They split the first two games of the preliminary rounds of the current Limacol Caribbean Premier League with Guyana winning the first match on July 31 by 19 runs at the Providence National Stadium before Trinidad earned some measure of revenge by winning the second played at the Queen’s Park Oval earlier this month by three runs.
Today’s match will break the tie.
Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana are easily the most successful teams in the short history of T20 cricket in the Caribbean.
Those who remember the inaugural Stanford T20 competition will be quick to point out that Guyana won that competition beating (of course) Trinidad in the final through a last gasp six from Narsingh Deonarine but since then Trinidad has overtaken them and in fact will participate in this year’s Champions League tournament.
This LCPL tournament however, is franchise and not country-based although the fans are still partisan rooting for the home team in the majority of cases.
Ramnaresh Sarwan’s Amazon Warriors should start today’s match as the favourite team based on their showing in the preliminary rounds. They topped the preliminary rounds by virtue of winning five of their seven matches and only losing two while Trinidad lost four matches and won three in securing the fourth and semi-final spot.
For today’s encounter the Amazon Warriors will be without match winner Mohammad Hafeez and the injured Martin Guptil.
Hafeez, the Pakistan International T20 skipper has played vital roles with bat and ball none more so than his unbeaten half century against the Antigua Hawksbills which effectively eliminated that team from the competition. He has been replaced by Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga.
Guptil, who has a broken bone in his right hand, has been replaced by another Sri Lankan in Tillakartne Dilshan who will bring his experience in playing for Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League not to mention 50T20 International to aid the Warriors’ cause.
With Hafeez out it will be even more important for skipper Sarwan to come good with the bat whether the team bats first or second.
Dislhan’s inclusion though will undoubtedly strengthen the batting proving that he is able to make the necessary adjustments in what will be his first match of the tournament.
Lendl Simmons has been a revelation at the top of the order and the selection committee will have a hard task selecting the final XI.
While the batting will undoubtedly be weaker without Hafeez, the bowling department will be considerably strengthened with Malinga’s selection and with Sunil Narine, who has looked every bit the top class T20 bowler, Krishmar Santokie and Veerasammy Permaul, The Amazon warriors bowling attack seems quite formidable.
Like his opposite number Trinidad’s Red Steel skipper Dwayne Bravo has not had the type of success that he is
accustomed to but all that can change in one match.
It is likely that they will again open with Kevin O’ Brien who hit his top score of 70 against Guyana and Adrian Barath with support coming from teenager Nicholas Pooran whose 54 from 24 balls was made against Guyana in the first encounter, Mahela Jayawardene, Darren Bravo, Ross Taylor and if selected Davy Jacobs and Justin Guillen.
Trinidad’s bowling attack is not to be underrated with IPL player Kevon Cooper, left arm spinner Sulieman Benn, speedster Fidel Edwards, and spinner Samuel Badree.
The game gets underway at 8pm.
(Teams) Amazon Warriors from Ramnaresh Sarwan, Sunil Narine, Lasith Malinga, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, James Franklin, Christopher Barnwell, Tillakartne Dilshan, Krishmar Santokie, William Perkins, Steven Jacobs, Keon Joseph, Trevon Griffith, Narsingh Deonarine and Veerasammy Permaul.
The Coach is Roger Harper and the assistant coach Curtly Ambrose.
Red Steel (from) Dwayne Bravo, Ross Taylor, Mahela Jayawardene, Darren Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Samuel Badree, Kevon Cooper, Kevin O’Brien, Sulieman Benn, Adrian Barath, Delorn Johnson, Nicolas Pooran, Yannick cariah, Miguel Cummins and Justin Guillen.
The Coach is Gordon Greenidge and the assistant coach David Williams.