Guyana Amazon Warriors and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots will lock horns in the fourth match of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 at the Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad on Wednesday. Both sides suffered an unwanted start to the season losing their first game on the opening day of the tournament.
On paper though, the Warriors seem superior to the Patriots and would like to translate that potential on the field to get off the mark. On the other hand, the Patriots are suffering from the unavailability of their first-choice picks for the season which occurred due to various reasons but primarily the COVID-19 pandemic. A win for them against the tournament favourites Warriors can provide a massive boost to their campaign.
For the Warriors, their biggest strength last season was playing and bowling spin which put them on a record streak of 11 consecutive wins. However the same strength turned out to be their Achilles Heel in the first game. Their spinners, Chris Green and Imran Tahir were expensive conceding 71 runs in the seven overs between them. Green went wicketless allowing the opposition to get off to a decent start.
Moreover, their batsmen were also unable to accelerate the innings against spinners. The Warriors struck the spinners at a strike-rate of 133.6 in 2019. Against Trinbago Knight Riders in the first match, they accumulated just 52 runs in eight overs losing two top-order wickets along the way.
Brandon King, the highest run-scorer of the previous season was out for a duck. Warriors’ opening game was a contradiction to their successful 2019 campaign in every possible way. They would like to shrug off the rustiness and make their presence felt again in the tournament.
Spin coming back to its substance can definitely help the Warriors against the Patriots, who succumbed to Barbados Tridents’ overseas spinners in their first game. Chasing 153, Patriots’ chase was derailed by Rashid Khan and Mitchell Santner who bowled their eight overs for 45 runs and four wickets.
Patriots will also be critical about the way they let Tridents off the hook after having them 8 for three electing to bowl first. The absence of a confident spinner also hurt them. At the time of signing, Ish Sodhi, Patriots’ prime spinner, had the highest economy rate amongst the 23 leg-spinners who had bowled 100 overs or more in T20 cricket since 2018 (8 per over). Against Tridents, he went at 10 runs per over. Warriors’ middle-order, consisting of ballistic left-handers like Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran can come harder at him.
Patriots also lack firepower with the bat. Ben Dunk was dropped down to No. 4 to extend the batting prowess which is largely limited to the top-order including him, Evin Lewis and Chris Lynn. The youngster Joshua Da Silva, who made his T20 debut against the Tridents scored 41* off as many balls but at a strike-rate of 100, which is underwhelming in this format.
Guyana Amazon Warriors XI: The Warriors might want to add one more spinner to their XI. Given that Knight Riders had a top-order dominated by left-handed batsmen, they couldn’t bowl Chandrapaul Hemraj and it will be a similar case against the Patriots. Hence, the off-spinner Kevin Sinclair can be added to the XI. Romario Shepherd may have to make way for the 20-year old.
Chandrapaul Hemraj, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Ross Taylor, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul, Chris Green (c), Kevin Sinclair, Imran Tahir, Naveen Ul Haq
St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots XI: As mentioned earlier, the Patriots suffer from the absence of players and are thin on the bench. They are expected to stick with the same XI.
Chris Lynn, Evin Lewis, Joshua Da Silva, Ben Dunk, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Jahmar Hamilton, Sohail Tanvir, Rayad Emrit (c), Ish Sodhi, Sheldon Cottrell, Alzarri Joseph