The first phase of the fourth edition of Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has ended, leaving the top four teams, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St. Lucia Zouks and Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) with an uphill task to be crowned champions as they prepare for intense battle starting today in the playoffs at the Warner Park in Basseterre St. Kitts and Nevis. The big question is; which team will go all the way? Would it be a repeat for TKR or Tallawahs or would it be a first time for the Warriors or Zouks?
That question would only be answered when the final ball is bowled on Sunday August 7 and the champion of the fourth CPL is known. In the first stage, the four teams have executed well on team performance rather than individual performances. For the leaders Guyana it has been an outstanding run which surprised many doubters.
Prior to the commencement of the tournament the Warriors though being the most consistent team in previous tournaments was snubbed as one of the teams to make it to the playoffs. This was due to their team compositions, which pundits say was not ideal for T20 cricket. However, they have survived tough tests and silenced their doubters and are currently in the top two to claim the title.
Due to this they are now being dubbed the ‘silent destroyer’ which is befitting of their performance in the first round. Without much big hitting or the total package of T20 excitement, the Warriors has demolished all of its opponents and will face the Tallawahs in tonight’s first qualifier, which will see the winner move straight to the finals.
In the Warriors repertoire there is Chris Lynn and Jason Mohamed, both in the top 10 list of run getters and have led their team’s batting along with Dwayne Smith. Meanwhile in the bowling department there are Sohail Tanvir, who is second on the bowling chart with 18 wickets. He is supported by leg spinner Adam Zampa, Rayad Emrit, Veerasammy Permaul and Steven Jacobs.
Apart from these players wicket keeper batsman Anthony Bramble and Christopher Barnwell, who had an awful start to the tournament but recovered to the backend of the preliminaries, have chipped in with valuable contributions.
Meanwhile, in the Tallawahs’ camp there are Chris Gayle, the master of T20, Kumar Sangakarra, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hassan, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams and Imad Wasim, all of whom have made significant contribution with either bat or ball.
The last time these two teams met past the preliminaries was in the final playoff match of the 2014 CPL and that ended in favour of the Guyana side who won by 10 wickets.
Unlike the Warriors, the Tallawahs have relied heavily on power hitting which coupled with quality bowling from their bowlers, mainly Wasim, Shakib and Williams, to get them this far. The power hitting factor could work in their favour because of the pitch which is good for batting and the small venue which suits their power hitters. However, Jamaica Tallawahs has won just two out of five matches they were involved in at Warner Park Ground, Basseterre, St. Kitts while the Guyana Amazon have played six matches, won five and lost to only Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel (now Trinbago Knight Riders).
Whatever it is that has brought these teams so far must be executed tonight as there could only be one winner. To date the Warriors holds the advantage over the Tallawahs with five wins in nine matches while the Tallawahs on the other has won three while one was abandoned. In this year’s tournament both teams have won one game playing against each other two times. They both utilize home condition to their advantage to defeat each other in their respective territory.
In the four matches played at Warner Park this season, the team batting second chased well to win which includes both the Warriors and Tallawahs. However, the Patriots posted 203 which proved too much for the Zouks to chase.
Tonight’s match promises all the excitement which one could gain over the three hour of a T20 match. It is scheduled to commence at 19:00hours.
Guyana Amazon Warriors: Rayad Emrit (captain), Sohail Tanvir, Dwayne Smith, Chris Lynn, Nick Maddison, Adam Zampa, Jason Mohamed, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Orlando Peters, Assad Fudadin, Shimron Hetmyer, Anthony Bramble, Paul Wintz, Steven Jacobs, Steven Katwaroo, Muhammad Ahsan Ali Khan.
Jamaica Tallawahs: Chris Gayle (captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Kumar Sangakkara, Imad Wasim, Dale Patterson, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Andre McCarthy, Jonathan Foo, Alex Ross, Keswick Williams, Nkrumah Bonner, Garey Mathurin, Timroy Allen and Oshane Thomas.