By Rajiv Bisnauth
THE high-flying Guyana Amazon Warriors will take on the Chadwick Walton-led Jamaica Tallawahs this evening from 18:00hrs at the Guyana National Stadium in Match 29 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League.
The Amazon Warriors, last year’s runners-up, have established themselves as firm contenders for the title, with a record, eight straight complete performances to lead the points table with 18 points, and a net run rate of 1.598.
One of the main reasons for Guyana’s great showing has been their potent batting line-up of their own but their bowling unit looks light on genuine talent which could open the door for the Amazon Warriors to capitalise and make it nine wins from nine games this evening.
The spin-trio of Chris Green, Imran Tahir and Qais Ahmed have all proved to be major threats in this tournament and they supplement the likes of Romario Shepherd and Keemo Paul in what is one of the best bowling attacks in the tournament.
The batting remains formidable also as they bat deeper than most teams and after winning all of their matches so far, there is little reason for them to make any unforced changes to their team.
With a 100% winning record, Warriors will be keen to extend this run, and at the post-match press conference yesterday at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, Guyana Amazon Warriors head coach Johan Botha said everyone is looking forward to the matches here.
“Our aim is to go all the way, but we can’t look too far ahead, we want to continue to play good cricket … we want to compete with Jamaica tomorrow (today). We still respect them as a team, obviously they have a good team, but things haven’t gone the way they had wanted, but we still want to keep playing the way we played, and as I said we are looking forward to playing at home again,” Botha, the former South Africa spinner stated.
On the other hand, despite just playing for pride, Tallawahs will hope to finish on a high, a task which will be difficult to accomplish.
Having put up totals of 167, 241, 170 and 226, albeit in losing efforts this season, the two-time champions lost seven of their nine games, their worst-ever tournament.
This is the first time in the history of the CPL that the Tallawahs are missing out on a playoff berth. They have four points so far, and a win tonight seems a tough task against Amazon Warriors, who look to have very few chinks in their armour, with only complacency a threat to them right now, and even still they have so much depth that they can afford for some players not to perform.
Unless the Tallawahs can raise their performance levels, Amazon Warriors should pick up a ninth consecutive win here.
While accepting that the season has not been the greatest campagain for Tallawahs, head coach Donovan Miller said his team is looking forward to the clash.