After a pulsating five weeks, the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2019 is finally coming to a close with a high-octane final lined up between Guyana Amazon Warriors and Barbados Tridents on the 12th of October.
Both Guyana and Barbados were the top two teams at the end of the league stage. Hence, the finals this time could not have been among more deserving teams. Guyana Amazon Warriors have had an incredible journey thus far in this season of the CPL. They are the only team to have remained unbeaten so far and look red hot to lift the trophy. The Barbados Tridents, meanwhile, have had a mixed bag of a tournament – they won 5 and lost 5 games in the league stages. However, they produced a superb all-round performance in the Qualifier 2 against defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders to make their entry into the finals.
In the last 5 games between Guyana Amazon Warriors and Barbados Tridents, Guyana has won an amazing four times. In fact, Guyana has beaten Barbados all the three times the two teams have faced-off in CPL 2019.
Hence, Guyana Amazon Warriors will remain the favorites in the finals too. Led by the mature Shoaib Malik, the team has literally all bases covered. Shoaib has led from the front with 313 runs in the season. However, their star batsman has been Brandon King who also scored a sparkling unbeaten 132 against Barbados Tridents in Qualifier 1. Barbados will hence be wary of the attacking opener in the finals. The other batsmen who can have an impact in the final are Chandrapaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetmyer.
Guyana also has a good bowling attack led by leg-spinner Imran Tahir(15 wickets), along with Chris Green (13 wickets) and Romario Shepherd (12 wickets). Tahir himself could make things difficult for the opposition.
Jason Holder’s Barbados Tridents would be delighted at the way they made their entry into the finals. While their batting isn’t the best, the team will hope to have some solid contributions from their main batsmen JP Duminy (291 runs) and opener Johnson Charles (376 runs). Alex Hales and all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan might do something special too.
The team’s bowling has good variety. Captain Holder has been terrific with 14 wickets and seamer Harry Gurney (11 wickets) has been good at the death. Raymon Reifer was brilliant in the last game against Trinbago and would be crucial in the final.
Match prediction: Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Barbados Tridents, Final:
The pitch at the Brian Lara Stadium, Trinidad, has produced some high quality cricket in the past. It has not been a flat deck and bowlers have had their say. The only match of CPL 2019 played on this venue was the Qualifier 2 between Trinbago Knight Riders and Barbados Tridents which turned out to be a low-scoring game as Barbados defended their total of 160.
In the final match of CPL 2019 between Guyana Amazon Warriors and Barbados Tridents expect another low-scoring contest with both bowlers and batsmen having something for them. The combined total between the two teams in the final is expected to be in the range of 310-330. The team batting first will have an advantage as the pitch slows down and slower bowlers will make things difficult.
Guyana Amazon Warriors have looked the best team of Caribbean Premier League 2019. Their recent form, all-round strength and current record against Barbados Tridents make them the favorites for the final. Unless Barbados produces something special, Guyana should clinch the final as they are too strong at the moment.