Guyana Amazon Warriors will clash against Jamaica Tallawahs in the second knockout match of the Caribbean Premier League at the St Kitts' Warner Park stadium in Basseterre on Friday.
The winner of this match will go on to meet the Barbados Tridents in the final on Sunday. The Tallawahs go into the match on the back of a remarkable victory against Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in the first knockout match on Thursday.
They were completely out of the game at 76 for six in pursuit of 156. Andre Russell pulled a rabbit out of the hat as he bludgeoned 62 runs of 27 balls to give Jamaica a victory from nowhere. Undoubtedly they would be taking the momentum of this victory into their encounter against Warriors.
The boys from Jamaica, who had bowled well to keep Red Steel at 155, lost openers Chris Gayle and Chadwick Walton early on. Their chase seemed doomed as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Only Nkrumah Bonner, who made 39, could get going. After his run out the game even seemed out of Russell's reach.
The all-rounder, though, never, gave up and saw to it his side would have the win. This win, though, masks Jamaica's heavy reliance on their openers Gayle and Walton. The middle order has not come to the party in most of their games, even if Russell bailed them out on Thursday. Ironically the last time Russell played a similar match-winning innings, was also against the Warriors when he smashed a four and a six in the last two balls of the match to give his side victory. The middle order, if they keep on playing the way they have, will be in some trouble against T20 spin king Sunil Narine.
The Warriors would be confident going into the game. The team wears a settled look. Openers Lendl Simmons and Martin Guptill are in good form. In their last match the duo put on 154 runs together as Guyana chased down 190 against the St.Lucia Zouks.
Simmons, particularly, was in good form as he made 97. Skipper Denesh Ramdin's calm presence has helped the side on more than one occasion in this tournament. A contribution from veteran Mohammad Hafeez would be handy too.
The Warriors bowling could do with slight improvement; furthermore they would remember Russell's heroics with the bat when he made 58 in Guyana's last match against Jamaica. Narine, as always heavily feared in this format, would hope to come good. If Gayle gets off to a good start, how Narine goes up against him will have some bearing on the game. Krishmar Santokie, the left-arm medium pacer, has done well in spurts and the Warriors would hope he provides early breakthroughs.
Jamaica's bowling lineup looked pretty good against Red Steel as they restricted them to 155. Medium pacer David Bernard had Red Steel in all sorts of trouble early on with three quick wickets. He would be hoping for a repeat performance.
Jerome Taylor and Rusty Theron too would like to make inroads. In the spin department, veteran Daniel Vettori will look to keep the runs down. If Ramdin and Hafeez come in early, how they play Vettori will be interesting.
A spot in the final is up for grabs as Guyana Amazon Warriors, perhaps slight favourites, look to thwart defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs—a stupendous contest is on the cards.
Where to Watch Live
The game will start at 4 pm local time (1:30 am IST) with live coverage on Sony Six in India. The match is available live online HERE. US viewers can catch the action on ESPN3, with the option to live stream HERE.