VIDEO: Guyana Amazon Warriors ease past Zouks into second place
Guyana Amazon Warriors bowler Naveen-ul-Haq takes a diving catch during their victory over the St Lucia Zouks on Wednesday night at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, in Match 24 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League. (Photo by Randy Brooks - CPLT20/Getty Images).
Shimron Hetmyer's explosive half-century took Guyana Amazon Warriors to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over St Lucia Zouks in the 24th match of the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL on Wednesday night at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
Hetmyer stroked 56 not out off 36 balls, his third 50 of the tournament, as the Warriors chasing 110 for victory got home with six overs to spare.
Earlier, Warriors after asking the Zouks to bat turned in a disciplined bowling performance to limit the St Lucia franchise to 109 for seven off their allotted 20 overs.
Javelle Glen top-scored with 23 not out, batting af number eight, after the top- and middle-order failed to negotiate the Warriors bowlers.
Naveen-ul-Haq took two for 24 while Keemo Paul had two two for 25 after the opeing bowlers Kevin Sinclair (one for 16) and Imran Tahir (one for 10) kept the Zouks batsmen at bay.
Opener Rahkeem Cornwall smashed sixes off both captain Chris Green and Sinclair, but Andre Fletcher fell early, edging Sinclair to short third man and was caught for one. At that stage the Zouks were eight for one in the clash between second and third,
Naveen-ul-Haq started with a wicket-maiden, Leniko Boucher pulling straight to Green at mid-on and was caught for one.
Imran Tahir also started with a maiden, leaving the Zouks 15 for two after four overs.
Cornwall hit two fours off Naveen, driving him over his head then pulling him, but when the opener mistimed a Romario Shepherd cutter Naveen pulled off an excellent catch diving forward to dismiss the batsman for 21 off 13 balls.
Cornwall had hit 20 in four shots, but the Zouks only scored off six other deliveries to end the powerplay at 27 for three.
Green raced through an over for just two runs, and Tahir was unlucky not to get a wicket in an over that yielded only four.
Najibullah Zadran attempted to reverse sweep Green to little effect, and Sinclair was unlucky the batsman top-edge fell safely.
Najibullah at last middled one, pulling Sinclair hard for a six, and at halfway the Zouks were 47 for three.
Najibullah and Kavem Hodge managed to hustle eight off Green’s last over. Hodge soon got stuck, which put pressure on Najibullah, who tried to attack Tahir but under-edged a googly to keeper Nicholas Pooran and was caught for 19 off 22 balls.
Paul had a good first over that yielded wickets, starting with Hodge (13) under-edging through to Pooran and ending with Zouks captain Daren Sammy (one) falling LBW for another low score.
At 59 for six off 13 overs, the Zouks were in need of a rescue mission. Mohammad Nabi and Javelle Glen survived Tahir’s last over, Paul’s second over like his first went for just two, and while Nabi clubbed Romario Shepherd for four through cover that was the first boundary in 34 balls.
Entering the last four overs, the Zouks were 72 for six. Nabi steered Naveen past point for four, but the bowler foxed him with a pair of slower balls to put the onus on the batsman to attack.
Nabi mistimed his drive and holed out to Sinclair at deep cover and was dismissed for 13 off 14 deliveries.
Javelle Glenn got his first boundaries, both edged past short third man off Paul, as the Zouks finally managed a double-figure over to reach 89 for seven off 18 overs.
Naveen dropped short and was pulled for four to go for 11 off the last over of an otherwise excellent spell, and Glenn smoked a cover drive in the last over. However, Paul recovered well to ensure that was the only boundary off the 20th, and the Zouks total felt some way under par.
Glenn was 23 not out from 22 balls at the end with Scott Kuggeleijn, 13 not out off 10.
Kuggeleijn sprayed wides both sides of the wicket in a nine-ball first over for the Zouks that somehow only went for five.
The Amazon Warriors’ intention to attack the powerplay was clear, as Chandrapaul Hemraj started Nabi’s first over by smashing a six and Brandon King closed it by square driving for four.
King was bowled for five attempting a ramp over fine leg, but the aggression continued with Hetmyer slashing for four.
Chandrapaul Hemraj ruined a potential Nabi maiden with a six over long-off, and Hetmyer dismissed a Kuggeleijn long-hop through point for four. Cornwall closed the powerplay tidily, but after six overs the Warriors were comfortable at 38 for one.
Hemraj clipped Kesrick Williams fine for four to take the required run rate below five an over.
Hetmyer seized on Cornwall’s first poor ball, hammering a six over midwicket, and the Amazon Warriors ticked along to 55 for one off eight overs but soon after Hemraj was bowled by Nabi off both pads for 26.
Hetmyer attacked Chemar Holder mercilessly, pulling his first two balls for sixes and following up with three fours in a row - a majestic cover drive on the up, a rasping square cut and a punch over mid-off to rocket the Warriors to 82 for two and himself to 46 after 10 overs.
A 24 run over had reduced an already simple chase to a stroll.
Nabi finished his spell tidily, but while Sammy showed faith in Holder, Nicholas Pooran continued where Hetmyer had left off with a glorious check-driven four.
Hetmyer followed suit to bring up a third 50 of CPL 2020 off just 33 balls, and after 12 overs the Amazon Warriors were 94 for two and needed just 16 to win.
Pooran walloped Glen through midwicket for four but fell next ball reverse-slapping to cover where Boucher took a good low catch. Pooran made a run-a-ball 10.
The winning moment was a bye, but the job had been done by the bowlers and Hetymer, and with three straight wins the Amazon Warriors look to be gathering steam.
The Zouks had already qualified for the semis, but the top order will need to step up if they are to win Hero CPL for the first time.
Such was the margin of victory that the Amazon Warriors jumped into second place, and who knows how important that could be come the semi-finals.
St Lucia Zouks 109/7 off 20 overs (Glen 23, Cornwall 21, Zadran 19; ul-Haq 2-24, Paul 2/25) .
Guyana Amazon Warriors 110/3 (Hetmyer 56*, Hemraj 26; Glen 1/9, Kuggeleijn 1/17, Nabi 1/23).
Thursday, September 3 - Match 25: Jamaica Tallawahs v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (10 am), Brian Lara Cricket Academy