(ESPNCricinfo) Guyana Amazon Warriors seized home-field advantage with a packed spin bowling lineup that St Kitts & Nevis Patriots had trouble coping with on a slow pitch as the hosts restricted the visitors to 108 for 8 before a comfortable chase, made to look more difficult by a late flurry of wickets, to secure a four-wicket win with 22 balls to spare.
The pitch came under heavy criticism from the television broadcast commentators at Providence Stadium, with a low and slow pitch producing likewise action from the Patriots lineup. The visitors opted to bat first at the toss but three specialist spinners in the Amazon Warriors attack -Steven Jacobs, Adam Zampa and Veerasammy Permaul – exploited the favorable spin conditions superbly, none more so than offspinner Jacobs, who took the new ball and finished with figures of 1 for 7 in four overs.
Arriving in Guyana after a pair of blistering half-centuries in far friendlier batting conditions at Warner Park in St Kitts, Evin Lewis laboured through an 18-ball innings before a desperate shuffle across his stumps to flick Jacobs resulted in Lewis being trapped in front for 4 in the fourth over.
Lewis’ opening partner Lendl Simmons exemplified the Patriots’ overall struggle with conditions, lasting until the final over to make 50 off 60 balls before he was runout by Martin Guptill. In between, Zampa wiped out the middle order, including the key scalp of captain Faf du Plessis for just 1.
Guptill was the only batsmen on the day to look unencumbered by the nature of the wicket, scoring at nearly two runs a ball as he three fours and four sixes on his way to finishing with 43 off 22 balls and Man of the Match honours. Following the second-over departure of Dwayne Smith, Guptill and Chris Lynn produced a 60-run second wicket stand across six overs before Guptill perished to left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi after an attempted drive went awry.
Guyana reached the halfway stage needing just 24 runs to win with eight wickets in hand before a brief stumble was sparked by a legside stumping to remove Jason Mohammed off the bowling of Samuel Badree. It was the first of three wickets in the space of nine deliveries for just three runs as Badree had Christopher Barnwell for a second-ball duck before Shamsi struck again to claim Anthony Bramble for 1.
Lynn held firm though and remained until Guyana were within one shot of clinching the match when he was bowled for 34 by JJ Smuts. Jacobs and Sohail Tanvir calmly knocked off the final six runs for victory with 3.4 overs to spare. While the Amazon Warriors cemented their hold on the top of the table, the Patriots woeful start goes on having now lost four of their first five games.