Hope’s fantastic ton gives Warriors eighth win
..as Royals and Patriots depart ‘the biggest party in sport’ today
By Sean Devers
THE Guyana Amazon Warriors won their eighth game in 10 matches when they beat the Barbados Royals by 88 runs last night in front of another vocal sold-out crowd to maintain their lead in the Republic Bank CPL tournament with 17 points.
Guyana, who has won the most matches in the 11-year history of CPL, has reached five finals; also being the bridesmaid but never the bride. After last night’s victory, the thousands of Warriors fans left the East Bank venue with smiles as broad as the Essequibo River chanting ‘This is we year.’
Guyana’s win was orchestrated by a brilliant maiden century from Shai Hope, who followed up his unbeaten 54 on Saturday night by reaching the boundary nine times and clearing it on eight occasions during his 44-ball 106.
Hope shared in a 132-run partnership with 22-year-old Kevlon Anderson, who fell three short of a debut 50. The Rose Hall Town right-hander hit two fours and a six in his 39-ball 47 after cameos from Odean Smith who hit three fours and a six in 21, and Shimron Hetymer who lashed two fours and a six in a five-ball 16 contributed to Guyana’s 226-7., equalling the highest score at Providence made by Tallawahs (226-4) against the Warriors in 2022.
Obed McCoy had 2-36 while Jason Holder took 2-50 for the Royals who were restricted to 138-6 despite 20-year-old Rivaldo Clarke’s unbeaten 54 from 43 balls with eight fours. Only Carlos Braithwaite (18) and Justin Greaves (16) of the other batters reached 15 in a sub-standard batting performance as skipper Imran Tahir took 3-23 and Gudakesh 2- 11.
Earlier, the Royals invited the Warriors to bat on a dry track and very fast outfield and Smith was asked to open again, following his 44 on Saturday. The powerfully built Smith cover drove Akeem Jordan for Four, while Saim Ayub square drove the pacer for a boundary as the opening over cost 16. Smith slashed Obed McCoy for six over point before he was bowled with a no-ball and caught off the free-hit by Jason Holder at mid-off.
Ayub, hit three fours in 16 before he drove Jordan to mid-on in the fourth over at 35-1, while Smith slashed Jordan for four and the 50 was posted in 30 balls with 10 fours and a six. Hope pivoted and pulled Holder for consecutive boundaries Smith then patted McCoy to cover at 62-2, while Anderson stroked McCoy for an imperious boundary off his first ball in the CPL and followed up with another glorious four.
Hope flicked Holder for four past Rakeem Cornwall, who did not move an inch at short fine-leg and executed an array of elegant shots and the 100 was posted in nine overs. Cornwall bowled a tight 10 th over and at halfway stage the Warriors had roared to 104 Anderson hit Qais Ahamad for six and the 50 partnership came up off 32 balls with five fours and a six.
Hope reached his second 50 in two days from 23 balls with six fours and three sixes before depositing Cornwall for a mighty six over mid-wicket. Hope clobbered Cornwall for four fours and two sixes to reach his maiden CPL century off 41 balls with eight fours and eight sixes. It was the second-fastest CPL century after Andre Russell’s 40-ball ton.
Hope was removed by Holder at 194-3 before Azam Khan, who had two fours in nine, also fell to the expensive Holder at 205-4. Hetmyer joined fellow Berbician Anderson and hit a ‘beamer’ from Holder for six off his first before back-to-back boundaries ended an over which leaked 16 runs. Anderson was set for a 50 but began trying to hit the ball too hard and only succeeded in lofting McCoy high into the night sky for ‘Keeper Rivaldo Clarke to take the catch on the second attempt without addition to the score.
Dwaine Pretorius was run out for a first-ball duck while Hetymer showed no mercy on Holder but was eventually run out as Guyana lost three wickets for one run in the last seven balls in an effort to try to get as many runs as possible. The qualifiers commence with Kings facing Tallawahs on Tuesday evening before the top two teams (Warriors and TKR) battle each other on Wednesday evening.
The winner of this game goes directly to the final, while the loser will play qualifier two on Friday.