A superb bowling performance from Sohail Tanvir and Adam Zampa helped the Guyana Amazon Warriors to victory in their opening fixture of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) against the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in a thrilling finish.
Tanvir and Zampa picked up seven wickets between them as the Patriots were restricted to 164-9 on a very good Warner Park pitch, but it proved to be a target that was chased down by Guyana with four wickets in hand and just one ball to spare.
There was some surprise when the Amazon Warriors chose Sohail Tanvir as their very first pick in the draft, but he showed in his first over why coach Roger Harper was so keen to secure his services. He claimed the hugely important scalp of West Indies opener Lendl Simmons with his fifth ball in a wicket maiden. Tanvir then returned to the attack at the death to pick up another three wickets as he finished with figures of 4-20.
Having found themselves a wicket down with no runs on the board there was a consolidation of sorts by the Patriots when Evin Lewis and captain Faf du Plessis put on 34 runs in decent time. When Rayad Emrit was brought into the attack he had an immediate impact and he put an end to that recovery. He claimed the wicket of Lewis with his very first delivery, a full ball that swung a touch which Lewis swung at, missed and was bowled.
The very next ball there was another wicket for the Amazon Warriors as Jonathan Carter attempted a second run that wasn’t there and he was run out by a direct hit from Christopher Barnwell. The Patriots had gone from 34-1 to 35-3 in the space of two balls.
The dismissal of Carter brought the hugely experienced Brad Hodge to the crease. Having coached at the IPL in recent months it has been a while since Hodge picked up a bat but it did not show. He made a hugely important 38 from 32 balls that held the Patriots innings together when it looked in danger of collapsing. During the innings he become the second player after Chris Gayle to pass 7,000 runs in T20 cricket.
Hodge departed to Zampa, driving him to long on where he was well caught by Jason Mohammad. The Australian leg spinner finished with figures of 3-34 in his first Hero CPL match.
The wickets from Zampa and Tanvir meant that the Patriots never really got going as they were continually pegged back making a total that was a par effort at best.
The Patriots batting effort was put into context in the opening exchanges of the Amazon Warriors chase as Martin Guptill and Dwayne Smith scored 62 runs from the first six overs. Guptill departed to the very last ball of the PowerPlay, drilling a full ball from Carlos Brathwaite to mid-off but the back of the chase had been broken.
It was fortunate that the Warriors had such a strong start as they were pegged back when Tabraiz Shamsi was brought into the attack after the PowerPlay. Shamsi was the pick of the Patriot bowlers, keeping the batsmen guessing with his variations, but no one else could keep the scoring rate under control for long enough for the Amazon Warriors to feel under real pressure.
Dwayne Smith raced to a well-made half century from just 32 balls, he was especially brutal on the bowling of Samuel Badree who is just returning from injury. Smith smacked three Hero Maximums off the usually economical Badree.
It was the medium pace of Krishmar Santokie that did for Smith who tried to drive him over the covers only to hit it straight to a fielder. It was Santokie’s 50th Hero CPL wicket, the most by any bowler.
Smith went for 62 (36) and just two balls later Chris Lynn was run out for six by du Plessis. At this point the squeeze was on and it took a long time for Anthony Bramble and Mohammad to get themselves set, but eventually they began to score freely and they reached the victory target but the Amazon Warriors were made to work for it. Mohammad was there at the end and he was well supported by that man Tanvir.
Match 3 tonight, Trinbago Knight Riders vs Barbados Tridents Preview
Friday’s fixture sees the reigning champions Trinbago Knight Riders take on the 2014 winners, the Barbados Tridents. The Knight Riders lost their opening fixture and their Chief Mentor, Jacques Kallis expressed their disappointment at losing their first home match of the season, but feels they learnt valuable lessons about how to cope with the conditions in Port of Spain going forward.
“We were very disappointed, we have a proud record at home and probably felt we had a half decent total on the board and didn’t bowl as well as we would have liked, but having said that we weren’t fair off, there are just little things that we need to improve on,” Kallis said. “We have learnt a lot about conditions throughout and realised it is going to be team that handle dew best in these conditions that come out on top.”
The opposition captain will be Kieron Pollard who spoke of how he was looking forward to playing in front of a big Friday night crowd. While he may be the leader of the Tridents, Pollard is a local boy who will know the conditions well.
“Every time you step into the Queens Park Oval for Twenty20 cricket you get a big crowd. The people of Trinidad, they are passionate about T20 cricket and about cricket in general. With the Knight Riders being the defending champions they will come out and support them. But let’s not forget, I am home as well…”
Upcoming Fixture: Friday, 1 July – Trinbago Knight Riders v Barbados Tridents, Queen’s Park Oval (9pm)
TICKETS: Tickets for all CPL fixtures in the Caribbean and Fort Lauderdale are on sale now from www.cplt20.com.