By Ravendra Madholall
The equation does not resonate well for Guyana Amazon Warriors in this year’s Caribbean Premier League T20 tourney. It reads 6 matches, 2 wins, 4 defeats and 4 points.
By the culmination of the 16th match, the Warriors, a five-time finalist, are struggling with that amount of points which have them at number 4 on the standings.
Trinibago Knight Riders, one of the favorites, are leading the with 10 points from five outings. Their rivalry with the Warriors in two confrontations speaks volume but they emerged victorious on both occasions, another manifestation of the star-studded composition.
When the tournament began behind closed doors owing to the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic at the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium, South Trinidad, Riders triumphed over the Warriors by four wickets and their last encounter Thursday, Riders maximized on home advantage again to beat them by seven wickets, which illustrated the Riders’ dominance with five consecutive victories.
After the loss in the opening round, Guyana Amazon Warriors, who had an astonishing run last year with 11 successive victories and would have started this year’s six-team competition as a heavyweight, but much to the consternation of their true supporters, they are failing to make a big impression so far.
In the next two games (second & third), Warriors put up a reasonably good show against St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots by snatching a three-wicket win and then continued with that momentum defeating Jamaica Tallawahs by 14 runs.
But in the three other matches, Warriors wilted in every department, and specifically the batting as they could not have tallied up competitive scores.
St. Lucia Zouks would have played better cricket and they upset the Warriors by 10 runs and again the Warriors suffered a five-wicket loss to Tallawahs.
Coming up against the unstoppable Riders, the result was predictable alluding to the fact Warriors were not making a significant impact with the bat.
They look very formidable on paper not only because they possess players with great international T20 reputation, but they have been consistent over the years.
The opening slot has been disappointing. Brandon King and Chanderpaul Hemraj are badly out-of-form. They have not set up a good foundation since the beginning of things on August 18 and pressure would have mounted on the middle-order to carry on.
Their star batsman Shimron Hetmyer is the only batsman for them with two half-centuries while young batting sensation Nicolas Pooran scored one too but other than that the batting remains vulnerable against both pace and spin on these typically slow and low tracks.
Expectations are still great though that some of the few other batsmen can come to the fore for their final four preliminary-round crucial matches.
Ross Taylor and Sherfane Rutherford are due for a big one while the bowling must be more consistent even though they had some terrific outings. Spinners Chris Green, the captain, and Imran Tahir, two T20 stalwarts have shown great skills but the other senior bowlers have not made a huge impression. Young talented left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd may need to play a pivotal role once he finds himself in the back in starting X1 having played in three matches before he was rested for the contest against the hosts.
The six-team tournament had a day off on Friday but the actions resumed on Saturday (August 29) with a double-header. On Sunday, there will be two more matches but the Guyanese Franchise team will collide with bottom-of-the-table Patriots at 02:15 pm. The final for this year’s edition is slated for September 10 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. Barbados Tridents are the reigning champions.