Thursday 22 November, 2018

Guyana Amazon Warriors edge out Chris Gayle's Patriots

Chris Gayle (right) of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots dismissed by Keemo Paul of Guyana Amazon Warriors during match 19 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League at the Warner Park Sporting Complex on August 25, 2018 in Basseterre, St Kitts. (PHOTO: CPL via Getty Images).

Chris Gayle (right) of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots dismissed by Keemo Paul of Guyana Amazon Warriors during match 19 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League at the Warner Park Sporting Complex on August 25, 2018 in Basseterre, St Kitts. (PHOTO: CPL via Getty Images).

Jamaica and West Indies explosive opener Chris Gayle slammed an attacking 40  but St Kitts and Nevis Patriots suffered a four-wicket defeat against Guyana Amazon Warriors in the match 19 of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), at Warner Park.in St Kitts on Tuesday night.

Imran Tahir and Sohail Tanvir set up the victory for the Warriors. Tahir secured four wickets, while Tanvir came with a late fireworks with the bat.

A fourth win in six leaves the Warriors in second place on the Hero CPL six-team table with eight points. Defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders, which also have eight points, are leading the table courtesy of run net rate. Jamaica Tallawahs are also on eight points but hold down third place with St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in fourth with six points.

Jason Mohammed of Guyana Amazon Warriors hits a four.  (PHOTO: CPL via Getty Images).

Batting first, St Kitts and Nevis Warriors made 168 for seven from their allotted 20 overs and Guyana Amazon Warriors replied with 169 for six to win with one ball to spare.

An all-round batting effort in which six men reached double-figures but nobody made more than Tanvir’s 37 not out saw the Warriors home as the home side was left to rue a wayward bowling performance that gave up 19 extras – 15 of which were wides.

Luke Ronchi got the run-chase off to a brisk start with 28 from 16 balls. However,  wickets fell at regular intervals and for much of the innings the Warriors appeared to be behind the pace as Carlos Brathwaite and Mahmudullah produced tight spells, and Ben Cutting grabbed one of the catches of the season with a flying one-handed grab on the boundary to remove the dangerous Cameron Delport.

Tanvir, though, turned the game brilliantly and decisively Guyana’s way with his unbeaten 37 from 20 balls.

The penultimate over delivered by Sheldon Cottrell proved the key as Tanvir started and finished it with big sixes over the leg-side to leave the Warriors needing just three more runs from the final over.

Despite a couple of nervy dot balls Tanvir and Chris Green scrambled the three singles they needed to get over the line with a ball to spare.

The Patriots had earlier finished with a competitive total in an innings led by Gayle at the start and some lower-order hitting as Tahir dominated the middle overs with a mesmerizing spell of four for 22.

Gayle was initially watchful, recording just a single from his first nine balls, but roared into life when a full-toss from Green allowed him to free his arms and launch the first of his three sixes. The other two followed in the fifth over, bowled by Tanvir. Gayle added three fours in the over for good measure to more than double the score at 47 without loss while also becoming the first man to cross 2000 career runs in the Hero CPL.

With new Warriors captain Rayad Emrit’s first over going for 15 - Evin Lewis taking 10 from two balls in a welcome return to form - the Power Play had brought 62 without despite only 12 runs being on the board after three overs.

The Warriors needed something to change, and it did. Keemo Paul started his spell inauspiciously with three wides well outside Gayle’s off stump, but that line did the trick in the end as the big man slashed a cut to Cameron Delport at point to depart for 40 from 27 balls.

Imran Tahir (right) of Guyana Amazon Warriors appeals against Devon Thomas of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.  (PHOTO: CPL via Getty Images).

That wicket and the introduction of Tahir sparked a collapse from 71 without loss to 102 for five that would in the end prove so important. Bowling almost exclusively googlies, Tahir took a wicket in each of his four overs to rob the Patriots of any mid-innings momentum and derail their flying start.

Lewis was caught at short third-man for 28, and the first ball after the break hurried through Brandon King’s defences. Devon Thomas was trapped plumb in front  before Mahmudullah holed out to mid-wicket.

Tom Cooper was lbw to Roshon Thomas for just nine as Anton Devcich held the middle part of the innings together for the Patriots almost single-handedly with 35 off 24 before falling to Tanvir’s final ball of the night.

That left big-hitting all-rounders Ben Cutting and Carlos Brathwaite the final over to attack, a task they approached with gusto. Cutting launched two sixes down the ground before Brathwaite crunched the last ball of the innings back past the expensive Emrit for four, but their efforts would be upstaged by Tanvir’s in the end.

UPCOMING MATCHES
Wednesday, August 29 – Barbados Tridents v Jamaica Tallawahs (8 pm), Kensington Oval,

Thursday, August 30 – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots v St Lucia Stars (6pm), Warner Park.