Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Still reeling from a narrow five-run defeat to Guyana Amazon Warriors on Thursday, the Jamaica Tallawahs will today play leaders and early qualifiers Barbados Tridents in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League at Sabina Park.
In what will be their penultimate match of the preliminary round, the Tallawahs will again enter the contest seeking to book a semi-final berth after failing to do so in their last outing.
The contest, which is set to bowl off at 2:00 p.m., will also be the second match of a double-header at the venue with other semi-final hopefuls, Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel and St Lucia Zouks squaring off at 10:00 a.m.
Tallawahs, with a record of three wins and two losses, are currently third in the standings with six points.
This is two behind Tridents and the Warriors, who, in winning on Thursday, booked a spot in the final four.
The Antigua Hawksbills, Red Steel and Zouks, on four points each, round off the standings.
"Heading into our next game against the Tridents, we will just have to look at the mistakes we made against the Amazon Warriors and correct them," said Tallawahs captain Chris Gayle.
"It won't be easy, as the Tridents are a very competitive team and have been playing fairly well. But, we know what we have to do if we are to make it to the semi-finals, and that is to come out and work hard."
Tallawahs, who made 134 for eight in reply to the Warriors 139 for six, will be hoping for a much better batting display, particularly if another good, flat-batting pitch is prepared.
Gayle, 43, Chadwick Walton, who made a 20-ball 35, including four sixes and a four in his debut game of the tournament, were standouts against the Warriors, and the hope for coach Paul Nixon and assistant coach Junior Bennett is that they will deliver again.
Nixon and Bennett will also be hoping that 21-year-old Pakistani opener, Ahmed Shezad, who is yet to set the tournament alight, will finally produce a high-scoring innings after scores of seven, 10, 20, 11 and three in their five matches to date.
With Walton coming in for the out-of-form Nkrumah Bonner in the last game and proving his worth, Nixon and Bennett may well be looking at giving attacking 21-year-old Jermaine Blackwood an opportunity to demonstrate his skills as well.
In-form all-rounders André Russell and South African Vernon Philander, as well as wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr and David Bernard Jr, are other players Nixon and Bennett will be forward to coming good with the bat.
In terms of bowling, Philander, the team's leading wicket so far with eight wickets, and who was outstanding against the Warriors with two for 23, is again expected to lead the attack along with Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is second in wicket taking column with seven scalps.
The Tridents, meanwhile, are coming off back-to-back loses to the Warriors and Hawksbills after winning their first four games, will be looking to bounce back heading into the semi-finals in this their final game of the round.
They are again expected to pin their hopes on inspirational captain Kieron Pollard, opener Dwayne Smith, Pakistanis Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal, and Bangladeshi Shakib Al Hasan, all-rounder Rayad Emrit, and off-spinner, Ashley Nurse.
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