The 2019 edition of the Caribbean Premier League is upon us and the second encounter of the competition takes place at the Providence Stadium, Guyana.
The Warriors fell short at the final hurdle in 2018, where they lost out to the Trinbago Knight Riders whereas the Zouks failed to navigate their way through the group stages, eventually finishing 5th.
The two teams have clashed 11 times previously in the competition and the home side have had the wood over their visitors, winning 7 of those matches.
However, the Warriors would be extremely naïve to write off the Zouks, considering the quality the latter boast in their ranks. The away side’s batting line-up comprises of Andre Fletcher, John Campbell and Najibullah Zadran. Though that particular triumvirate might not hog the headlines as some of their counterparts, they certainly have the potential to ruffle a few feathers.
Additionally, Campbell has endured a tough international season and he would be looking to prove his credentials in the CPL. Moreover, in Darren Sammy, the Zouks have a leader capable of coming up trumps when push comes to shove.
The hosts, meanwhile, possess one of the most lethal middle orders in the competition, courtesy the presence of Nicholas Pooran, Sherfane Rutherford, Shimron Hetmyer and Shoaib Malik.
The West Indian trio has distinguished itself, especially in the shortest format and Hetmyer, in particular, would hope to salvage a reputation that has recently taken a hit.
Thus, the game has all the ingredients to be an absolute humdinger and one reckons the Caribbean flair and the proclivity to pyrotechnics will just add further sparkle to a tournament glittering with stars.
Venue: Providence Stadium, Guyana
Date: 5th September 2019
Time: 03:30 am IST on the 6th of September; 10:00 pm GMT on the 5th of September, 2019
Rain has been in the air over the past couple of days but fortunately, the game starts in the evening, meaning that the sun, which usually comes out as the day progresses, should reign supreme. Thus, there shouldn’t be too many impediments to the game.
The strip was used for the series against India and that pitch aided the fast bowlers a touch. However, with a lot of time having transpired since then, one can expect the wicket to be a good cricket track, providing the ideal platform for an even contest.
Guyana Amazon Warriors
The hosts don’t have too many questions to answer with regards to its middle order as the quartet in contention offer the requisite ability and variety. Keegan Simmons and Chandrapaul Hemraj are expected to open the batting while the bowling attack also has a settled look to it.
The presence of spinners, Chris Green and Shadab Khan adds bowling bite to the line-up whereas Ben Laughlin and Keemo Paul ensure the pace bowling department is well-stocked.
Guyana Amazon Warriors XI (Probable): Keegan Simmons, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Shoaib Malik, Sherfane Rutherford, Chris Green, Shadab Khan, Keemo Paul, Ben Laughlin, Romario Shepherd
St. Lucia Zouks
The Zouks have to shuffle their overseas slots quite a bit owing to several of their players being unavailable. Though Colin de Grandhomme and Delport have been brought on board, both are unlikely to feature due to prior commitments.
Thus, the onus is firmly on their West Indian contingent consisting of Campbell, Fletcher, Obed McCoy, Rahkeem Cornwall and skipper, Sammy.
Also, the addition of Najibullah Zadran could add a hint of muscle to a relatively thin looking middle order.
St. Lucia Zouks XI (Probable): Andre Fletcher, John Campbell, Kavem Hodge, Nitish Kumar, Najibullah Zadran, Darren Sammy, Rahkeem Cornwall, Obed McCoy, Krishmar Santokie, Fawad Ahmed, Kesrick Williams
Players to watch out for
The left-hander has been touted for greatness over the past couple of years yet he hasn’t quite lived up to his billing. On countless occasions, Hetmyer has been guilty of throwing his wicket away and squandering presentable opportunities.
Moreover, his technique and temperament came under the scanner severely during the recently concluded series against India with many even questioning his attitude of batting without much purpose.
However, that particular approach might pay dividends in the hustle and bustle of the CPL and he would be itching to remind the world what he is truly capable of.
The opener was part of all the squads that faced the Indians but he hardly got a hit in the white-ball formats. After a duck in the 1st T20I, the left-hander was left to warm the bench until the Tests came around.
Though he looked promising in his stints at the crease in the longest format, he wasn’t able to create a significant impact.
Hence, the CPL provides him with the ideal chance to reassert his status as a precocious talent and ensure that he doesn’t fall by the wayside, akin to so many promising youngsters over the years.Published 05 Sep 2019, 09:31 IST