Play-Off 1 in the 2016 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) takes place at Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts on Wednesday, and features the teams that finished first and second in the qualifying table, the Guyana Amazon Warriors and the Jamaica Tallawahs.
The Tallawahs claimed the inaugural CPL title in 2013, when they defeated the Warriors by 7-wickets in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. However, despite qualifying for the knockout phase of the competition in subsequent seasons, they have not appeared in the Grand Final since.
After losing the 2013 Final, the Warriors were to qualify for the Grand Final again in 2014, when they again came up short, losing by 8-runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method to the Barbados Tridents, at the venue of Wednesday’s play-off. In 2015, like the Tallawahs, they progressed to the semi-finals, but failed to go beyond that stage.
The winners of Wednesday’s contest, will progress directly to the Grand Final, while the losers will get a second chance, and play against the winners of the St Lucia Zouks v Trinbago Knight Riders match, which will be played in St. Kitts on Thursday.
The Tallawahs finished second in the qualifying table, despite losing their last two fixtures, both of which were plated in Florida, against the St. Lucia Zouks. They could have been forgiven if they took their foot off of the pedal slightly, having already been assured of a place in Play-Off 1 before they arrived in the USA. While the Zouks were still looking to secure their own position in the top four.
On the other hand, the Warriors although certain of a play-off spot going into their final two fixtures against the Tridents, were far from certain as to their final finishing position. As it turned out, they completed two comfortable wins against the Tridents, and were able to leapfrog over the Tallawahs to the top of the ladder.