THE Guyana Amazon Warriors began their Hero Caribbean Premier League Twent/20 tournament in impressive fashion, whipping the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots by six wickets last evening at the National Stadium, Providence.
An astonishing run-chase by the Warriors made a mockery of Patriots total of 146 in match two of the 2018 season. Shimron Hetmyer’s dashing unbeaten 45-ball 79 propelled the Amazon Warriors to their target with 24 balls to spare.
The left-handed Hetmyer was in no mood to hang around in pursuit of a total which, although below-par, seemed it might trouble the hosts on a tacky pitch. A superb display of ball-striking from Hetmyer ensured that was certainly not the case.
He clinically punished fractional errors in length from the Patriots, striking boundaries on both sides of the ground, to end with four sixes and nine fours.
When play began, Chris Gayle was lucky to survive a plumb leg before wicket call early and went on to anchor the innings with a 65-ball 86, but he hardly got any support from the other end; no other batsman went past 20. Keemo Paul (2 for 16 off his four overs) was brilliant and he was well supported by the other Warriors bowlers.
A grandstand finish never came and the Patriots ended at least 20 runs short on the surface.
Play was delayed by 15 minutes after a couple of light-towers had endured some electrical problems. However, after being put in to bat by the Amazon Warriors, Gayle neatly glanced the first ball to the fine leg boundary off Sohail Tanvir to kick start the innings, but Evin Lewis, an established T20 star, was entirely out of choice.
Credit must go to the Warriors opening bowlers, Tanvir and off-spinner Chris Green. They bowled beautifully with the new ball, and by the end of their first spell respectively, the Patriots could only muster 31 runs in six overs.
The left-arm seamer, Tanvir, in particular, swung the ball both ways, while Green bowled a series of arm-ball which eventually got through Lewis’ defence in the fourth over.
With the field dropping back, the Jamaican was then forced to lift the run-rate, which he eventually did single-handedly.
The hosts had their moments while bowling, but failed to captilised on a good position and allowed the Patriots, especially Gayle, to recover.
It was the pack crowd at the stadium which was at risk once Gayle decided to open his arms and swat away everything that was in his zone over the boundary.
Tom Cooper and Ben Cutting threw away their wickets in a brief period of worry for the three-time finalists, but Malik and his team-mates could do little to stop the 38-year-old Gayle from taking apart their bowling. The left-hander smashed seven fours and five sixes.
The Amazon Warriors began the chase in a positive manner with Chadwick Walton hitting consecutive boundaries off Sheldon Cottrell. However, a major collapse ensued inside the powerplay, beginning with the dismissal of Luke Ronchi.
Walton outing came to an abrupt halt soon after, while Malik, after hitting Cottrell for three boundaries in the third over, was taken at the wicket at 24-3 after three overs.
Thereafter, Hetmyer held the charge firm, and in company of Jason Mohammed, pressed the accelerator harder.
In a matter of 6.2 overs, they added 62 runs for the fourth-wicket. The right-handed Mohammed hit a four and six before he was dismissed. Hetymer, however, ensured the platform didn’t go wasted, and was in company with Green when victory was achieved.
The Warriors will be in action tomorrow from 16:00hrs against the St Lucia Stars.