CPL 2021: Amazon Warriors battle nemesis TKR in tournament’s opener
Five-time finalist Guyana Amazon Warriors against defending champions and four-time winners, Trinbago Knight Riders, will kick-start this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Thursday in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The two franchises with the biggest fan support in the league and will take centre stage once again in Biggest Pary in Sport at Warner Park from 10:00h.
Warriors do not have the most successful history against TKR since CPL started in 2013. In 21 meetings, they have only won nine, and in 2020, they lost both of their matches as TKR played unbeaten to lift the title.
On the one occasion they met at Warner Park, TKR won, so, Warriors will know they are up against a quality side at a venue known for producing high-scoring encounters.
Both TKR’s Head Coach Imran Jan and Warriors’ Operations Manager, Imran Khan spoke of the intensity of what is arguably the biggest rivalry in the tournament and said their teams are looking forward to the challenge that awaits.
Much will be expected of Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran to shepherd the Warriors’ batting since those two scored the most runs for the franchise last season, and were the only two who got more than 200 runs for the team while Imran Tahir and seamer Naveen-ul-Haq took a combined 26 wickets.
Both Hetmyer and Pooran have shown glimpses of imperious form of the past during the stretch of Twenty20 International matches while Tahir took a hat-trick in England’s ‘The Hundred’ recently.
West Indies opener, Lendl Simmons top tournament’s charts last season with 356 runs, one only two batsmen in the tournament to cross that barrier.
However, Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo and Colin Munro all passed the 200-mark for TKR>
TKR also had a team effort in the wicket’s column led by Fawad Ahmed, who is not with the team this year but they have replaced him with another leggie, Yasir Shah.
History, experience, and current form pits the match in TKR’s favour but the Warriors have sprung big surprises in the years gone by.
The second match of the day will see St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, which boats Guyanese Sherfane Rutherford, facing Barbados Royals from 19:00h
Guyana Amazon Warriors: Nicholas Pooran (Captain), Shoaib Malik, Imran Tahir, Shimron Hetmyer (Vice-Captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Brandon King, Naveen-ul-Haq, Romario Shepherd, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Odean Smith, Nial Smith, Gudakesh Motie, Anthony Bramble, Kevin Sinclair, Ashmead Nedd.
Trinbago Knight Riders: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine (Vice-captain), Colin Munro, Yasir Shah, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Isuru Udana, Tim Seifert, Anderson Phillip, Denesh Ramdin, Tion Webster, Akeal Hosein, Jayden Seales, Leonardo Julien, Ali Khan.