PORT-OF-SPAIN – GUYANA Amazon Warriors have topped the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a 19-run victory over the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) at the Queen’s Park Oval on Monday evening.
The victory made it a record eight wins in a row for the Warriors who go to an unbeatable 16 points on the table with two more home matches to play.
TKR captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and sent Guyana in to bat with opener Chandrapaul Hemraj top scoring with 66 from 42 balls that included six fours and four sixes.
Shimron Hetmyer got to 48 before holding out to Khary Pierre in the deep.
It was Romario Shepherd, the eventual Player of the Match, whose cameo knock of 32 off 13 balls propelled the Warriors to 185/6 in their 20 overs. Shepherd was dropped on 15 in the 19th by Simmons off the bowling of Ali Khan. He went on to hammer 16 off the remaining balls he faced.
Chris Jordon bowling the last over was hammered for 25 and it could have been worse had it not been for Khary Pierre on the backward square leg boundary leaping to pull back a sure six for Keemo Paul. He threw the ball back into play, fell over the ropes and recovered to get it back to the keeper, saving four runs as the batmen crossed for two.
The Barbadian-born Jordon who plays for England conceded 49 runs in his four overs for the wicket of Sherfane Rutherford.
In TKR’s turn at the crease, openers Lendl Simmons (16) and Mark Deyal (10) only managed an opening partnership of 16.
Reeling at 53/4, Pollard joined Darren Bravo at the wicket but not even their 125-runpartnership proved enough to secure victory.
The experienced duo plundered 57 runs from the 15th to the 18th over but Paul held his nerve to bowl the penultimate over, conceding only nine runs and leaving Imran Tahir to defend 29 in the last.
It was too much although Bravo got a six first ball and then a single. Pollard was bowled in the third ball but by then the equation was too much. He ended on a captain’s knock of 71 from 38 balls while Bravo was unbeaten on 58 off 46 balls with six sixes and no fours.
One more victory will allow TKR to finish second and have the same safety net as the Warriors going into the knock out rounds.
Pollard said, “I thought in the back end of the innings we gave 15, 20 runs too much. Although conditions were damp, it was the same for both teams.
“A little more precision in our execution could have got us chasing a lower total. We have to look at our overall cricket and do some introspection. We have to look at our attitude on the field.”
The winning captain Shoaib Malik said, “I’m very pleased. Credit goes to the guys. They are keeping themselves fit. They are consistent with ball and bat. They fight to the end and that’s the key. (Chandrapaul) Hemraj’s innings up front was excellent. If one of your batsmen from the top-order scores 50-plus, that gives you an edge.”