Following a string of defeats, the Guyana Amazon Warriors is expected to rebound against the Marlon Samuels-led St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in match six of the Hero CPL T20 tournament being played today at Basseterre.
The Warriors have so far looked out of sorts during their two previous encounters, the first against Barbados Pride which they lost by 49 runs in the opening game and then a loss to the St Lucia Zouks by two wickets in a Duckworth/Lewis decision.
Today’s match is a must-win for the Guyanese franchise and team selection will be critical. The Warriors will have the services of Pakistani Umar Akmal.
In the Spotlight
Shiv Chanderpaul- the 40 year-old left-hander has been the centre of talk since his failure in the two previous innings. The discarded West Indian Test player scored 4 runs off 8 balls in the first match followed by a 17-ball 7 against the Zouks, leaving much speculation surrounding his selection for today’s match.
Brad Hodge- despite being the same age as Chanderpaul and having been absent from the international scene longer than his fellow elder statesman, the Australian looks by far the best batsman in the Amazon Warriors side and with 71 runs from two games and a best of 45 not-out, the right-hander is the team’s leading run-scorer. The team’s current stats reflects a poor performance from a side packed with talent.
Sunil Narine and Veerasammy Permaul- the two spinners are the Warriors’ leading wicket-takers with 4 and 3 scalps each, respectively and have so far played crucial roles in the Warriors’ economy rate, stifling the run flow which will be necessary against the Patriots with its attacking batting line-up.
Lendl Simmons- the tournament’s 2014 leading run-getter has misfired in the previous matches but is expected to click today after a breath-taking IPL where he smashed six fifties to end as the fifth leading run-scorer. His experiences and aggression will be needed today.
Chris Barnwell- the all-rounder showed signs of hunger in the previous matches and his power-hitting will be needed but his effectiveness is dependent on him being promoted up the order so as to have a chance to settle-in before launching.
St Kitts Patriots
Marlon Samuels- with 110 runs from 3 games and two half-centuries, the Patriots Captain is the leading run-scorer for his side and the key player in the line-up. And while his ability to attack or stabilize an innings is dependent on the situation, Samuels’s presence will be a key for the Patriots.
Shahid Afridi- “Boom Boom” as he is commonly called, is a big player in any situation, his sixes in the last match against Barbados Tridents off Ravi Rampaul showed that the Pakistani big-hitting leg-spinner is definitely expected to ‘open up’ as the competition progresses.
Carlos Brathwaite- the West Indian T20 all-rounder will again be called upon by his Captain to produce with either bat or ball. His heroics in the match against Barbados which his team won showed the young Bajan’s prowess as one of the key players in the side.
Sohail Tanvir- the big-hitting ability of Tanvir will play a crucial role in today’s match while his bowling will need to be spot on against the warriors which collectively as a team is expected to play aggressively. The Pakistani’s experience throughout the CPL will be called upon today to give the Patriots their second win.
The Amazon Warriors team has acquired the services of Akmal and by July 9 will also have South African all-rounder David Weise. As mentioned earlier, Chanderpaul’s place in the side for the remainder of the competition is not confirmed but with players such as Trevon Griffith, Devendra Bishoo on the bench, the two-time finalist will have a lot to think about in terms of their final XI.
Patriots captain Samuels might not want to change a winning combination but with quality players like Martin Guptill, and locals like Evin Lewis, Orlando Peters, Sheldon Cottrell and others, it’s unlikely that a different XI will be featured today.
The match is scheduled to begin at 16:00hrs