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CPL 2020: St Lucia Zouks vs Guyana Amazon Warriors (SLZ vs GUY) Game Plan: The Pooran threat and Zouks’ right-handers

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The CPL 2020 has sparked some interesting T20 match-ups. Here, we take a look at the key game plans and tactical thinking that could play a role in the St Lucia Zouks vs Guyana Amazon Warriors (SLZ vs GUY) game in CPL 2020.

CPL 2020 St Lucia Zouks vs Guyana Amazon Warriors (SLZ vs GUY) Game Plan 1

The Saini ploy that Kuggeleijn can use against Nicholas Pooran

Guyana Amazon Warriors have two of the most brutal spin hitters in their batting line-up in Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran. The fact that both are left-handed gives St Lucia Zouks, boasting of a long array of off-spinners a ln advantage, but Daren Sammy’s men might be better off using pace against Pooran at least. 

The ideal man to exploit a slight chink in the dynamic Pooran is Scott Kuggeleijn and he nearly did the job too last time these teams met. Kuggeleijn was at Pooran’s throat and if not for a dropped catch from Sammy, would have had his man too. But Pooran had settled down well by the time he faced Kuggeleijn that game and shortly after the drop, he cluelessly attacked a short ball and edged one for four. 

 

Kuggeleijn has the ability to replicate the manner in which Navdeep Saini has had success against Pooran. The extra bounce that Saini generates has troubled Pooran, a chink in his batting that often goes unnoticed. Andre Russell – who has dismissed him thrice in T20s – and Saini – who has had him thrice in 21 balls – have cracked the code against Pooran. Kuggeleijn has shown evidences of doing the same against Pooran.

Pooran hasn’t faced too much of left-arm wrist spin either and has been dismissed by Tabraiz Shamsi and Kuldeep Yadav in the format. So, it might be worth throwing Zahir Khan at him too in intervals. 

CPL 2020 St Lucia Zouks vs Guyana Amazon Warriors (SLZ vs GUY) Game Plan 2

Mohammad Nabi and the Keemo Paul weakness

Few batsmen have been as effective in the death in this CPL as Mohammad Nabi. The Afghanistan batsman has motored along at a terrific rate in the death overs as we emphasized in an earlier analysis, but Guyana have the right resource to stop him in Keemo Paul, who has dismissed him 

SLZ vs GUY

CPL 2020 St Lucia Zouks vs Guyana Amazon Warriors (SLZ v GAW) Game Plan 2

An exceptional striker of the ball against spinners, bowling the innumerable slow bowlers Guyana have could be playing right into Nabi’s hands. Instead, they could try cut out the Afghanistan all-rounder’s arc by denying him slower bowlers. 

Naveen-ul-Haq and Keemo Paul in tandem could work against Nabi. Romario Shepherd and his yorkers could also be effective against the big hitter. 

 

Nabi was dismissed by spin all three times this season, but like the Bangladesh Premier League in 2019 showed, it’s easier to contain him with pace than spin. Eight of his nine dismissals in BPL 2019 came against pace. Since 2019, he has 30 dismissals to pace and 13 against spin.  

CPL 2020 St Lucia Zouks vs Guyana Amazon Warriors (SLZ vs GUY) Game Plan 3

The Zouks right-handers vs Guyana’s right to left spinners

The St Lucia Zouks have a weird batting make up in that six of their top seven are all right-handers and the one left-hander – Najibullah Zadran – has struck at a rate of 104.68 in this year’s CPL. That they have so many right-handers in the line-up makes them susceptible to spinners who turn the ball right to left (or the ones who turn the ball away from right-handers).

SLZ vs GUY

Game Plan 3: Guyana Amazon Warriors vs St Lucia Zouks

Guyana have ample options in this regard with Imran Tahir and Ashmead Nedd the frontrunners. Chandrapaul Hemraj and Kissoondath Magram also figure in the list and Guyana might think of playing Hemraj to add some batting depth and also contribute with his left-arm orthodox bowling.  With Kevin Sinclair being outstanding, squeezing in Nedd into the starting XI might be tough. 

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Zouks might want to bring back Mark Deyal and even Kavem Hodge to lend more balance to their batting line-up in countering the spin threat from Guyana.