The Caribbean Premier League of 2014, which commenced on Saturday, will see its fourth match as Antigua Hawkbills take on Jamaica Tallawahs on Thursday.
The Jamaica Tallawahs won their first game against St.Lucia Zouks. The Antigua Hawkbills suffered a defeat at the hands of the Guyana Amazon Warriors in their first encounter.
The Tallawahs are led by dashing and star left-hander Chris Gayle while the team from Antigua play under right-hand middle order batsman Marlon Samuels.
Chris Gayle's Jamaica team, the defending champions, seem to be in good form as they beat Daren Sammy's St.Lucia Zouks comprehensively by seven wickets. Gayle, in that game, hammered the ball to all parts as he made a blistering and unbeaten 111 to see his team home.
Jamaica Tallawahs have quite a few bowling all-rounders. They can not only take wickets but can be very stingy while bowling. One such player is the South African Rusty Theron, said to be an extremely good bowler in the shortest version of the game. He comes highly recommended and is sought after by many T20 franchises. The South African is excellent in the death overs when batsmen are going hammer and tongs.
Gayle's outfit also has Andre Russell, the West Indian medium pacer, who is more than an useful addition to the side with his efficient bowling. Furthermore in Russell the team has a handy lower-order batsman who can hit the ball a long way with the bat. He can clear grounds very easily.
The old-pro Daniel Vettori of New Zealand features in the Tallawahs' side as well. His crafty bowling and experience can help his younger teammates in tight situations. Amongst batsmen there is of course the belligerent Gayle. Adam Voges from Australia and Owais Shah bring a lot of experience in T20s into the side and make more than useful contributions.
Hawkbills will be looking to register their first win of the competition. For the Hawkbills, skipper Samuels and David Hussey will be the key while batting. Samuels is capable of hitting the ball to all parts of the ground and is a more than useful option with the ball. If he can get going, Hawkbills may post a biggish score. If the astute David Hussey can stick around early on and then explode in the end as he is known to do the Hawkbills bowling lineup could take advantage.
Their bowling lineup boasts of spinner Saeed Ajmal, a master of the doosra and deception. If Sheldon Cottrell , the left-arm Windies quickie, and Ben Laughlin can make some early inroads then Ajmal will be doubly dangerous. Even Samuels, very good in the death, can complement the wily Ajmal.
Jamaica Tallawahs are the favourites without a doubt, however with Samuels and Ajmal in their side the Hawkbills have it in them to spring a surprise.
Where to Watch Live
The match is set for a 3.30 pm local time (1 am IST, 3.30 pm ET) start with live coverage on Sony Six in India. Catch the action live online HERE. Viewers in the US can watch the game on ESPN3 or HERE.