CPL 2021: Favourites Patriots in Warriors path for sixth final

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It’s take three between Guyana Amazon Warriors and St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots this season of the Caribbean Premier League, and this time, it is all to play for, since a place in the final is up for grabs.

Trinbago Knight Riders, Patriots, Warriors and St. Lucia Kings are the top four teams this year, and there is little difference between the sides.

The top three all have 12 points and have been indifferent with their output, which really makes it anyone’s race to the final.

The two encounters this season for Patriots and Warriors have all gone the hosts way, and quite dominant victories, chasing.

So, it begs the question what will happen in the third duel on Tuesday from 14:30h.

Speaking at Monday’s pre-match presser, neither of the captains overly emphasised the impact those results would have on this fixture.

“To be honest it does not matter, Patriots got the better of us in the first couple of games but that it is; it does not matter. We had struggled to find momentum and struggled to find consistency, but it is just another game it does not matter if we bat first or bowl second, we just have to do both properly,” expressed the Warriors’ captain, Nicholas Pooran.

Shimron Hetmyer’s form has tapered since a solid start to the season and he will need a significant score on Tuesday (Photo by Randy Brooks- CPL T20/Getty Images)

Bravo noted: “This is a semi-final, not a league game, so there is additional pressure. Muscle memory would give us the edge since they would be aware that we beat them but they will also know it is a semi-final and history shows they [Warriors] have more success when it comes to playing in playoff games.”

Meanwhile, Pooran, who has been with the Warriors since 2018 and has been part of two finals, said it is about the players keeping calm and executing their skills.

“We can’t control what will happen in the semi-final. It is just to ensure we enjoy it; we have been working really hard for the last three weeks so if we deserve it, we will go out and play for it,” the skipper added.

Sherfane Rutherford has found success against his former franchise (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

All-rounder Romario Shepherd had 36 runs in the tournament entering the final match of round-robin play. There, he scored twice as many in incredible style, digging his side out of a hole at 75-7, while scoring at a strike rate better than 200; he then took three wickets in the chase.

Pooran said the special knock was quite inspiring and in the semi-final, they are hoping for a complete team performance, given the struggles with the bat at the top of the order.

They will be without experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who had to return to Pakistan to prepare for the World T20, while Patriots will be sweating on the fitness of the in-form Evin Lewis.

The first semi-final at 10:00h pits table toppers and defending champions, Knight Riders against Kings.

Those two sides are 1-1 after their two meetings thus far this season, and both camps have expressed it will come down to who performs best.

Guyana Amazon Warriors: Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shoaib Malik, Imran Tahir, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Naveen-ul-Haq, Romario Shepherd, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Odean Smith, Nial Smith, Gudakesh Motie, Anthony Bramble, Kevin Sinclair, Ashmead Nedd.

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Ravi Bopara, Paul van Meekeren, Sherfane Rutherford, Sheldon Cottrell, Fawad Ahmed, Devon Thomas, Rayad Emrit, Colin Archibald, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Dominic Drakes, Joshua Da Silva.

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