Sitting at the bottom of the table, Jamaica Tallawahs will take on Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 15th encounter of the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) at Sabina Park, Kingston on Wednesday (September 18). Warriors have won all of their four games and are placed at the top of the table, while Tallawahs too will riding high on confidence after registering their first win on Sunday.
Overall, Warriors have a slight edge over Tallawahs having won nine out of 16 games between two sides. Meanwhile, Tallawahs have emerged victorious on seven occasions.
Ground Details and Team Combination
Sabina Park has hosted three games so far this season and each match has produced contrasting aggregates. Tallawahs failed to defend 170 runs in the first match and then slammed 226 in response to Trinbago Knight Riders’ record total of 267 for 2 in the next clash. Tallawahs then somehow managed to get past Barbados Tridents’ total of 140 with four wickets in hand and registered their first win.
Tallawahs dropped Jerome Taylor and Oshane Thomas for the last match and went with a spin-dominated attack, a move that paid off spectacularly. The likes of Christopher Lamont, George Worker, Ramaal Lewis and Zahir Khan did a great job and it’s very unlikely that the team management will tinker with the winning combination. However, Warriors too have a solid spin attack comprising of Chris Green, Imran Tahir and Qais Ahmed. Warriors’ bowlers have done a commendable job in this edition and haven’t allowed any opponent to touch the 160-run mark.
Both pacers and spinners have been operating at an economy of over nine at this venue this season but it’s the latter who have a better average and strike rate. Spinners average 26.06 in the three games that have been played here so far compared to pacers’ 44.75. Both teams have some solid big-hitters but it will all boil down to who tackle the spinners best.
It’s important to have power-hitters in the playing XI but in case spinners start to dictate terms, moderators like Worker and Shoaib Malik can come in handy. Meanwhile, Andre Russell too is expected to make his comeback in this match and that will give Tallawahs more depth in both the departments.
Imran Tahir: The 40-year-old legspinner came in as a replacement for Shadab Khan and straightaway made an impact against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots by picking up two wickets for just 17 runs. Tallawahs have quite a few big-hitters in their unit and Tahir likes the challenge of bowling to these types of batsmen. In 2019, he has picked up 48 wickets in 32 encounters at an economy of 7.15. He was also Warriors’ leading wicket-taker in the last edition, picking up 16 wickets at an economy of 5.91.
Chris Gayle: Apart from his century against Patriots, the self-proclaimed Universe Boss is yet to set the CPL 2019 on fire. The left-hander has looked good in patches with scores of 28, 0, 39 and 22 and will fancy his chances against the spin-dominated attack. Gayle averages over 44 against spinners compared to 35.16 against pacers in the last five years. His strike rate versus spinners is 157.47 compared to 141.69 against seamers.
Qais Ahmed/Zahir Khan: The two wristspinners from Afghanistan scalped three wickets each for their respective teams in their last encounter. The two will enjoy bowling on this surface and it’s a no brainer to have at least one of them in your playing XI. As mentioned above, spinners have a pretty decent record at this venue and both these players can serve as wicket-taking options.
Chandrapaul Hemraj: With 138 runs to his name, Hemraj is Warriors’ leading run-scorer. With knocks of 14, 39, 63 and 22, the left-handed opening batsman has contributed in almost every game and is someone who can hold the batting unit together from the top order. Hemraj is also a handy left-arm spinner and despite bowling only four overs this season, he can be used slightly more on this surface with the number of right-handers Tallawahs possess.
There is no rain threat on Wednesday in Kingston and we will have a full game.
Predicted FanFight Team
Chris Gayle, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Glenn Phillips (wk), Chadwick Walton, Shimron Hetmyer, Javelle Glen, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Imran Tahir, Qais Ahmed, Zahir Khan.