Ed Hawkins likes the look of the consistent visitors in the Caribbean Premier League at Warner Park early on Sunday morning...
"Tahir is a cracking signing. And he should make Guyana more lethal, particularly with Aussies Chris Green and Ben Laughlin dovetailing nicely."
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots v Guyana Amazon Warriors
Sunday 15 September, 23:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
The Patriots were buzzing after their record chase against the Tallawahs. But the Tridents rather spiked their confidence, coming away with a shock win after they batted and bowled with greater skill and tenacity than many thought they were capable.
But then, St Kitts seem to be a front runner. With the ball or bat, they like to be on top early. Particularly with the willow. Devon Thomas, Evin Lewis and Laurie Evans, top runscorer in the Blast last season, look solid. But Lewis is having a poor time of it and needs to buck up.
With the ball, they are one-dimensional. There's a lot of pace - quality in the form of Rayad Emrit and Sheldon Cottrell - but very little in the way of top-class spin. Fabian Allen is a prospect but you just wonder whether they should have been in the market for a Lamichhane or Tahir. Cottrell, by the way, has been out with a niggle so might not play again. They have one win in four.
Tahir in town
Talking of Imran Tahir, he has finally pitched up at the Warriors as a replacement for Shadab Khan, who has returned for Pakistan duty. Shadab was having a corker of a season with a wicket every 10.5 balls in the first three games.
Tahir is a cracking signing. And he should make Guyana more lethal, particularly with Aussies Chris Green and Ben Laughlin dovetailing nicely. Romario Shepherd has been the star, though, with seven wickets.
Chandrapaul Hemraj has been an emerging talent with the bat, too. His striking in the 120s has been a major bonus with the Warriors trying him out in a new-look opening partnership with Brandon King. King has been struggling, though, and is striking at 91. That's very poor. It's their one discernible weakness at the moment.
The first innings scores at Warner Park, Basseterre (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second, most recent first) read: 186-1/241-2/168-2/206-2/199-1/168-2/162-2/208-1/168-2. It looks like another very good track as, early on at least, the CPL eschews its reputation for more stodgy surfaces.
Hosts could get off the mark
The unbeaten Warriors get a [1.66] quote with the Patriots [2.38]. In the context of skinny Jamaica prices at [1.60] - or thereabouts - and Trinbago going below that, we wonder whether the market has been slow to recognise this Guyana team are the real deal.
We're not entirely sure why that is because they have made four finals. They are remarkably consistent. Nic Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer should also relish a more batting-friendly surface. We also have an inkling that the Patriots might struggle with the guaranteed eight overs of spin from Tahir and Green. Green and Shadab tied this lot in knots in game four.
Top bowler bet alert
Lewis goes off at 12/5 (Sportsbook) for top runscorer honours for the Patriots. He is one of the most frustrating wagers you can have in franchise cricket. Have a look at these stats. In 2017 he copped 30% of the time. If you'd used those ten games as a study sample, you'd have done your money the next year as he won just once. He has one win so far this term.
Hetmyer top scored for Guyana in the earlier meeting between the two this season. He is 3/1 jolly with Sportsbook. Pooran looks big at 4s. Our best wager, though, is Tahir at 3s for top Guyana wicket-taker. On career form and CPL form he should be skinnier. A decent bet.