By: Brandon Corlette
A century from St Lucia Kings captain Faf du Plessis went in vain as Guyana Amazon Warriors recorded their second win in as many nights at the electrifying Guyana National Stadium at Providence, EBD.
Led by another Shai Hope classic and Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s blazing half-century, Warriors chased down 195 to win by six wickets.
In hot pursuit of the target, openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Chandrapaul Hemraj added 81 runs, with 71 of those coming in the power play.
When Hemraj played across the line and was bowled for 29 by Roston Chase, Gurbaz continued to ignite the Providence Stadium, striking seven fours and two sixes in his 26-ball 52; but his was the second Warriors’ wicket to fall, when the score was on 85-2 in 8.1 overs.
With the next ball, off-spinner Mark Deyal sent back Shakib Al Hasan for a golden duck, and Warriors lost three quick wickets. However, Captain Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope took the score to 100-3 after ten overs, and the chase was set up.
Hetmyer, who survived an umpire’s call decision and continued his merry way, playing some free-flowing strokes, was eventually caught at deep backward square for a 28-ball 36 off Alzarri Joseph. His innings was decorated with two fours and one six.
After the 63-run partnership between Hope and Hetmyer ended at 148-4 from 15.2 overs, Romario Shepherd partnered the classy Barbadian Hope, who destroyed Roshan Primus by slamming him for three sixes in three balls to put Warriors in the driver’s seat. Hope reached his fifty in 25 balls, and he finished things in style to give Warriors a big win, as he ended on 59 from 30 balls, and his score was decorated with five sixes and two fours.
Mark Deyal claimed 2-32 in a difficult night for the bowlers.
Earlier, Kings won the toss and opted to bat first, after the Warriors players had greeted President Dr Irfaan Ali of Guyana. Romario Shepherd made an early impact when he removed Mark Deyal for a duck, caught at mid-on.
Niroshan Dickwella then took ten runs off Junior Sinclair’s first over, and Faf du Plessis then struck 17 runs off Shepherd’s second over, including four boundaries.
Kings raced away to 50 in the sixth over, posting 62 runs in the powerplay, and the South African du Plessis reached his fifty from 29 balls. Warriors bowlers were taken to the sword, as Kings reached 98-1 in 10 overs. Faf was all guns blazing, while Dickwella played a supporting role. The duo added 132 runs before Dickwella departed for a 32-ball 36.
Captain Faf continued to light up Providence with his masterful strokeplay, but he lost partners in Adam Hose (01), who was stumped off Shakib; and David Wiese, who was trapped by the same bowler for 12.
At 157-4 in 16.3 overs, Kings were searching for a strong finish, and Faf reached his century in 56 balls, but three runs later, his innings came to an end when he was cleaned up by the quick Odean Smith. By then the Kings’ skipper had already slammed ten classy fours and six maximums.
Primus (11) and Chase (17) ended Kings’ innings on 194-5 when their 20 overs had expired. Shakib claimed 2-33 from his four overs on a hard day for bowlers.
The tournament will continue on Saturday with TKR playing Warriors at Providence from 19:00h.