Fragile middle-order a matter of concern for the Amazon Warriors

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Amazon Warriors Coach Johan Botha, Guyanese all-rounder Kemo Paul share the table with Jamaica Tallawahs captain Kemar Roach and Coach Mark O'Donnell

THREE-time finalists, the Guyana Amazon Warriors, might have made it to the playoffs in this, the sixth edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), but all is probably not well in the Warriors camp.

The Amazon Warriors have won five of their eight games to date on the back of the performances of only a few players.

They tackle powerhouse Jamaica Tallawahs this evening from 20:00hrs at the Guyana National Stadium Providence, but are yet to work out a “settled” middle order along with “depth” in their lower order batting.

The Guyana Amazon Warriors during a training session on Friday

At a pre-match press conference yesterday at the Guyana Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, the Amazon Warriors head coach Johan Botha, admitted the importance of a win in tonight’s encounter.

“Yea, we are happy with our progress so far in the tournament. Obviously we have five wins out of eight with three games to go, but tomorrow (tonight) is a big game and everyone knows that, so we are looking forward to it,” Botha said.

The Amazon Warriors have won their last three encounters against Tallawahs which included the 71-run win over them earlier in the season.

They will leapfrog St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to the second spot if they secure a win in this match.

The Amazon Warriors faced a heavy 67-run defeat at the hands of Trinbago Knight Riders in their last match, but prior to that, they had registered back-to-back wins against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Barbados Tridents.

They have home advantage on their side and they have won four of their last five matches at this venue. History will favour the Warriors unit. They have faced Jamaica Tallawahs 15 times in the history of the CPL and are leading the scoreline 9-6.

Meanwhile, fast-rising all-rounder Keemo Paul, who also shared the head table yesterday, said he is fit and ready for the weekend. Paul had picked up a thigh strain during the Warriors win over the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and missed the games against the Barbados Tridents and Trinbago Knight Riders.

On the other hand, the Tallawahs find themselves in the fourth position on the CPL 2018 points table with five wins and four losses from nine league matches and they will remain on the fourth place if they happen to lose this match.

After beating St Lucia Stars and Barbados Tridents by 21 runs and 5 wickets respectively, the Tallawahs suffered a heart-breaking seven-wicket defeat to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in their last match.

Tallawahs have lost four of their last six matches and four out of the seven matches they have played away from home this CPL.

But the Tallawahs head coach Mark O’Donnell said the Tallawahs cannot afford to take the hosts lightly, especially their threat on home soil.

The Jamaica Tallawahs get ready for their match against the Guyana Amazon Warriors this evening from 18:00hrs (Adrian Narine Photos)

“Crucial game on tomorrow night (tonight)! The front four have been decided and is the question of order of finish…and the order of finish is very important so we need to beat Guyana to make sure we have a chance of making the top two or top three,” O’Donnell said.

The Providence stadium has hosted three matches so far this CPL season out of which the most recently played two have been won by the side batting first. Since the wicket here tend to assist the bowlers more during the second period of play, the toss will be crucial.

Guyana Amazon Warriors team squad: Rayad Emrit (c), Sohail Tanvir, Luke Ronchi (wkp.), Chadwick Walton, Imran Tahir, Devendra Bishoo, Jason Mohammed, Veerasammy Permaul, Cameron Delport, Saurabh Netravalkar, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Green, Keemo Paul, Roshon Primus, Gajanand Singh, Romario Shepherd, Sherfane Rutherford, Akshaya Persaud.

Jamaica Tallawahs team squad: Ross Taylor, Kemar Roach, Samuel Badree, David Miller, Steven Jacobs, Andre Russell (c), Krishmar Santokie, Colin de Grandhomme, Johnson Charles (wkp.), Ish Sodhi, Steven Taylor, Jermaine Blackwood, Kennar Lewis, Glenn Phillips (wkp.), Kirsten Kallicharan, Andre McCarthy, Oshane Thomas, Rovman Powell, Elmore Hutchinson.