As Guyana Amazon Warriors prepare for their sixth game of the Hero Caribbean Premier League 2016, they seem the team to beat and tonight the St. Lucia Zouks will have to bring their ‘A’ game with their best performance of the season if they are to get past the leaders at the National Stadium in Guyana.
The Warriors have been the leading team in the tournament to date, winning four of their five matches while losing to defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in a thriller on Sunday night at the said venue. That game was nonetheless expected to be an exciting match as it featured archrivals that were playing in familiar conditions.
In the Warriors’ only defeat captain Guptill did what he has done in the previous home matches; winning the toss and sending the opposition in. The Patriots got to 100 all out, the Tallawahs made 108 all out and lost while TKR made the highest of the visiting teams an above par score of 151-4 from their allotment of 20 overs, with in form batsman classy stroke player Hashim Amla top scoring with 64.
The host quintet attack which continues to be destructive was led by Rayad Emrit who collected two wickets while Adam Zampa and Veerasammy Permaul took one wicket apiece. Sohail Tanvir and Steven Jacobs bowled wicket less but contained the flow of runs at the start of TKR’s innings. Jacobs was Guyana most economical bowler for the night finishing with 0-23 from four overs.
Their reply started shaky at 2-25, however, they recover and seemed on course at 63-2 at the start of the 11th over. But their middle and lower order which was tested for the first time in this tournament failed to see them home, falling short by seven runs.
Anton Paul Devcich and Sunil Narine were the architects of the Warriors downfall while lofty spinner Suliemann Benn and Kevon Cooper also bowled well for TKR.
Prior to that game, the Warriors have defeated St. Kitts and Nevis patriots twice, TKR and Jamaica Tallawahs. They are yet to play 2014 champions Barbados Tridents and tonight will play against the Zouks for the first time.
However, the game is expected to go in Warriors favour due to their consistency and execution to date. They have bowled, batted and fielded well and as a result won matches. Guptill has marshaled his troop properly and they have responded well and are expected to do so in their final home game of the season.
Their bowling department has been the most impactful so far in the tournament and their batting has held its own along with the fielding which has been excellent. In addition, performances in these departments have been consistent. Besides those facets, the players have adapted to the nature of the pitch and have used it to their advantage.
The Zouks will be playing on it for the first time this season and will have to adapt immediately if they are to win this game, their only game on this ground. The team which comprises of several top T20 players Darren Sammy, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Johnson Charles, and David Miller is vastly experienced and possesses several emerging talents like Kyle Mayers and Derone Davis.
However, their spinners with the exception of Shane Shillingford might be short of experience to utilise the Providence pitch to their advantage. Prior to this match, the spinners have dominated on this pitch and once granted with the opportunity to play, Davis along with Shillingford are expected to be effective due to the nature of the pitch.
The game is scheduled to get underway at 19:00hrs.
Guyana Amazon Warriors: 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.
St. Lucia Zouks: Darren Sammy (captain), Shane Watson, David Miller, Michael Hussey, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Morne Morkel, Derone Davis, Grant Elliott, Shane Shillingford, Delorn Johnson, Kyle Mayers, Keddy Lesporis, Nitish Kumar, Kristopher Ramsaran, Miguel Cummins and Gidron Pope.(Delvon McEwan)