Tallawahs looking to turn tables on Warriors with CPL final place at stake
Whatever transpired in the preliminary-round phase of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will amount to nothing today as defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs square off against the Guyana Amazon Warriors at 6 p.m. Jamaica time in a winner-take-all encounter for a place in the final tomorrow versus the Trinbago Knight Riders.
A lot will be going against the defending champions Tallawahs, who are yet to beat the Warriors in this year’s competition. That, coupled with the fact that the Amazon Warriors are playing at home at the Providence Stadium with thousands of supporters backing them to make it to the final.
Momentum cannot be overlooked, and that is what the Tallawahs have in their favour having won back-to-back games against the St Lucia Kings to make it to qualifier two.
Despite the head-to-head record with the Warriors not being in their favour, captain Brandon King is confident that something could happen this time around.
“You learn something from every loss you have. But we’ve decided to focus on what we can improve rather than the opposition. At this stage of the competition, it’s not about what happened in the past, but just who plays better on the day. So, we are focusing on what it takes for us to play our best game of cricket,” said King.
The Warriors lost just once in the preliminary phase of the competition to the St Lucia Kings. However, a seven-wicket loss to the Trinbago Knight Riders would have stung the Warriors who now face elimination if they are not able to find the right formula against the defending champions.
For stand-in Warriors captain Romario Shepherd, it’s all about simple, basic cricket on the day.
“We will try to get a good total on the board that we can actually defend, and it is just as simple as that.”
It may not be that simple for the Warriors, as the Tallawahs possess a potent bowling line-up, despite concerns over the fitness of their leading wicket-taker Mohamed Amir. Amir had to leave the field in his opening over against the Kings in the eliminator because of injury, and captain King is sweating on his ace pacer who has bagged 15 wickets this season.
Off-spinner Chris Green, who also has 15 wickets along with left-arm spinner Imad Wasim with 14 wickets, is also expected to factor on the spin-friendly Providence track, but, more so, King is hoping his under-par middle order batting unit can come up big as they get ready to face Dwayne Pretorius, Imran Tahir and company.
“It’s something we’ve discussed as a team throughout the competition, but we are confident that they will come good when it matters most. It’s about giving your players the backing to perform,” King said.
The Warriors will be banking on the tournament’s two leading run scorers, Shai Hope and Saim Ayub, who have scored 409 and 406 runs, respectively so far.