Fireworks expected in Tallawahs-Hawksbills flash
THEY may be at opposite ends of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 (T20) preliminary standing, but plenty of fireworks are expected when Jamaica Tallawahs host Antigua Hawksbills at Sabina Park on Thursday afternoon.
The Tallawahs, winners of last year's inaugural CPL, are third with six points after winning three of their four matches. The Hawksbills are at the base of the points table, losing all five games including once to the Tallawahs in Antigua.
The Hawksbills, however, have a few Jamaicans in their ranks, including captain and top batsman Marlon Samuels, left-arm quick Sheldon Cotterell and the hard-hitting Danza Hyatt.
Andre Russell, the in-form Tallawahs all-rounder, said the ingredients should make for a hotly contested encounter.
"I think it's going to be heated game. They lost to us already and they haven't won any game at all," the 26-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.
"He [Samuels] is from Jamaica and they have a few other Jamaicans on the team, so they want to do well in front of their supporters as well. We just have to remain positive and back ourselves and come and deliver. We have a taste of what it is to lose, so we don't want to get that disappointing feeling again."
Samuels, 33, told reporters on Sunday that he is looking to impress on a ground that he knows quite well. Leading the Hawksbills with 180 runs in the tournament, Samuels added that he hopes to "inspire and lift the team" against the Tallawahs.
Jamaica Tallawahs captain Christopher Gayle, 34, said entertaining the home fans and rebounding from the loss to the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in the previous round are at the forefront of his mind.
"Hopefully we can put on some entertainment for the fans in Jamaica and get our winning ways back. We have to assess where we went wrong [against the Red Steel]. We can still sharpen up a bit in the bowling department. We are batting in patches and in the outfield it is important for us as well.
"I'm sure he [Samuels] is looking to win as well and we are here to try and stop that. He is at home as well and I'm sure he'll want to put on a show. We are looking forward to doing bigger and better things. Last year the turnout [at Sabina] was huge and the support was great and fantastic," said Gayle, the top scorer so far for the Tallawahs with 219 runs.