Unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors set to battle SKN Patriots today
By Brandon Corlette
The Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) have thus far played unbeaten in the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament; and, moreover, have never lost to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis.
On Saturday, September 14, from 20:00h, they play the SKN Patriots at the famed Warner Park in this twin island state ensconced in the Caribbean Sea. The question that arises is: Who will shine in this big occasion between the GAW and the SKN Patriots.
GAW defeated SKN Patriots by four wickets at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence on September 10, and are high in confidence as they take them on again in the Patriots own backyard at Warner Park, with history and form on their side.
Patriots v GAW at Warner Park
The small boundaries at Warner Park have often put bowlers under pressure from the inception of games. This was seen in that epic match between the Patriots and the Jamaica Tallawahs, wherein the Patriots, as the home team, overtook 242 with seven balls to spare.
GAW defeated Patriots twice at Warner Park in the 2015 season of the CPL, winning respectively by seven wickets and by 23 runs.
In 2016, the GAW defeated the Patriots by four wickets, again at Warner Park; but in 2017, these two teams played matches in Florida, and the Patriots won one, while the GAW won the other.
These two teams met again at Warner Park in the 2018 CPL season. In that encounter, GAW won by four wickets after overtaking the Patriots’ 169.
Imran Tahir, who will play his first match for the GAW in the 2019 Hero CPL as Shadab Khan’s replacement, took 4-22 in his last encounter at Warner Park. Head to head, the GAW enjoy a 4-0 lead over the home team at Warner Park.
What the captains said
After the Patriots had clashed with the GAW at Providence, Captain Carlos Brathwaite had said that his middle order batsmen must show more intensity against the GAW. “We haven’t shown intensity at the middle, but the top order has been starting solid,” Brathwaite had told media operatives after that Providence match.
But after four matches, Brathwaite, the axed West Indies T20 captain, has had poor scores in CPL 2019: 2,0, 0 and 1. He has also been expensive with the ball, returning figures of 0-12 in one over, and 0-42, 0-34 and 1-28 in three overs.
Speaking about his personal game with the bat, Brathwaite had this to say: “First game it didn’t happen for me with the bat, and I have been finding a way to get out; and unfortunately, when we are in the field, we have not been finding a way to get the opposition out”.
The inconsistent Brathwaite had said that he needed to ‘come to the party’ with the bat and take more responsibility.
GAW captain Shoaib Malik has emphasised the need for optimum consistency as the tournament progresses. After three matches at Providence, Malik had said the team had practised hard and had recorded good performances in all three departments, although the fielding needed fine-tuning.
“That fielding department needs to improve, and we would have had some fielding sessions and we are looking forward for what’s coming our way next”, Malik had stated.
Players to keep watch
Heading into this clash, the Patriots have thus far had a solitary win in the tourney after four matches, while the GAW have recorded three wins from three matches. From a GAW team perspective, the entire team has been firing, with Shimron Hetmyer, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Nicholas Pooran and Sherfane Rutherford being dynamic with the bat.
In the bowling department, Romario Shepherd will be aiming to continue his brilliance, while spin king Imran Tahir will be aiming to reconnect at Warner Park.
Devon Thomas of the Patriots has been in good form, as have been Laurie Evans, Evin Lewis and Fabian Allen. The Patriots bowling will be spearheaded by Sheldon Cottrell.