The tiny island of St Kitts will be jumping with excitement tonight when the home team open their campaign
against the Guyana Amazon Warriors at Warner Park in Basseterre in match two of the Hero Caribbean Premier League 2016.
In the 2015 edition, the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots hosted the Amazon Warriors in two matches and on both occasions they were beaten. On both occasions, the Patriots batted first and got to decent scores, but their bowlers allowed the Warriors batsmen to cruise home.
In batting friendly conditions, including straight boundaries that measure 55 metres, the Patriots made 149/9 from their 20 overs, with Martin Guptill and Evin Lewis both getting to 34. Quick bowler Ronsford Beaton picked up 3 for 39, Devendra Bishoo 2/13 and Sunil Narine 2/27. The Warriors then raced to 150/3 from 16 overs with skipper Denesh Ramdin making 54 not out and Lendl Simmons 41. Sohail Tanvir, Tabraiz Shamsi and Sheldon Cottell picked up one wicket each.
In the second match of the 2015 season, the Patriots fared a little better with the bat to get to 158/6 with their captain Marlon Samuels playing a lone hand in a top score of 61 as fast bowlers Beaton and Marchant De Lange picked up two wickets each. In reply, the Amazon Warriors were on course at 146/2 from 16.4 overs when the rain brought an abrupt end to proceedings, with the Warriors 23 runs ahead on the Duckworth/Lewis Method. Brad Hodge was 61 not out. Assad Fudadin had earlier made 43. Seamer Cottrell picked up 2 wickets.
In 2016, both teams have gone through a metamorphosis. The Patriots are doing without Marlon Samuels due to international commitments; Martin Guptill is back in the Warriors camp; Tanvir is also in the Warriors camp and Sheldon Cottrell has not been picked this year. The South America-based unit is without the services of Lendl Simmons and Brad Hodge who are both in the Patriots camp and Beaton and spin wizard Sunil Narine, who are part of the Trinbago Knight Riders team.
The Patriots will depend on their new captain, South Africa’s T20 captain, Faf Du Plesis; Kieran Powell, who is making a comeback to cricket; Sri Lanka’s top all-rounder Thisara Perera; West Indies star of the World T20, Carlos Brathwaite and the free-scoring Evin Lewis for some useful knocks as Krishmar Santokie, Tino Best and West Indies Under-19 fast bowler Alzarri Joseph will look to ruffle the feathers of the Warriors batsmen with the new ball making way for Samuel Badree and Shamsi with some turners.
Across the floor, the Warriors batting will revolve around Captain Guptill, Chris Lynn, Dwayne Smith, Fudadin and West Indies Under-19 winning Captain Shimron Hetmyer while all-rounders Chris Barnwell and Rayad Emrit and wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble can give a late charge. With the ball, lots will be dependent on the spin quartet of Adam Zampa, Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul and Steven Jacobs, while the seam bowling department will be handled by Tanvir and Paul Wintz, Barnwell, Smith and Fudadin.
The ground in St Kitts’ capital is known for big scores and early assistance for the quick bowlers so an interesting battle is in the making as the Patriots will look to protect home territory and finally get a win over the consistent Amazon Warriors, who will be gunning to keep their perfect record against the hosts intact.
The first ball is at 20:00h and the toss can be crucial as the team chasing tends to win more often than not.
The weather is perfect for cricket as it is before the hurricane season in the Leeward Islands and a good crowd is expected as many Guyanese live and work in the twin-island nation and will join with the locals to cheer on their favourite team.
St Kitts/Nevis Patriots: Faf du Plessis (Captain); Samuel Badree; Tino Best; Carlos Brathwaite; Shamarh Brooks; Jonathan Carter; Nikhil Dutta; Brad Hodge; Alzarri Joseph; Evin Lewis; Jeremiah Louis; Thisara Perera; Kieran Powell; Krishmar Santokie; Tabraiz Shamsi; Lendl Simmons; JJ Smuts and Devon Thomas
Guyana Amazon Warriors: Martin Guptill (Captain); Ali Khan; Chris Barnwell; Devendra Bishoo; Anthony Bramble; Rayad Emrit; Assad Fudadin; Shimron Hetmyer; Steven Jacobs; Steven Katwaroo; Chris Lynn; Jason Mohammed; Veerasammy Permaul; Orlando Peters; Dwayne Smith; Sohail Tanvir; Paul Wintz and Adam Zampa