Tridents look to trip Shakib’s Tallawahs
When: 20th Match, July 21, 7:00 am BST
Where: Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica
What to expect: A stray shower or two is expected to hit Kingston later on in the day. The track has tended to offer spongy bounce and that has on occasions made it tougher for the batsmen to play their strokes.
Shakib Al Hasan’s Jamaica Tallawahs and Barbados Tridents led by Kieron Pollard have played with an air of confidence in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2016, in spite of some stumbling blocks on their way.
The two sides now will be itching to get out to the middle when they face-off at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Wednesday (July 20).
Tallawahs have certainly embraced the expectation of being billed as one of the favourites before the start of the tournament.
The likes of Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Imad Wasim, Rovman Powell, Kumar Sangakkara and Dale Steyn have all chipped in with vital contributions.
The only time they were knocked off the pedestal was by Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Providence Stadium.
However, on the flip side, Tallawahs will soon miss the services of Steyn, as the South African spearhead is expected to participate in Cricket South Africa's (CSA) annual awards celebration, slated to take place later this month.
Russell, who etched in a feisty all-round show with both bat and ball against Trinbago Knight Riders, will face an anti-doping disciplinary panel today, and that might affect his preparations. Gayle, too, has been troubled by a chronic back issue, but is likely to play the crucial game.
Barring those minor hiccups, Tallawahs have most of the bases covered. In fact, the coaching staff will be buoyed by the fact that even the unheralded Kesrick Williams has bowled zestful spells to snare eight scalps in the tournament so far.
The only area of concern has been the lack of support for Gayle at the top of the order, where Chadwick Walton has struggled to make an impact.
On the other hand, Tridents would be thrilled by the form of their big guns in the batting line-up - AB de Villiers, Shoaib Malik and Kieron Pollard.
Tridents also have unearthed a top-notch dasher in Nicholas Pooran. The left-handed wicket-keeper-batsman provided the decisive joust in their match against St. Lucia Zouks. Pooran's 39-ball 81 against the Zouks even overshadowed de Villiers' well-measured innings of 32.
The visitors will hope for the batting unit to continue their good work. Among the bowlers, Wayne Parnell had led the attack manfully and will be expected to fire on a relatively friendly surface for pace bowling at Sabina Park.
His pace colleague, Ravi Rampaul, too, has been highly effective in the tournament by striking at regular intervals. The spin duo of Robin Peterson and Malik will aim to do a holding job in the middle overs.
However, just like Tallawahs, the visitors would be fretting over the fact that Parnell and de Villiers have been recalled by CSA for the annual awards function. The pair is set to return to South Africa after the game against Tallawahs, with Ahmed Shehzad and Marchant de Lange replacing them.
Jamaica will target their sixth win in eight matches to maintain their supremacy at the top of the points table, while if the third placed Tridents emerge victorious, they will move up to nine points in the table.
What they said:
"I am very pleased with the result, but I still think we need to bat better. Having said that, the bowlers were impressive," Gayle said after overcoming Knight Riders.
Jamaica Tallawahs: Chris Gayle(c), Chadwick Walton, Andre McCarthy, Kumar Sangakkara(w), Rovman Powell, Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Imad Wasim, Dale Steyn, Garey Mathurin, Kesrick Williams, Timroy Allen, Jonathan Foo, Alex Ross, Oshane Thomas, Nkrumah Bonner, Jon-Russ Jaggesar
Barbados Tridents: Steven Taylor, Raymon Reifer, Shoaib Malik, AB de Villiers, Nicholas Pooran(w), Kieron Pollard(c), David Wiese, Wayne Parnell, Imran Khan, Akeal Hosein, Ravi Rampaul, Kyle Corbin, Kyle Hope, Navin Stewart, Ashley Nurse, Robin Peterson, Shamar Springer