CPL 2021: Shepherd’s all-round brilliance sends Warriors into semis

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– President Ali questions Shepherd’s T20 WC non-selection after man-of-the-match effort

Romario Shepherd

Led by a brilliant unbeaten 71 from Romario Shepherd, backed up by his 3-31 from four overs, Guyana Amazon Warriors sealed a spot in the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) semis at Warner Park St Kitts, thumping the Jamaica Tallawahs by 14 runs in match 29.

Tallawahs started off poorly, in pursuit of Warriors 142-7. In the power play, Tallawahs were reeling at 38-3 and it quickly became 42-6 when Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite (15) took the score to 68-7 in 11.5 overs. Russell made 19 but it was Shepherd again doing the damage. Shepherd was backed up by Odean Smith who claimed 3-20, and Imran Tahir 2-2.

Earlier, Warriors won the toss and opted to bat first. The match was reduced to 18 overs per side after rain hit Warner Park, but play started at 15:50h.

Warriors lost Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer and Shoaib Malik cheaply in the power play with the score on 38-1. Chandrapaul Hemraj (21) attempted to rebuild the innings but wickets kept tumbling for the Warriors.

Anthony Bramble was promoted to number five but lacked impetus in his innings of 14. Nicholas Pooran came and went for nine when he was undone by a brilliant running catch from Shamrah Brooks.

At 75-7 in 11.2 overs, things were looking bad for Warriors but Shepherd came and dominated taking the Warriors to 142-7 in 18 their alloted overs. The man from New Amsterdam, Shepherd, slammed six maximums and seven fours in his unbeaten 72 from 31 balls. Imad Wasim was the best Tallawahs bowler with 3-15 while Chris Green had 2-19.

President Ali questions Shepherd’s non-selection at T20 World Cup

Social media did not hold back as Shepherd, who missed out on selection at the T20 World Cup continued his consistency in the CPL. The President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali strongly believed Shepherd should have been selected in the West Indies World Cup squad.

He posted on his official Facebook page: “So proud of this young Guyanese. Why he is not selected in the West Indies T20 World Cup team? His performance has been outstanding thus far in the CPL and there is absolutely no reason why this young All-rounder is not in the squad.”

The brilliant Shepherd played only eight of the 10 matches this season and has 18 wickets at a top average of 12.38 with a strike-rate of 9.8. He also has 108 runs with the bat at a strike-rate of 168.75. (Brandon Corlette)