Pacer Romario Shepherd has taken seven wickets to date. (CPL T20 Ltd. 2019) … clash with St Kitts and Nevis Patriots tonight
THE camaraderie and work ethic have driven Guyana Amazon Warriors to a perfect start in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), as they finished their first set of home games undefeated.
However, Warriors, last year’s runners-up, will play their first game away from home when they clash with hosts, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots this evening from 20:00hrs at Basseterre. Maintaining momentum will be the order of the day for the Warriors, who have secured wins over St Lucia Stars, Patriots and Barbados Tridents so far in the tournament. The local franchise have been excellent with everyone contributing at crucial times, and with enough match-winners and momentum on the side, Amazon Warriors seem to be the favourite going into this match.
Captain Shoaib Malik is yet to bring his A-game to the table but the young batting sensations, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, and Brandon King, have all shared the limelight at the top of the order so far.
Their contributions have allowed the likes of Sherfane Rutherford, Chris Green and Keemo Paul the luxury to play their natural game towards the back end of the first three games. In the bowling department, Warriors will be without Shadab Khan, the Pakistan international leg-spinner, who was only available for the first three games of the season due to domestic commitments. He will be replaced by South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
Tahir played for Amazon Warriors in 2018 when he claimed 16 wickets at 17.75 as the team made it to the final but were beaten by the Trinbago Knight Riders. Amazon Warriors have also announced a replacement for USA player Saurabh Netravalkar who will be unavailable due to international commitments.
Netravalkar was replaced by Afghan leg-spinner Qais Ahmad who played for the St Lucia franchise in the 2018 Hero CPL. Qais has 35 wickets in T20 cricket at the very impressive average of 18 from his 27 matches in the format.
The predictable nature of off-spinner Green has also given their attack a different dimension while pacers Romario Shepherd and Paul, are expected to play their part. With no injury concerns at present, the Warriors are expected to go in with the same team that beat Barbados Tridents in their last game.
On the other hand, Patriots have concerns, winning only one game out of four they have played so far.
The Patriots, were left to rue their inability to build on promising positions as they were defeated by Trinbago Knight Riders in their opening game, then to the Warriors by eight wickets before rebounding in a record-run chase against the Jamaica Tallawahs, winning by four wickets. However, they lost their last game to the Tridents by 18 runs.
International and domestic commitments have forced Patriots into some late changes ahead of the tournament and these have somewhat affected their performance.
LINK ORIGINAL: Guyana Chronicle