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The Caribbean Premier League is well underway and the Barbados Tridents are yet to play their first match. Such are the scheduling quirks of most tournaments but there is not a lot that the teams can do about it. The Tridents will be playing their first match against the Guyana Amazon Warriors who have already won their first two matches and sit at the top of the table in this early stage of the competition.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors will be playing back to back matches and it remains to be seen what effect that has on the team. Will Barbados Tridents take some time to get settled into the tournament or will the Guyana Amazon Warriors be tired from playing on consecutive days?
The Guyana Amazon Warriors recorded their second win of the tournament although even their most ardent fans would agree that they were a little lucky to get away with that performance. An umpiring howler cost David Warner his wicket which was crucial to the Warriors defense of a small total.
Their own batsmen did not adapt to the conditions once Walton had given them a decent start and kept trying to play the big shots when the pitch was clearly on the slower side. Sill, a win is a win and the Warriors will take with both hands.
Against the Barbados Tridents, they will need to be a bit better, though. Their bowlers are going to be up against a strong batting lineup that will come at them hard. Sohail Tanvir, Chris Green, and Keemo Paul have been good without being exceptional.
Sohail Tanvir and Rayad Emrit, though, have been excellent and can be expected to lead the attack again. Imran Tahir, especially, is in excellent form. He was picking wickets by the bucket load over in England during the Vitality Blast and is now doing the same here.
If the pitch is similar to the kind we saw in the last match then Tahir is going to be a big threat.
The batting for the Warriors needs to be much better than what it was. Walton, Ronchi, Heitmeyer, Shoaib Malik, and Jason Mohammad make a decent lineup. Heitmeyer and Malik are the two that we think have to take the lead in this lineup but the absence of an established T20 superstar is going to be felt sooner or later.
CAK Walton, Luke Ronchi, Shimron Hetmyer, Shoaib Malik, Jason Mohammed, Sherfane Rutherford, Christopher Green, RR Emrit, S Tanvir, Imran Tahir, Keemo Paul.
The Barbados Tridents are going to be attracting a lot of attention in this tournament thanks to the presence of Steve Smith in the side. The former Aussie skipper is available for the entire tournament thanks to his year-long ban for ball tampering and while that tarnishes his reputation, it cannot take away from the fact that is one of the leading batsmen in world cricket.
Steve Smith is also an excellent player of spin and an under-rated power hitter. His tussle against Tahir could be one that determines the outcome of this game.
The Barbados Tridents also have Martin Guptill in their side. He is another player that was scoring plenty of runs for his side in the Vitality Blast and comes here full of confidence. Scoring runs can be a little tough on some of the sluggish wickets that the Caribbean now has in plenty and so taking advantage of the new ball is going to be crucial.
Martin Guptill is one of the best in the world at doing that and his form will be very crucial to the Barbados Tridents in this entire tournament. Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan from Pakistan have been included in the squad this time around. Both of them are proven international performers and will make life difficult for all the opposition teams they come up against.
The Tridents do not have the highest quality spinners with Ashley Nurse being their go-to in that department. The West Indian test skipper, Jason Holder is a part of the squad and we believe this could a season where he establishes himself as a genuine all-rounder.
His batting has come a long way in the last few months and his bowling has been pretty effective as well. The Barbados Tridents are banking on Holder being able to contribute in both areas of the game.
Dwayne Smith, Martin Guptill, Steven Smith, Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope, Raymon Reifer, Jason Holder, Imran Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Ashley Nurse.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
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The pitch in Providence was slow, low, and difficult to score runs on. A score of 141 was defended by the Guyana Amazon Warriors with relative ease. We don’t think there is going to be anything drastically different this time around and the new ball is going to be crucial for both sides in both disciplines.
The weather forecast is clear with only a 20% chance of rain, something that is almost standard for the islands in the Caribbean.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors have beaten the Barbados Tridents in their last four meetings but we believe things could be different this time around. The Tridents are coming into this contest fresh and have a couple of players in excellent form. They also have Steve Smith, whom we believe has a point to prove.
Back the Barbados Tridents to win.