HOSTS ST Kitts/Nevis Patriots and Guyana Amazon Warriors will face off in Tuesday’s second semi-final of the 2021 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), from 2.30 pm, at Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts.
This game will follow the 10 am semi between 2020 title-holders Trinbago Knight Riders and St Lucia Kings. And the final is set for Wednesday, at Warner Park.
The Patriots were the early pace-setters, with five wins on the trot, in the preliminary round stage, but they lost four out of their last five matches to finish in third spot.
During Monday’s pre-game Zoom media conference, Patriots captain Dwayne Bravo said, “We just wanted to get to the semi-finals, which we did. It was a great achievement by all of us, from not making it to the playoffs last season to being in the top four this season.”
Former West Indies captain and T20 star Chris Gayle missed three games due to injury. However, his form has been patchy, as he has only tallied 123 runs in seven innings, at an average of 17.57.
Bravo acknowledged, “There is nothing I can tell the best player in the world. He talks to us. At the end of the day, we are not concerned about his form. It’s a team sport and he’s just one individual. We’re happy to have him in our dressing room, and that’s more important than his form.”
Bravo was also affected by injury (groin) during the preliminary round, and, like Gayle, sat out three matches.
About his ability to bowl in Tuesday’s match, the evergreen all-rounder said, “Depending on how the game goes, I’ll know if I’m required to bowl. At the same time, I have to go on the advice of my medical staff. It’s good that I’m able to bowl again.”
Veteran all-rounder Rayad Emrit did not feature at all during the 10-game preliminary round.
Bravo said, “He was the captain last season. He’s in charge of the bowling group. With his experience, it’s always welcomed. Unfortunately, because of his injury, he was ruled out of the tournament early.”
The Amazon Warriors also changed captaincy before this year’s CPL, with wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran taking over from Australian off-spinner Chris Green, who moved to the Jamaica Tallawahs.
Pooran, who is also the West Indies T20 vice-captain, said, “I’m very happy and satisfied that we qualified. We haven’t had the best of tournaments, when it comes to consistency, but we’re very happy we can put a couple wins together in the last couple days.”
The Patriots defeated the Amazon Warriors twice in the prelims, but Pooran is encouraging his players to “have some fun, be responsible and if it’s your day, it’s your day.”
Concerning his development as a leader, Pooran said, “I’m enjoying it. I’m gaining some experience now.
“It’s tough at times but it’s something I like, with all it’s challenges. I chat with (TKR and WI captain Kieron Pollard) a lot, Dwayne as well.”
About the bubble life, Pooran pointed out, “The bubble life is tough but I’m getting used to it. I had a bit of a break before the CPL so the bubble isn’t that bad at the moment.”