CPL 2022: Warriors’ chance to eliminate TKR, seal playoff spot

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By Akeem Greene

akeem@newsroom.gy

The two most prominent teams in the Caribbean Premier League- Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders- will meet again this season on Saturday evening at the National Stadium, Providence, and it will be a must-win match for the visiting powerhouses.

For the host, it is a chance to eliminate their arch-rivals from the tournament and seal their playoff spot.

On paper, TKR’s squad is stacked with a plethora of genuine match-winners, but on form, the Amazon Warriors would hold the edge after back-to-back emphatic victories at home.

It is a bottom-of-the-table clash with high stakes, as the Warriors are currently in fifth position just ahead of TKR on net run rate, but a win for the Warriors would eliminate TKR and catapult them into second on nine points.

Even if the Warriors lose to Barbados Royals on Sunday after a victory against TKR, they would be assured of a playoff spot, as either St. Lucia Kings or Jamaica Tallawahs would remain on eight points after their match on Sunday morning.

St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots also have eight points, but their net run rate of -1.184 – worst in the tournament – could potentially rue their chances if they tied on points with Kings or Tallawahs.

In fact, the Warriors beating TKR practically confirms all four qualifiers, and it is really a matter of who finishes second to fourth as the Royals are assured of the top spot.

When TKR and Amazon Warriors met at the Queen’s Park Oval earlier in the season, the Warriors’ batting imploded in what should have been a successful chase of a below-par 151.

They crumbled under the pressure and the many mental tactics TKR would seek to impose on their opponents.

However, it is a different situation now, the Warriors are extremely confident, and they are playing at home.

Out of eight meetings at Providence, TKR have only defeated the Warriors twice and while in the past, it was a huge battle for the batsmen in spin-friendly conditions, at present, the Providence pitch is a batting paradise at night.

Dew was heavy on Thursday night, and it was the first time a side won chasing at Providence this season, however, given the Warriors’ bowling has been a strength they might opt to defend the total against a shaky TKR batting unit, who have not fired consistently as a collective as yet.

Guyana Amazon Warriors squad: Shimron Hetmyer (captain), Imran Tahir, Shakib Al Hasan, Odean Smith, Romario Shepherd, Colin Ingram, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Paul Stirling, Shai Hope, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Keemo Paul, Jermaine Blackwood, Gudakesh Motie, Ronsford Beaton, Veerasammy Permaul, Junior Sinclair, Matthew Nandu.

Trinbago Knight Riders squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Nicholas Pooran, Akeal Hosein, Samit Patel, Tion Webster, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert, Seekkuge Prasanna, Khary Pierre, Anderson Phillip, Terrance Hinds, Leonardo Julien, Shaaron Lewis.

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