dwayne Bravo will proverbially have his tail up.

It will be a match for the ages, and the Warriors must compete with a do-or-die attitude. (Brandon Corlette)