Guyana Amazon Warriors led by three points clear at the top of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) as they expanded their perfect season opener to six games and a playoff spot with a rain-hit win over Barbados Tridents at guaranteed Kensington Oval.
The Warriors dismissed the Tridents for only 138, Chris Green dropped the last four wickets and only received 14 runs in his 3.2 overs, before he stopped after 10 overs of the run-chase, as heavy rain for an hour, 77 / 2 reached. When the game resumed, the warrior’s target was lowered from 24 to 20 of 62 of the last 60 balls.
They added four from 11th place before the rain came back to kill the Warriors 81/2, still clearly distancing themselves from a DLS par score of 69.
The possible overshoot after the initial rain delay made it possible for Brandon King to finish half a century after stranding at 49 and not failing when the players left the field for the first time.
He and Chandrapaul Hemraj had been vigilant at the beginning of the Warriors’ initial pursuit of 139 wins but still reached the 50s mark in powerplay when King, in particular, began to break away.
King took Ashley Nurse for 10 in two balls as the first over 15 runs were leaked, while King scanned his second hero maximum from the final ball of the sixth when Jason Holder ran short.
This brought the sum and partnership to 52 before Nurse’s problems continued on the field as he made a simple shot that King offered on the 30th. Two balls later, King planted his third six over Midwicket at night.
There was a small break for the Tridents when Hemraj completed a return match to Sandeep Lamichhane for 20 and Shimron Hetmyer was cleverly captured and bumped by JP Duminy for just 2, but by that time the required set was already on a run, a ball declined.
King continued to impress and took Lamichhane for a series of limits to finish the tenth. As it turned out, the competition quickly turned into something more substantial as an initial drizzle.
With 77/2, the Warriors 16 were ahead of the DLS par score of 61. The only small disappointment for them was that King was stranded after half a century with 49 * out of 30 balls. Something he corrected when they returned to the field.
In the past, the Tridents lost regular doors during a rather hectic inning, which meant that their position was always fragile, even when the run rate was healthy – 63 runs came in at the top of the innings in a six-over power play.
Not surprisingly, the run rate slowed down when the hosts were forced to keep an eye out for their doors. And even this approach did not work in the end: Green has taken the last four gates of the innings to keep the Tridents short.
The tone was fixed from the beginning, a slightly wild attempt by Keemo Paul, who scored 17 runs, but also the crucial wicket of Johnson Charles, as he cut a wide ball to third place up to Imran Tahir.
Justin Greaves, who was so impressive on the debut, has crossed some good looking limits but defeated Romario Shepherd for 11. That too was a recurring theme. Alex Hales looked good for his 24 before taking down a deep midfielder after the first ball of Tahir’s second game, while Jason Holder, Leniko Boucher, Raymon Reifer, and Lamichhane all made great strides early in their inning.
Even Duminy, who held it together with a 32-ball 38 with two fours and two hero maxima, was caught in the deep attempt to pull Green across the square leg.
Jonathan Carter was undone after a long pause for the referee by a broken leg from Tahir while Nurse was cleverly blown by Nicholas Pooran to help Green on the way to numbers of 4/14.
This was the second-best shot yield of the Hero CPL of 2019 – only Green’s team-mate Shepherd did better with 4/13 against the same opponents in Match 6.