Amazon Warriors heading into semi-finals, after regaining ‘mojo’

first_img… Hetmyer, Tahir lead runs/wickets chartsBy Clifton RossNO team in Hero CPL history has managed to attract the loyalty and love of the fans like Guyana Amazon Warriors, and after a mixed start to the season, the former finalists are almost at the cusp of possibly winning this year’s championship, following an amazing turnaround of form.This year’s journey to breaking the jinx, which began back in 2013, came with a number of hurdles for the Warriors, who reminded the doubters of their team’s talent, especially during the more crucial stages of the tournament.Similar to the NBA, where teams have their collection of players who can deliver in the ‘clutch-moments’ of the game, which usually start with a little less than 4 minutes or so remaining in regular time of a game, the Warriors have their own bunch of late-moment stars.After having a mixed start to the tournament, which was plagued by a few losses and near misses as well as some individual performances which should have gone a long way, the local franchise played their last three games like the champions they deserved to be 5 times over.Shimron Hetmyer has been their champ from the start, smacking a trifecta of half-centuries. He leads the runs chart for his team and the tournament with 267 runs; passing Jamaica Tallawahs opener Glenn Phillips at number 2 with 248 runs.Hetmyer has been their leader with the bat, while the volatile Nicholas Pooran (4th with 234 runs) blasted 68, followed by a whirlwind 100 not out off 45 balls and will continue to act as the team’s enforcer when the semi-finals begin.Ross Taylor has absorbed the pressure and instead of looking to be the team’s designated basher – a role which he has fulfilled to the best of his abilities over the years – has decided to play the on-field coach/anchor role, allowing the youngsters to bat around him while seeing tsam home.West Indies batsmen, openers Chandrapaul Hemraj and Brandon King remain the Warriors key at the top of the order, regardless of their batting position and both players have managed to get some runs under their belts ahead of what could be the most important battle.Another key momentum-booster is that the Warriors also control the bowling department, with the old general Imran Tahir, predictably going on to pass the-then leading wicket-taker; Tallawahs Mujeeb Ur Rahman.The 41-year-old enters crunch stages with 15 wickets, two more than Mujeeb. Pacer Naveen Ul Haq is a class act and should he continue his wizardry with the ball, he could likely add a significant number to his 10 wickets.Skipper Chris Green has shrugged off the pressure of being a novice captain and has exhibited nerves of steel to not only grab 9 wickets to date; but also lead a fairly young side out of the slums – almost being booted out like the champs Barbados Tridents – to inches from a possible victory.His arsenal of seamers like Naveen, Keemo Paul (9 wickets) and the burly Romario Shepherd who now seems to be hitting his straps after bagging a 3-for recently; will need to continue supporting Tahir and Green when the time arrives.West Indies U-19 and Guyana Jaguars all-rounder Kevin Sinclair has been a revelation for the Warriors. Not only do his acrobatics add to the dynamics of his cricket, but his energy has lifted the overall vibe of the team after just a few games.The off-spinner averages a measly 12.20 from his 4 games but has snapped up 5 wickets with figures of; 1-9, 2-13, 1-16 and 1-23, operating with much efficiency and effectivenessm bowling with the new ball and getting the early breakthroughs.Should he remain in the side, and he should, then Warriors will enter the latter stages of their title hunt with 3 in-form seamers and 3 ace spinners – ideal weaponry needed to wrap up the season.New champions will be crowned, thanks to Warriors who ensured they got the message across to defending champs Tridents, by dumping them out of this year’s competition.Guyana will have a few days to regroup and formulate the necessary tactics while they await their semi-final opponents; when the other matches are completed.last_img

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