Guyana Amazon Warriors v Barbados Tridents
Sunday 13 October, 00:00
Live on Sky Sports
Guyana Amazon Warriors are aiming for a 12th consecutive victory and a fourth consecutive victory this term over the Tridents, who have failed to land a glove on them. Their greatest fear may be the law of averages.
They have bristled with power and confidence from game two. Their first outing in the tournament, against the Zouks, was the tightest they have played. They won by 12 runs, defending 156.
In the penultimate group game against Jamaica Tallawahs, they proved they could win from big odds, too. They recovered from eight for four to win by 77 runs.
Consistently they have made fast starts thanks to the emergence of Brandon King, who has been a sensation as opener, while Shoaib Malik and Shimron Hetmyer have been expert finishers. With the ball, spin has been their main weapon with Imran Tahir, Chris Green and, occasionally, Qais Ahmed, squeezing the life out of teams. They can, frankly, do it all.
Tridents well balanced
The Barbados Tridents are the most improved team in the tournament. At the start they looked a rag-tag bunch with poor plans and no idea how to balance their XI. But the arrivals of Shakib-al-Hasan and Harry Gurney, a finisher and death bowler respectively, has sorted out the latter.
Hayden Walsh, the American spinner, solved problem one on his own. If the Tridents are in a sticky situation, he comes on to bowl. Problem solved. Walsh's record gets more astonishing by the game. It's now 21 wickets in eight games. Had he been picked for the full 12, Walsh would be approaching 30 for the series.
Shai Hope has recovered from injury to add ballast to their middle order. Unfortunately, with one hand He giveth, with the other He taketh away. JP Duminy, who has been a rock, is a major doubt after picking up an injury in the qualifying win over Trinbago.
Eight an over par
There have been seven matches played at the Brian Lara Stadium since the start of the 2017 tournament (1-2 denote match on by team batting first or second) and the first-innings scores read: 160-1/147-2/165-1/149-1/168-2/159-2/135-2. The sixes tallies in those games are: 15/14/9/10/14/11/15.
Barbados can fight hard
Amazon Warriors have gone to [1.59] with the Tridents [2.66]. Although we respect the Warriors' power and skill, we're not sure the Tridents are getting due credit for their surge. True, they are an even money team on group form but they have caught up quickly after the squad revamp.
When it comes to taking down the Warriors, spin is key. Can they counter it with the bat? And can they inflict damage with the ball when their own spinners come on? Against Trinbago on this ground, the answers were no and yes. On a tacky wicket, the spinners tied them down. Then Walsh and Ashley Nurse did likewise.
A tight game could be in prospect, then and one feels Duminy's fitness is absolutely key. We can easily see room in the Tridents price for a trade if he is fit. For those who took out advice early on about a Guyana tournament win, stay put and enjoy watching a 17/10 chance go off odds on.
Pooran catches eye
Nic Pooran's 61 off 30 was not only a rare top-bat win this tournament for the hitter when the sides met for the first time, it was a rare chance to actually bat. He's got to the crease only eight times. Sportsbook go 17/2 about a repeat. King, fresh from a record tournament score of an unbeaten 132 in the qualifier against Tridents, is the 11/5 favourite.
For Tridents, swerve Alex Hales who is having a poor time (169 runs in 11) at 3s and instead consider Johnson Charles, his opening partner, who is more reliable at an inflated 7/2. Nurse, a dangerous lower-order hitter, who top scored against Guyana earlier, is not a 33s shot.
Gurney still appeals
Tahir is the 3/1 jolly for top Guyana bowler with Sportsbook as you would expect. But the big value is Romario Shephered who has been crucial to their run to the final. His trike rate of 13.3 is not far behind Tahir's 12.4. Walsh is the 13/5 jolly for Tridents. He has three outright wins this series. There's nothing wrong with the 3s about Harry Gurney.