It was almost a tense finish in the first match at the Guyana National Stadium Providence between St Lucia Zouks and the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW).
A player-of-the-match performance by Chris Green and some brilliance by Keemo Paul, Shadab Khan and Romario Shepherd led GAW to a 13-run win.
After St Lucia Zouks skipper Darren Sammy won the toss, the party began with GAW opener, Brandon King throwing his bat to the very first delivery as the ball raced away to the fence.
At 99-6 in 16 overs, it was the Paul and Chris Green show; Green displayed the art of taking quick runs between the wickets while Paul showed his six hitting abilities. The duo began their 24-ball 48-run partnership when they took a liking to McCoy in the 18th over.
After the GAW took 49 runs in their last three overs, Rahkeem Cornwall in particular and Andre Fletcher were on a mission. Paul got a taste of his own medicine when the Zouks duo took 15 off the opening overs. Zouks faster bowlers leaked 116 runs, but they only had six overs of spin which cost 37 runs. The GAW had an equipped spin ammunition; Shabdad Khan bowling his first ball, removed Fletcher for eight, destroying the former’s furniture.
Cornwall carried on his merry way but Zouks lost three wickets for 53 runs in the power play. The well-built Cornwall was removed for a blazing 36 from 14 balls which included seven fours and one six when the canny Green worked his magic. After the spinners kept GAW in the game, Zouks were 84-4 at the half-way stage.
With Paul and Ben Laughlin yielded runs the runs the spinners continue to chip away. Khan in particular bowled with control while Green contained the batsmen. Khan removed Barnwell for seven while Sammy was his third victim, to finish with 3-16 in four overs.
After the Afghanistani, Najibullah Zadran fell for 23, the Zouks batsmen fell like dominoes. Santokie had unfinished business scoring an unbeaten 15 from nine which was insufficient. Shepherd produced some brilliant death bowling with his 2-18 in four overs.
The GAW will meet St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in their second game of the season at Providence on Saturday September 7 from 20:00 hours local time.