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Guyana Amazon Warriors and The Hunt for CPL T20 Title

CPL T20 2020 season is set to kick off from 18th August at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad. Barbados Tridents secured their 2nd title defeating Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL T20 2019 Final at Trinidad. Prior to the Final, GAW were unbeaten in the season. Betting sites in India had Guyana as the clear favorite to win the 2019 final, valuing the team’s win at 1.68 betting odds.

However, Barbados Tridents delivered yet another astonishing performance to defeat the 2018 runner-up. Guyana’s defeat raises many questions about their ability to perform in a high-stakes game. Earlier in the season, GAW had defeated Barbados Tridents on 3 occasions including in the Qualifier 1 match.

Most Appearances in CPL T20 Final

Guyana Amazon Warriors have made it to the final of CPL T20 most number of times. Looking at their previous years’ performance, this should come as no surprise. Guyana has made it to the final 5 times in 7 CPL T20 seasons, while the team with most titles, TKR has 3 appearances in the final.

At the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad, Guyana Amazon Warriors played in two finals -2018 and 2019. In 2018, batting first against Trinbago Knight Riders, GAW finished with just 147 for 9. Whereas, in the 2019 final, chasing 172 runs against Barbados Tridents, Guayana finished with 144 for 9.

GAW’s stats at Trinidad – CPL 2020 Venue

The Brian Lara Stadium at Tarouba in Trinidad made it to the list of venues for CPL T20 since the 2017 season. Since then, Guyana Amazon Warriors have played 4 matches at this venue and lost 3 of them. Their only win at this venue was in the CPL 2017 Eliminator match chasing 169 runs against Jamaica Tallawahs.

The 2020 CPL T20 season will be played at Trinidad and the two venues for this season are Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba and Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain. Guyana Amazon Warriors will play 7 of their 10 matches at Tarouba.

Since 2017, a total of 8 CPL T20 matches have been played at Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba. The average 1st innings score at this ground is 156.75 while teams batting first have won  4 and lost 4 matches.

CPL 2020 Squad – Ross Taylor and his experience

While retaining Shimron Hetmyer and the highest run scorer of CPL 2019, Brandon King, Guyana Amazon Warriors have signed Ross Taylor for CPL 2020. His inclusion in the side will bring some much needed experience and help the side keep their nerves in a high stakes knockout game.

Ross Taylor has been part of many T20 franchises around the globe and is a proven match-winner. Playing at a ground where the average 1st innings score is below 160 and the highest 1st innings total is 171, Guyana will definitely benefit from having a player like Ross Taylor who can pace his innings as the situation demands.

Guyana Amazon Warriors Squad – Key Players

Apart from the season’s highest run scorer, GAW has also retained the second highest wicket-taker of CPL 2019, Imran Tahir. He was the only non-Tridents bowler in the top 5 wicket-takers list of the 2019 season with 16 wickets.

While they’ve let go of Shadab Khan and Shoaib Malik for the 2020 season, bowling all-rounders Chris Green and Keemo Paul continue to be part of the GAW squad. This could turn out to be a tricky decision for Guyana.

Shadab Khan and Shoaib Malik were among the top 5 bowlers with best bowling averages in 2019 along with Qais Ahmed and Imran Tahir. However, none of the CPL T20 franchises drafted these two all-rounders for the 2020 season.

The bowling attack seems strong enough with Romario Shepherd, Imran Tahir, Qias Ahmed, all-rounders Chris Green and Keemo Paul. GAW has drafted the 19-year old left-arm orthodox bowler Ashmead Nedd for this season.

Another such player drafted in the 2020 squad is 20-year old Naveen-ul-Haq from Afghanistan. The right-arm fast-medium bowler has picked 10 wickets in 5 T20i matches at an average of 12.3. He was part of the Nangarhar Leopards franchise in Afghanistan Premier League and Sylhet Thunder in Bangladesh Premier League.

Another Season, Another Shot at the Title

The squad strength of Guyana Amazon Warriors is intact in 2020, however, it is their ability to deliver in the knock-out stage that’s in question. Will Ross Taylor’s presence in the side make a difference in terms of performing in a high-stake situation? Will Imran Tahir continue his successful run in a league entirely played in Trinidad? While historically, Guyana’s record hasn’t been great at this venue. There are many questions as to how efficient their team set-up will be away from their home ground in Guyana. After 5 losses in a CPL final in 7 seasons, will Guyana Amazon Warriors finally taste victory in the 2020 edition of CPL T20?

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