CPL 2020: ‘No panic’ for Amazon Warriors ahead of Tallawahs rematch
By Akeem Greene
Guyana Amazon Warriors and Jamaica Tallawahs have had an inconsistent start to Hero Caribbean Premier League 2020 and both will be eyeing the vital two points when they clash for the second time this season at the Queen’s Park Oval today (Tuesday).
It will be the 20th meeting of the two sides in CPL, and Warriors have the number on the two-time champions, winning 12, the last of which was a horror show with the bat by both sides on Saturday last.
Warriors are third on the table with four points, garnered from two wins from four games, while Tallawahs have two points, but have played one match less.
With no playoffs this year- just straight semi-final then final- teams are jostling to ensure they are in the top four, and according to Guyana Amazon Warriors captain, Chris Green, despite the inconsistent start, they are not in a panic mood.
“I don’t think our batters are far away and once they start firing and we start clicking into gear we can really get there. We are third on the table now, we are two from four, I don’t think there is any need to panic, we have just got to stay positive, stick together as a unit and continue to learn and grow through each game,” he explained at the Virtual press briefing on the eve of the game.
Openers Brandon King and Chandrapaul Hemraj, who in 2019 combined for 795 runs for Warriors, have had just had one significant stand this season, that of 56 against Tallawahs.
Despite a far-from-perfect batting display this season, Green is backing the batters to come good and they have discussed various options as they seek to pick their best playing XI.
Wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble is the other batting option and Green said they have to take into consideration playing 10 matches in 15 days.
“Because of the nature of this game, I don’t have concerns over anyone’s form at the moment. Some guys miss out, some guys get runs if you look at King’s unbelievable run last year and there is always going to be a lot of pressure on him to try and match that, but I think he is a quality player…we have full faith in him coming right.”
He added, “Hemraj has shown glimpses of it thus far and I back these guys and I think they are not far away from a big score. It is a new ground now and hopefully some better conditions for batting and we have full faith in our players.”
History has shown at least 10 points after the preliminary stage can get teams into the knockout rounds. It would mean Warriors need to win at least three of their remaining six matches, and hope other results go their way.
“It is not something we have discussed…we are just taking it one game at a time, but our prime focus is on that Jamaica game tomorrow. We had a great win against them with the ball, but we got some improvement to do with the bat after our last two outings and that’s our standard now with the ball which we want to continue with and our batting needs to pick up our game now.”
On the opposing end, Rovman Powell has indicated their scrappy match against the Warriors is in the past and he is looking forward to doing better.
He was also elated with the return to form of star player Andre Russell, who made an unbeaten 52 (4x4s; 5x6s) from 37 balls, an innings that almost brought the Tallawahs home against Warriors on Saturday.
Powell added, based on how the tournament is set up, they are comfortable being in the ‘pack’, once they qualify for the semis.
Trinbago Knight Riders are the only unbeaten team, while St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots are yet to register a victory.
“When it [ points table] is too extreme like that, if it goes well for the middle, there is a little bundle, a little fight and if we can do well in our next few games, we are definitely up there.”
Powell added, “In a competition like this it is important to be at the top, but to be honest we don’t really want to find ourselves at the top because you realise a trend in CPL where the teams that find themselves at the top, come playoff and final, they always find themselves in trouble. So it is always good to sit in the pack and time will come for you to reach to the top.”
With the fixture set to be only the second for this season at the venue, both sides are anticipating an improvement in conditions for the batsmen.
Match time is 17:30h.
Guyana Amazon Warriors squad: Chris Green (cpt), Imran Tahir, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Ross Taylor, Shimron Hetmyer, Kissoondath Magram, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Naveen-ul-Haq, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Kevin Sinclair, Ashmead Nedd, Odean Smith, Anthony Bramble, Jasdeep Singh.
Jamaica Tallawahs squad: Rovman Powell (cpt), Andre Russell, Sandeep Lamichhane, Carlos Brathwaite, Glenn Phillips, Chadwick Walton, Oshane Thomas, Asif Ali, Fidel Edwards, Preston McSween, Jermaine Blackwood, Nicholas Kirton, Ramaal Lewis, Nkrumah Bonner, Veerasammy Permaul, Ryan Persaud.